Only 7 of the 11 members were present. Absent were Philip Griffits, Jr., John Hamati, Bill Spann, and Debi Knight.
2009 COLLEGE SPRING BREAK MARKETING CAMPAIGN
President Dan Rowe explained that he would like the Committee and Board to begin discussing their plans, if any, for this segment ahead of the upcoming budget process. Rowe also reported that he has had discussions with the CVB’s agency about completing additional research to determine what the year-round effect is of our spring break image. Image concerns were also expressed by a majority of the committee members present. Although no formal vote took place, the majority of the committee expressed an interest in either discontinuing funding completely or at least changing it to special event funding. If changed to special event funding, the CVB would only consider providing financial support after an organization or co-op made a formal request for financial support.
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2008 MARKETING PROGRAM CHANGES
Mr. Barry Lott, of Y Partnership, made a presentation of suggested changes for this summer’s marketing plan. The agency would like to pull advertising from the emerging Midwest markets and redirect the funds to the traditional drive markets of Atlanta, Nashville, and Birmingham. The replacement advertising will direct viewers to a discount section of the CVB’s web site. Area businesses will be able to promote discounts in this section depending on their individual needs. The Committee voted 6-1 to recommend approval to the Board. Mr. Kirk Lancaster dissented based on his opinion that the agency should be providing increased emphasis on online advertising over print advertising.
2008-09 WINTER RESIDENT MARKETING PROGRAM CHANGES
President Rowe and Mr. Lott explained that they are reviewing the program to provide more emphasis on our traditional Winter Resident areas, including MN, WI, MI and Ontario.
BROCHURE DISTRIBUTION POLICY
President Rowe distributed the draft revised Visitor Information Center Brochure Display Rack Policy. The draft was completed after receiving suggestions from the members of the Board and Marketing Committee. Rowe explained that there are two major changes. First, it provides that owner-rented vacation rentals in the taxing district would be permitted to advertise. Additionally, some attractions outside Bay County will be allowed to distribute brochures. To qualify, the attraction must be located within 50 miles of the visitor center and it must by of a type that is not available within Bay County. The Committee voted 7-0 to recommend that the Board approve the revised policy.
2008 INDIAN SUMMER FESTIVAL
President Rowe reported that only one organization has expressed an interest in permanently taking over the Indian Summer Festival. The applicant, Mr. Joe Biggs of Thunder Beach Productions, then made a presentation and answered questions about his vision. In an effort to grow the event into a major regional festival, Biggs would like to emphasize the music element and expand the event to multiple venues throughout PCB. One ticket charge would allow admission to all venues. The committee requested that Biggs discuss his proposal further with Rowe and make an additional presentation at the Committee’s April 2nd meeting. The Committee also invited any other interested organization to present alternative proposals at the April meeting.
2008 EMERALD COAST CRUIZIN’ EVENT
Mr. Robert Parish, the event organizer, made a presentation about his desire to add an American Graffiti 35th Reunion element to the event this November. Parish is hoping to bring 6 cast members to the event at an expected cost of $30,750.00. The event would also be expanded to be week-long from November 3-8, 2008. To help facilitate this expansion, Parish is requesting $35,000.00 from the CVB instead of the $25,000.00 the event received for 2007. While the Committee strongly supports the expansion, they decided that the funding request should be considered along with requests from other events this summer during the budget process.
2008 IFA REDFISH CHAMPIONSHIP
Mr. Richard Sanders, the CVB’s Director of Sports Marketing, asked for the Committee’s blessing to provide funding for the 2008 IFA Redfish Championship out of his existing sports marketing budget. The $10-15,000 CVB funding would replace fuding that was previously provided by the St. Joe Company. Sanders believes that the media coverage of the event will make the expenditure worthwhile. The Committee voted 7-0 to support the expenditure. Additional information about the event can be found at http://www.redfishtour.com