The Convention and Visitors Bureau is working for you

Sunday, April 22, 2007

The Sikeston and Miner Convention and Visitors Bureau's role is to create and maintain effective marketing programs for the cities of Sikeston and Miner and to promote local attractions and events for the purpose of attracting visitors, conventions and meetings to the area, creating an overall economic impact to the benefit of each city.

There are various steps to take in accomplishing this mission, and being involved with many organizations, committees and businesses is crucial.

For the 2006-2007 budget year, we began by submitting two grants to the Missouri Division of Tourism for over $50,000. These monies will aid us tremendously in the advertising and marketing of our cities.

Then, we kicked off 2007 with some extensive tourism marketing when we met with over 42,000 snowbirds during late January and early February at trade shows in Florida and Texas. Snowbirds are leisure travelers who mainly reside in Canada and the northern part of the United States, who travel extensively and we'd like them to come our way!

We then attended the Bank Travel Show, where we met with over 28 group travel leaders and urged them to consider our area when planning travel itineraries for their vacationing groups. This marketing touched both our leisure traveler and our group traveler which are our main target groups.

After returning to Missouri, I put on my tourism liaison hat and attended the Capitol Days for Tourism in Jefferson City to urge our state legislators to remember the importance of tourism when considering the budget this year.

Your Sikeston and Miner Convention and Visitors Bureau is involved in tourism throughout the region and the state. In addition to the daily activities including the monthly meetings with the Advisory Board and quarterly meetings of the Tourism Commission, here are just a few examples of the ways we are working for you!

Small Market CVB -- The Small Markets Committee meets about six times a year. Together we share ideas about what works and what doesn't work and why.

We are developing cooperative advertising and promotional programs that individually our budgets and time would not allow. We are also exploring grant opportunities, group health insurance and more.

Last year was our first Receptive Reception in Branson. The format was a tradeshow from 4:30 p.m.--7:30 p.m. We are happy to say we had 15 participants. Receptives from Branson and the surrounding area were invited.

Our goal was to enhance their group's visits to Missouri by showing them the "hidden gems" of Missouri . This year, I am chairman of this event.

Missouri Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus (MACVB) is another organization of which we are members. The MACVB is the leader of a proactive and professional group of destination marketing and management organizations. It is recognized as the influential trade association and fosters industry cooperation and advocates tourism, economic development and marketing. I am the chairman of the Recruiting Committee.

Missouri Division of Tourism Cooperative Marketing Advisory Committee -- Yearly, this committee critiques the MDT Cooperative Marketing Program and makes recommendations on consensus items.

Missouri Division of Tourism Cooperative Marketing Grant Evaluator -- This committee evaluates the Leisure Travel Marketing Programs for the state. The process requires evaluators to read and evaluate all grants submitted to the Missouri Division of Tourism. The members schedule one session to discuss and rate each contract. Those with the highest ranks are funded first and so on until the money is extinguished.

River Heritage Association Board of Directors - As the past president of the RHA from 2002 -- 2005, I now sit on the board. This organization meets six times a year and is a progressive organization representing diverse destinations and attractions from twelve southeastern counties. Their goal is to promote and market their destinations.

Agri-Tourism Conference -- This committee hosts a yearly educational conference in Southeast Missouri . Their goal is to educate the surrounding area of the importance of tourism in agriculture. The conference for 2008 is scheduled to be held in Sikeston.

City of Miner Convention Center Advisory Board Member -- This committee is dedicated to the completion of the Miner Convention Center . It meets approximately six times a year and is working on the logistics of the new convention center.

Historic Midtown Development Group Promotions Committee - This committee meets monthly and is dedicated to creating events and festivals for the city of Sikeston .

Sikeston Cultural Development Group Board Member -- This board meets monthly and is dedicated to see that the Depot provides an attractive and educational experience for more than 7,000 visitors a year.

In addition, we are always looking for annual meetings and conventions to bring those groups here. If you know of a group, give us a call at 471-6362 we'll follow-up with them. Happy traveling!

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