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RLACC 2017 Annual Report - Visit Rogers

Posted by: JustinFreeman on Wednesday, January 31, 2018
As seen in the February edition of the Chamber Voice, the 2017 Annual Report offers a summary of each Rogers-Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce division's accomplishments in 2017. An extended version of each division will be profiled on the Voice of Business Blog. The next department summarized is Visit Rogers. Visit Rogers Visit Rogers impacts the Rogers economy and community by attracting conventions, sporting events and groups to Rogers that stay in hotels, eat in our restaurants, shop in our stores and enjoy all the wonderful amenities Rogers offers. Objective:  Generate overnight visitors that will produce room nights for Rogers hotels and business for our attractions, restaurants and retailers. Staff will generate 100 leads, book 70 meetings, conventions, sports and group tours in Rogers resulting in 23,000 room nights and services to 40,000 visitors.
  • In 2017, a total of 116 leads were sent to partners.
  • Sales efforts resulted in 56 groups meeting in Rogers in 2017, generating 17,389 room nights and 43,285 attendees to-date.
Create and place ads in appropriate publications and online to drive visitors to Rogers, resulting in a two (2) percent increase in the Rogers hotel tax collections.
  • At the previous two percent lodging tax rate, a 6.6 percent increase would have been achieved. The Rogers lodging tax increased from two to three percent in September. At year-end 2017, the Rogers hotel tax collections increased 29.8 percent over 2016 to $1,082.180.
Staff will identify 55 prospects per month utilizing MINT, online sources and networking.
  • A total of 880 prospects were identified in 2017.
Objective:  Market Rogers as a premier destination for leisure travelers, conventions and sporting events. Spend $250,000 on a mix of digital ads, online campaigns and web banners in targeted media outlets to maximize exposure for Rogers.
  • A total of $317,165 was invested in marketing during 2017.
Increase the hotel tax by two (2) percent.
  • At the previous two percent lodging tax rate, a 6.6 percent increase would have been achieved. The Rogers lodging tax increased from two to three percent in September. At year-end 2017, the Rogers hotel tax collections increased 29.8 percent over 2016 to $1,082.180.
Create eight (8) new marketing pieces to be used in mailings and networking that promote Rogers as a premiere destination for meetings, groups and sports events.
  • Ten (10) pieces were created in 2017 – a new video and a profile sheet for Helms Briscoe Destination Partner program, “Things to Do” itineraries for MAKO and The Poultry Federation, a welcome sign for the Poultry Festival, a program ad for the ASAE Convention, restaurant maps for Central States Bankers, online banner ads for the Poultry Federation, and Rogers activity guides for the Tyson Sales Meeting and Pentecostal Youth Gathering.
Publish four (4) e-Weekender newsletters, four (4) meetings-focused newsletters, and three (3) sports planner-focused newsletters.
  • Four (4) e-Weekender, three (3) meetings-focused and three (3) sports-focused newsletters were published in 2017.
Increase total visitation to VisitRogersArkansas.com by 36 percent to 200,000. Grow requests for The Good Life from VisitRogersArkansas.com by 20 percent to 750.
  • Total website visitation in 2017 increased 43.57 percent from 2016, to 163,637 sessions. The Good Life requests totaled 1,190 in 2017.
Continue to grow social media efforts through thoughtful postings and engagement. Grow overall social media activity and engagement by 25 percent from 2016 levels and publish 24 blog posts covering Rogers activities and events.
  • Total social media engagement across Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram platforms increased 27 percent in 2017 over 2016. Eighteen (18) blog postings were published in 2017.
Host or participate in five (5) Familiarization (FAM) tours introducing Rogers and Northwest Arkansas as a viable destination to travel media and meeting, sports and group tour planners. Conduct 20 site inspections with sports, event and meeting planners to encourage booking of future events for Rogers hotels and facilities.
  • Three (3) FAMs and 15 site inspections were conducted in 2017.
Objective:  Provide excellent customer service to enhance the visitor experience and encourage repeat visits. Staff will provide printing or graphic design services to 12 groups visiting Rogers, which will encourage meeting, sports, and group tour planners to choose Rogers as their destination.
  • Twelve (12) groups were serviced in 2017 – Daisy Nationals, Senior Softball, Arkansas Electric Cooperatives, the Rogers Cycling Festival, Poultry Festival, Poultry Live Symposium, Arkansas Emergency Management, Arkansas Recreation and Parks Association, K&K Veterinary Expo, Tyson Sales Meeting, Great 8 Basketball Tournament, and United Pentecostal Youth Gathering.
Create and maintain a current and accurate Calendar of Events on VisitRogersArkansas.com.
  • Calendar of Events was updated and sent out regularly in 2017.
Refresh current city and trails maps, and convention-specific restaurant maps quarterly and as needed for specific groups.
  • Restaurant and group-specific maps were updated quarterly and regularly. Trails and city maps were revised and are due to be completed in 2018.
Provide promotional materials and welcome tables at conferences and special events, providing promotional items and welcoming services to 40 groups visiting Rogers.
  • Forty (40) groups were provided with welcome tables and promotional items in 2017.

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