Advertising & Promotion
A redesigned social and digital strategy has paid off, in some cases, with exceptional dividends this quarter, as compared to 1st quarter FY 18. TheHotelsAtBWI.com experienced a 990% increase with 144,375 sessions during the period, while WeddingsInAnnapolis.com experienced an 89% increase with 13,264 sessions. The new AnnapolisDiscovered.com site attracted 19,330 sessions and VisitAnnapolis.org dipped 5% compared to last fiscal with 212,319 sessions. All website total visits: 421,644.
The new branding of the Arundel Mills Entertainment District has been scheduled with digital, social and print advertising over the last two months of the quarter in Richmond and the Mid-Atlantic, along with upcoming press tours to the region from the Richmond, VA market.
Here’s a snapshot of the top 5 events viewed on Visit Annapolis during the 1st quarter:
- July 4thCelebration (July1-4) 19,748
- Renaissance Festival 16,371
- Annapolis Crab Feast 5,969
- Dinner Under The Stars 5,819
- Spring Sailboat Show 5,253
The STR Reports show a slight increase in occupancy and Rev Par throughout the county during this quarter.
Website Enhancements & Engagement
Website analytics showed increases in the majority of our website platforms, compared to the same period last year.
VisitAnnapolis.org, visitannapolis.org, MeetInAnnapolis.com, and Blog SitesVisitAnnapolis.org, visitannapolis.org, MeetInAnnapolis.com, and Annapolis Discovered TheHotelsAtBWI.com WeddingsInAnnapolis.com Social Media
|Followers/Fans as of September 1, 2018|
The Group Sales Department confirmed 31,188* total rooms YTD in Anne Arundel County.
*Total number of rooms confirmed include new and future bookings (carried over).
Annapolis Wednesday Night Sailboat Races Meeting Planner FAM | August 1-2 | Annapolis
Industry Events: July 23 – 26 - Cvent Connect, Las Vegas, NV, Connect Marketplace – Associations August 28 - Student Youth Travel Association-Arundel Mills/BWI FAM September 6 – 9 - Professional Fraternity Association (PFA) Convention, Wichita, KS
Site Visits: August 7 – 9: National Association of Steel Pipe Distributors (NASPD) | Fall/Summer 2020 August 22: National Institute of Automotive Service Excellence | June 2020
Group Sales Assistance: VAAAC Group Sales assisted with varying group requests including helping to secure transportation options, off-site venues, obtaining visitor guides and resort maps, and helping clients explore different activities and tours for their groups. During this time period, Group Sales Admin assisted: 1 sports group; 17 wedding/social; 1 tour and travel; 4 reunion; 15 conferences and arranged 3 CRUSA itineraries.
Quarterly Booking Comparison - 2017 vs. 2018
|1st QTR FY18||1st QTR FY19|
Public Relations & Communications
Met with 30 journalists in pre-scheduled appointments at Travel Media Showcase in Niagara Falls, New York (9/11-13). Represented VAAAC at Mid-Atlantic Tourism PR Alliance (MATPRA) Media Marketplace in Laurel Highlands, PA (9/25-27). 53 journalists were in attendance.
Hosted four press trips: Sandrine Dubreuil and David Morcrette, Le Repaire des Motards (7/27-29); Liz Mays, Eat Move Make (8/28-30); Reiko Yamamoto, Globetrotter Travel Guidebook (8/29-31); Viviane Pajamandy and Christophe Baour, We Love New York (9/5-6). Hosted new Capital Region USA Executive Director Scott Balyo on FAM tour (8/23-24).
Assisted an additional 36 journalists, including representatives from Today.com; Good Morning Washington, WJLA-TV; Washington Post; Washingtonian; Global Traveler; Travel & Leisure; Espanoles en el Mundo; AmericA Magazine (Netherlands); Charlotte Magazine; Baltimore Sun; Baltimore Times; Sports Events Magazine; Meetings Today; Thrillist.com; New England Antiques Journal; and Yachting Magazine.
Disseminated three news releases: Seven Things to do in Annapolis & Anne Arundel County Before Summer’s Through (7/25); Nine-not-to miss Fall Festivals (8/15); VAAAC Launches New Website (9/7).
FY 2019 First Quarter media coverage yielded 362 mentions; reached an audience of 293.3 million; and had a publicity value of $109,100.
Our new partnership plan kicked off this quarter with a more direct and cost-effective option for everyone in the County. Partners can direct their business and brand through our four website and APP options; our printed and digital Visitors Guide; Visitors Center representation via brochures and TV monitor ads; and partnering on sales missions and tradeshows throughout the year. As we continue our marketing, advertising, public relations and sales support of our mission, we hope that this new program will get more businesses engaged with VAAAC while taking advantage of our targeted and captive marketing efforts.
|Visitor Center/ City Dock Booth/ Ambassadors Visitor Count|
|1 QTR FY 18||77,884|
|1 QTR FY 19||64,818|
Visitor Services is wrapping up a wet summer with a decrease in visitation for the 1st Quarter. As our 2018 Visitors Guide inventory is dwindling down in preparation for the 2019 edition, we anticipate complete distribution of the entire 2018 run. Our street Ambassadors wrap up 2018 with the Boat Shows and Military Bowl.