The December 2020 Board Meeting can be downloaded for viewing here:
Charlottesville Albemarle Convention & Visitors Bureau
Board of Directors Meeting
December 21, 2020 – 2:00 p.m.
PRESENT: Courtney Cacatian, Elizabeth Cromwell, Chris Engel, Chris Eure, Heather Hill, George Hodson, Roger Johnson, Ann Mallek, Jennifer Mayo, Diantha McKeel, Jeff Richardson, Letitia Shelton, Gabe Silver, Mary Blair Zakaib
ABSENT: Pace Lochte, Nikuyah Walker
ALSO ATTENDING: Richard DeLoria, Brantley Ussery
1. CALL TO ORDER
Chairman Roger Johnson called the meeting to order at 2:05 PM.
- Virtual Meeting Preamble and Roll Call: Chairman Roger Johnson invited Richard DeLoria to read the Virtual Meeting Preamble and perform the roll call.
- Consent Agenda: Roger asked for input on the Financial Statement and the October 2020 meeting minutes. A motion was made to approve the consent agenda, and the consent agenda was approved. Roger turned it over to Executive Director Courtney Cacatian for the Director’s Report.
- Director’s Report: Courtney Cacatian presented the Director’s Report, which included a) American Travel State of Mind; b) Hotel Performance; c) Highlights; d) Partnerships; e) ADARA data; f) Marketing and PR Update; g) Destination Sales; h) Visitor Services Update; i) Upcoming Projects; j) November 2020 Financials.
- American Travel State of Mind: Courtney presented data on the Americans’ travel state of mind. As the holidays pass, people are not traveling as much; however, they are receptive to tourism-based messages. The top things that travelers expect to do in 2021 include spending time with loved ones and getting away from crowds, staying at hotels, and going to small towns, villages, or rural destinations almost just as much as they will go to larger cities. Interest in events will start picking up in the spring and continue into the fall. Finally, people are looking for travel inspiration through Facebook, search engine marketing, email, Instagram, and online content. Courtney pointed out that we are communicating with travelers through the top 6 methods of reaching the consumer.
- Hotel Performance: Courtney presented a few charts indicating hotel performance.
- Highlights: Courtney gave an overview of recent highlights, which included kicking off several partnerships from VTC grants, inviting lodging attraction partners to provide insight into Marketing plans for Winter 2020, kicking off the Black Tourism initiative, supporting the City/County/Chamber Buy Local campaign, presenting to the Chamber Public Policy Committee and County EDA, and assembling a Virginia Wine Tourism panel for George Washington University alumni/student network.
- Partnerships: Courtney gave two examples of the partnerships the CACVB has been working on. One promotes historic locations in Eastern Virginia, and another is a collaboration with Pippin Hill, Potter’s Craft Cider, Monticello, Stay Charlottesville, and Oakhurst Inn to promote high-end experiences and private tours.
- ADARA Data: Courtney presented the ADARA Site Impact data. The data shows a peak during the fall and a tapering off for this winter. Visitation to the website produced more than $450,000 in local revenue, and this number is only 50% of what ADARA is currently tracking. The average length of stay is just under 2 nights and for flights, that number is 4.7 nights. The top hotel origin markets are Washington, D.C., Norfolk, New York, Richmond, and Baltimore. Raleigh-Durham also made the top 10 list, which has been the third market during this time.
- Marketing and PR Update: Courtney invited Brantley to give the Marketing and PR Update. Advertising continued through the fall in the three targeted markets (NOVA/Washington, D.C., Virginia Beach area, and the triangle of North Carolina) and the team is looking to expand into Baltimore and Charlotte for the winter. Family travel was emphasized as people continued to work and learn from home, and the WanderLOVE Facebook campaign wrapped up well. The Mobile Visitor Centers were designed and wrapped and Brantley highlighted that Blue Ridge Outdoors designated Charlottesville as the Top Adventure Town of 2020 for a medium sized city. Brantley presented website traffic data and pointed out that although November 2020 shows a decline from October 2020, website traffic is up from the same time last year. The blog also shows an increase in traffic from last October. PR updates include the Stay Local, Play Local partnership with CBS19, hosting travel writers, and working with VTC on a virtual familiarization tour for the Canadian markets. Lastly, the marketing team participated in Wavelength, a networking event hosted by the Black Tourism Alliance that connects tourism professionals with Black content creators, and follow-ups are in progress. Brantley and Courtney took questions from the Board.
- Destination Sales: Courtney continued the presentation by detailing the work that Teresa Lamb, the new Sales Coordinator, has done. This included working on the CRM and website presentation, reaching out to hotels to gather current information, and participating in VTC meetings. The team will also be working on a virtual FAM tour for planners to prepare for group business sales.
- Visitor Services Update: The Mobile Visitor Center vans are here and will be upfit by the end of the year. A new travel specialist was hired, and a Facebook chat bot was added to the website. Crozet was closed and the Downtown Transit Center offices are being packed up. The vans were unveiled at Stonefield to both the media and visitors. The vans will continue on a pop-up schedule until the regular schedule starts later this winter.
- Upcoming Projects: Courtney gave an update on upcoming projects, which included finding a temporary employee for graphic design and video editing, CACVB relocation, putting out a website RFP as the Simpleview contract is set to expire soon, an Arts Immersion Excursion partnership, implementing Bandwango, and submitting the VTC marketing leverage program reimbursement paperwork.
- November 2020 Financials: Courtney went over the financial statement and took questions from the Board.
- Board Announcements: There were no Board announcements.
- Closed Session: Richie read the closed meeting motion and the motion was passed. The Board went into a closed session at 3:03pm and returned at 3:43pm. Richie read the closed meeting certification and a motion was passed via roll call.
- Comments: Before adjournment, Roger invited the Board to make any last comments and announcements. Many Board members commended the staff for their accomplishments.
Chairman Roger Johnson adjourned the meeting at 3:50 PM.