The October Board Meeting can be viewed here:
Charlottesville Albemarle Convention & Visitors Bureau
Board of Directors Meeting
October 26, 2020 – 2:00 p.m.
PRESENT: Courtney Cacatian, Elizabeth Cromwell, Chris Engel, Chris Eure, Heather Hill, George Hodson, Roger Johnson, Ann Mallek, Diantha McKeel, Letitia Shelton, Gabe Silver, Nikuyah Walker, Mary Blair Zakaib
ABSENT: Jennifer Mayo, Pace Lochte, Jeff Richardson
ALSO ATTENDING: Richard DeLoria, Amanda Vierrether
1. CALL TO ORDER
Chairman Roger Johnson called the meeting to order at 2:01 PM.
- Virtual Meeting Preamble and Roll Call: Chairman Roger Johnson read the Virtual Meeting Preamble and invited Amanda Vierrether to perform the roll call.
- Consent Agenda: Roger asked for input on the August 2020 meeting minutes and asked for a motion to be made to approve the minutes. A motion was made and the minutes were approved. Roger asked for input on the financial statement and no comments were made. 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) 2019 Economic Impact; c) Hotel Performance; d) Strategic Action Plan; d) Highlights; e) ADARA data; f) Bandwango; g) Marketing and PR Update; h) Visitor Services Update.
- American Travel State of Mind: Courtney presented data on the Americans’ travel state of mind. Overall, the trend is positive (ready to travel) and the data also shows that local tourism offices are the second most trusted source of information regarding travel.
- 2019 Economic Impact: Courtney presented a few charts on the economic impact the County and City had in 2019. The numbers were up from 2018.
- Hotel Performance: Courtney presented a few charts indicating hotel performance.
- Strategic Action Plan: Courtney presented the strategic action plan. Courtney took questions and feedback. After the presentation, Roger invited Amanda to take a roll call vote to approve the strategic action plan. The strategic action plan was approved.
- Highlights: Courtney gave an overview of recent highlights, which included hiring Teresa Lamb for the Sales Coordinator position, coordinating a Bandwango presentation with some of the Board members, assisting partners write VTC grant applications, securing CARES Act funding from the City and County, researching new office space, nominating partners for the Ordinary Awards, assisting with the County’s grant application process and review, launching a brand voice exercise, and participating in CRUSA tour operator training and VTC’s Share More Stories training.
- ADARA Data: Courtney presented the ADARA Site Impact data. The data shows that visitors are booking quickly and spending more per day than what the average from STR shows. The data also included demographic data, when visitors are staying during the week, where they are coming from, and where potential visitors went instead of Charlottesville.
- Bandwango: Courtney started a discussion about Bandwango. Four of the Board members participated in the presentation in September, and Courtney had received lots of positive feedback from her counterparts about Bandwango. The Board discussed the cost of Bandwango and timing of starting its use. The Board gave the go ahead to move forward with Bandwango.
- Marketing and PR Update: Courtney gave an update on marketing and PR efforts. TV ads were shifted to YouTube due to the election and Facebook ads resumed in September. Courtney shared data about the website, which is seeing a lot of traffic, and shared how well the CACVB blog is doing. The WanderLOVE campaign is wrapping up, which included placements with Blue Ridge Outdoors. Lastly, Courtney reported that PR is strong and travel writers are looking for stories, and Courtney invited partners to share stories.
- Visitor Services Update: Courtney gave an update on visitor services, which included the work put into transitioning to mobile. Courtney presented the proposed vehicle schedule for both the County and the City. Courtney took questions and comments about the mobile visitor centers.
- Board Announcements: Ann Mallek announced that the Blue Ridge Trail had its formal opening. She also commented that the mobile visitor centers should be at festivals and asked about the logistics of one vehicle in the County and one in the City. Courtney spoke about the concern for mileage if one vehicle was only used for the County, so the vehicle with the City design will be used in the County on some occasions. Diantha McKeel suggested that one wrap that includes both will cut down on confusion. Elizabeth Cromwell announced that the Chamber’s annual dinner will be a virtual event this year. The event will present two special COVID awards in addition to their usual awards. Elizabeth asked for nominations for these awards. Mayor Nikuyah Walker also chimed in about how visitors view the City and the County as one and that would be something to think about when designing the wraps.
Chairman Roger Johnson adjourned the meeting at 3:21 PM.