August was a busy month for the STDA sales and marketing teams. From sales missions to new digital campaigns, the team was preparing for a busy close to summer and the launch of October’s Kids Free Campaign. Below are some of the sales and marketing highlights from various departments during the month.
Special events in August focused primarily on summer activities and whale watching season.
In August, we posted a total of 103 Tweets, 67 Facebook posts, 24 Google+ Posts and 9 Instagram posts through our social channels, 4 blogs, and distributed 6 consumer emails.
Web traffic for August included 472,662 user sessions between the desktop and mobile sites.
Sub Region Marketing
In August, we contracted Casual Fridays for the FY 2016 Sub Region social media campaign and kicked off planning for the FY 2016 program of work.
B2B DIGITAL MARKETING
EMAIL: The August B2B Postcard was delivered to approximately 5,490 meeting planners and highlighted unique sports venues in San Diego. Petco Park, Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego Hall of Champions, San Diego Polo Club, Velodrome, Viejas Arena, and others were featured. The open rate for the B2B Postcard was 14.8%, which represents nearly 800 meeting planners.
LINKEDIN: There were seven B2B LinkedIn posts reaching our professional audience. Posts included articles on our National Sales Director Ernie Rossow receiving an award at HPN, a promotion of a new Member business, a blog article on Islands of San Diego, a shared PCMA article, Cvent recognition of San Diego, and several invitations to our Annual Workshop. LinkedIn grew by 2% from last month to 4,159 followers.
TWITTER: @SDTAConnect Twitter base grew by 3.4% from last month to 1,845 followers. There were 30 tweets during the month.
The tweet with the most engagement (24) was in support of a Revenue Management Seminar by Duetto and hosted by Joe Terzi and presented to hotel stakeholders.
In the month of August, the San Diego Tourism Authority kicked off the Kids Free in October promotion across digital outlets and newsprint. A $21k spend on digital display and pre-roll included placements on Conversant, Nickelodeon, Facebook and Twitter reaching 2MM impressions. A newspaper insert to promote the kids free campaign and fall highlights in San Diego reached key spot markets: Los Angeles, Arizona, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Portland, Salt Lake City, Seattle and Sacramento. This $35k media spend garnered 375k impressions.
In addition to the domestic brand campaign, San Diego Tourism Authority is expanding efforts to international markets starting with Canada. Specifically, the Kids Free promotion was extended into Canada with digital display for Nickelodeon and Conversant and a newspaper section in the Vancouver Sun. Total spend for the month of August was $18k and total impressions was 1.08MM.
The Membership team hosted a newly revamped Member Inspiration training for 15 new SDTA Members. These sessions are valuable in empowering Members to take advantage of their new opportunities and represent our renewed efforts to better engage and retain Members in FY 16. Member Inspiration is a fresh direction for on-boarding, and aims to leave Members excited and eager to take advantage of their Member benefits. The Members also had an opportunity to give a brief presentation to the SDTA team. The Inspiration training also was webcast, allowing several new Members who could not physically attend to participate.
The team also partnered with San Diego’s major Winery and Vintner’s Associations that added four new winery Members.
Advertising sales contracted $31,750 in new revenue, putting online ad sales 131% ahead of pace. Online sales have been so strong that sandiego.org is nearing a sellout for the first time ever.
Brian Hilemon also attended the LA Tourism & Convention Board’s Annual Meeting to audit how they produce their major events for Members and stakeholders.
Joe Terzi, Brian and SDTA Board Chairman Scott Hermes have been working to identify and develop new sources of Private Source Revenue for the organization. In August, they narrowed their focus to three new initiatives, and held several meetings with potential consultants to review proposals.
Members also took part in the massive All-Industry Cruise, attended by more than 1,000 industry professionals.
We’re happy to welcome the following new members in August.
- Brothers Signature Catering & Events
- Deerhorn Valley Vineyards
- Dulzura Vineyard and Winery
- Father Joe’s Villages
- Knotty Barrel
- Liberty Public Market
- McElfresh Law, Inc.
- Mingei International Museum
- Rustic Root
- Turtle Rock Ridge Vineyard Winery
A few highlights of events that our Sales team attended during the month:
Four members of the sales teams attended MPI’s World Education Congress (WEC) in San Francisco. The team had 25 one-on-one appointments with customers and received four leads totaling 3,728 potential room nights for the destination.
National Sales Directors, Andrea Cowsar (Hotel Sales) and Maria Andriola (Citywide Sales) attended the ASAE Annual Meeting and Expo in Detroit from August 8-11. They were joined by five hotel and venue members in the SDTA tradeshow booth. Onsite they received three RFPs, 10 for the near future, four to be emailed, 17 future definites and 12 strong prospects.
Michael Steffen, National Sales Manager – Hotel Sales, attended Luxury Meetings Summit in Chicago on August 14. During this meeting, Michael met with 31 clients to bring new business to the destination.
From August 24-28 Ernie Rossow, National Sales Director, attended HPN Global Partners Annual Conference in New Orleans. He received five RFPs for 1280 potential room nights and met with over 120 HPN associates. Ernie was also awarded CVB Partner of the Year.
National Sales Director, Gillian Ware and National Sales Manager, Bri Mouton attended Connect Marketplace from August 27-29 in Pittsburgh. Together they received 12 RFPs totaling 11,936 room nights, in addition to the possibility of 19 RFPs within 3-12 months for 10,473 potential room nights.
Definite bookings: 6
Total Room Nights: 78,108
The Citywide Sales team is off to a strong start to FY16. The 78,108 room nights booked so far have included bookings placed over key need dates including Labor Day, President’s Weekend, December, and the week leading into Memorial Day Weekend
PR hosted a number of domestic and international media and assisted MeringCarson with some key domestic and international promotion opportunities. As part of a culinary promotion with BrandUSA, PR hosted a UK-based food blogger for a “foodie tour” of San Diego.
Domestic media hosted included Collaborate (meetings magazine), Good Morning Texas (TV), The Advocate magazine and “Despierta America,” a national Spanish-language morning news show broadcast on Univision, and more.
International PR hosted 5 top travel media outlets from China on a 5-night/5-day San Diego visit including a day trip and overnight stay in Tijuana, Mexico publicizing the region as a Two-Nation Destination. Additional international media hosted included The Daily Telegraph (UK), Viagem & Turismo (Brazil) and more.
The PR team also assisted with filming several segments for a Los Angeles-targeted Kids Free promotion with Univision.
Notable media coverage in August included Budget Travel magazine, the Chicago Tribune, the Las Vegas Sun, ABZ Tourismo (Mexico), the Winnipeg Free Press, Metro UK, and many Chinese websites.
Press Clipping Total Value: $1,890,633
Press Clipping Value: $1,015,156
PR Activities for August 2015
Media Assisted: 38
Media Hosted: 20
Media Pitched: 10
Photos Requests: 22
Press Kits Distributed: 17
TTD hosted four FAM/Site inspections in August—one domestic site experience in preparation for a 10-day group tour in January 2016, and one international site experience for Virgin Atlantic Sales UK. 10 agents from Australia spent three days in San Diego. Visit California International office staff over-nighted in San Diego and included reps from UK, Taiwan, Japan and Mexico.