Facebook  Twitter  Wordpress  Pinterest  YouTube  Flickr  Foursquare          

Summer Ad Results Outstanding



2013 has been a record-breaking year for our leisure marketing efforts - resulting in more ads, better results and more visitors than ever before!

 

Each year, we spend the majority of our advertising dollars during summer months, promoting family getaways to Fort Wayne. This year, we were able to increase our summer advertising budget and focus our efforts so that we could reach more potential visitors, more effectively than we ever have before.

 

We advertise Fort Wayne in cities that are 50-200 miles from Fort Wayne (as we look for overnight stays, which will extend their visit, and their spending). This summer, we promoted Fort Wayne getaways in over 30 cities in this region including Northern Indiana and South Bend, Northwestern Ohio and Toledo, Southern Michigan, and new this year - Indianapolis and its suburbs.

 

We employ a heavy schedule of newspaper inserts, TV ads, live radio call-ins, internet advertising, social media and more.

 

Big City. Bigger Heart. You'll Love Family Getaways in Fort Wayne, Indiana!
View our TV Commercial Here

 

A few results: not only were out-of-county admissions up at our attractions, but our web traffic saw a 39% increase over summer 2012, and our Indianapolis inquiries and web visits had a 277% increase over last summer - especially exciting, as this was a new market for us. As we head into our fall and winter getaway promotions, we look to build on these successes as we market Fort Wayne throughout the region.

 Visit Fort Wayne Generates Bus Tourism Business  

For decades, Fort Wayne attractions like the Historic Embassy Theatre, Historic Fort Wayne and the Fort Wayne Museum of Art have hosted bus tour travelers from all over the world. Over the past year, Visit Fort Wayne has noticed several new and exciting tours being offered all over the city, sparking even more interest from bus tour operators. As a result, Visit Fort Wayne stepped up its sales and marketing efforts in 2013, with the goal of reaching new group tour business and educating the planners about Fort Wayne. The efforts have paid off in a big way.

In 2013, we attended the Heartland Travel Showcase in Toledo, introduced new customized group itineraries and updated our group booklets and online information.  As a result, Visit Fort Wayne has helped book 37 group tours for 2014, bringing in 1,295 new visitors and an estimated $125,000-$165,000 in direct spending.


Increased email newsletter promotion of our "Girlfriend Getaways" showcases the Vera Bradley Outlet Sale, DeBrand Fine Chocolates, Olive Twist and Country Heritage Winery, and has generated tons of buzz amongst bus tour operators coming in from Midwest states, including Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Illinois.    

"Visit Fort Wayne's renewed commitment to the group tour market came with some uncertainty, but after attending a trade show and creating email marketing strategies to attract planners, there is no denying the fantastic return on investment we have seen," said Emily Ecenbarger, Visit Fort Wayne Group Sales Assistant. "Each group tour planner that has contacted me has received one-on-one attention, customized tour itinerary help and immediate responses from our great attractions, tours, and restaurants, all reasons I believe Fort Wayne will see this market continue to grow." 


For more information on how Visit Fort Wayne markets group bus tours, click here.

Fort Wayne Bids to Bring NCAA Championships to Town

Working with the Allen Country War Memorial Coliseum and IPFW, Visit Fort Wayne has submitted 14 bids to host multiyear, postseason NCAA championships, including the Men's Volleyball Final Four, Women's Regional Volleyball and Men's Hockey Regionals.

Fort Wayne has a long and proud history of hosting NCAA events. The Memorial Coliseum hosted the 1988, 1994 and 2000 Men's Volleyball Final Four Championships and most recently, the 2010 Men's Hockey Regionals.

The newest bids were in response to requests for proposals that the NCAA issued in July, seeking roughly 550 applications for postseason competitions to be held in 2014 through 2018. The NCAA received over 3,000 letters of interest from cities across the country.

"It has been a great experience working with IPFW and the Memorial Coliseum to attract top-flight NCAA events to Fort Wayne," said Visit Fort Wayne Sports Sales Manager Corey Ford. "We know we're up against several great cities to host these events, but we remain cautiously optimistic. We have tremendous facilities and a great city to offer the NCAA postseason selection committee."

With Fort Wayne's increasing efforts to lure sporting events to town, Visit Fort Wayne recognizes the importance of hosting NCAA championships, which offers immense city exposure on a national level.

The NCAA is expected to announce their site selections in November. 

 

At Your Service:  Visit Fort Wayne Hosts Successful DMAI Conference!

From September 29-October 1, Visit Fort Wayne hosted the 2013 DMAI Visitor Services Shirtsleeves Conference at the Courtyard by Marriott in downtown Fort Wayne. An estimated 100 Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) representatives from across the United States and Canada enjoyed their visit to Fort Wayne, learning new techniques and methods related to visitors services.

The group listened to influential speakers and DMAI leaders, including Providence CVB CEO, and DMAI President, Martha Sheridan, and Visit Fort Wayne President/CEO, Dan O'Connell. Not only did Visit Fort Wayne help host the event, staff members participated and gained fruitful knowledge that will help improve our own Visitors Center.    

"Hosting the Visitor Services Shirtsleeves Conference was a great way to learn about the best practices of well-run visitors centers from around North America," said Visit Fort Wayne Director of Information Services Megan Flohr. "Taking the knowledge acquired at this conference, we at Visit Fort Wayne hope to implement new ideas to inspire an even greater visitor experience in Fort Wayne."    

On September 30, Visit Fort Wayne held a reception at the Visitors Center, where attendees enjoyed local products from Country Heritage Winery and DeBrand Fine Chocolates. The reception was followed by a tasty dinner at Club Soda. Conference attendees were amazed by Fort Wayne's friendly culture, attractions, restaurants, and clean downtown. Several attendees were so impressed with Fort Wayne, they stayed an extra night and watched STOMP perform at the Historic Embassy Theatre.

Click here to view a photo gallery of the successful
2013 DMAI Visitor Services Shirtsleeves Conference in Fort Wayne! 
Songs of Praise: "City of Churches" Hosts More Religious Meetings in 2013

The City of Fort Wayne has many nicknames, but when it comes to meetings, the "City of Churches" lived up to its name in 2013.

This summer, four large religious groups - ELCA Indiana-Kentucky Synod Assembly, Missionary Church, Fellowship of Evangelical Churches and United Brethren - brought their prominent conventions to Fort Wayne, adding to Fort Wayne's banner year in hosting national events.
 
Aside from a strong faith-based community and a strong downtown meeting package, religious meeting planners enjoy Fort Wayne's first-rate facilities, affordable rates, proximity of venues and plenty of off-site activities. Our city's famous "Hoosier Hospitality" is another reason why religious planners love Fort Wayne.

In total, these four summer religious conventions alone brought in an estimated 2,500 visitors and $1.6 million dollars in direct spending to Fort Wayne economy.

Click here to learn how Visit Fort Wayne works with Religious Groups.
New Article From The President: Technology Techniques at Visit Fort Wayne

Check out Dan O'Connell's latest article on FortWayneCVB.com.  In this article, Dan discusses Visit Fort Wayne's past, present and future uses of technology to help market to leisure travelers and meeting planners.
Upcoming Meetings and Events

Date
Event Name
Organization
Location
Estimated
Attendance

Oct 18-20
Fall Home Design
Expo
Coliseum Productions
Allen County
War Memorial
Coliseum
n/a
Oct 18-20
Annual Convention
Sigma Beta Sorority,
Inc.
Hotel Fort
Wayne
150
Oct 19
Halloween Hoop
Buster, GRBA
National
Championship
Qualifier
GymRats, Inc. 
Spiece
Fieldhouse
735
Oct 26-27
Pokemon - Regional
Tournament
CardLeagues
Grand Wayne Convention
Center
479
Oct 30-Nov 3
Old Fort Cluster Dog Show
Northeastern Indiana
Kennel Club 
Allen County
War Memorial
Coliseum 
n/a
Nov 2   
Tip-Off Classic,
GRBA National
Championship
Qualifier
GymRats, Inc.
Spiece
Fieldhouse
1,400
Nov 2-3
Fright in the Fort
Basketball
Tournament
Turnstone
Turnstone
500
Nov 7-8
2013 Fall
Conference

Indiana Healthcare
Marketing & PR
Society
Parkview
Regional
Medical Center
80
Nov 8-10
Pentacon
Northern Indiana
Gaming Association
Grand Wayne
Convention
Center
400
Nov 9-10
Premier Conference
Power Soccer
Tournament  
Turnstone
Turnstone
500
Nov 16
Turkey Shootout,
National
Championship
Qualifier 
GymRats, Inc.
Spiece
Fieldhouse
840
Nov 16-17
Fort Wayne
Hamfest/Computer
Expo

Allen County Amateur
Radio Technical
Society, Inc.
(AMCARTS) 
Allen County
War Memorial
Coliseum
n/a
Nov 23-24
Varsity Wheelchair
Basketball
Tournament
Turnstone
Turnstone
500
Nov 23-24
Cyclefest USA
Show & Expo
Tradeshow
Productions

Allen County
War Memorial
Coliseum
n/a
Nov 30-Dec 1
Gun & Knife Show
CPI, Inc.
Allen County
War Memorial
Coliseum
n/a

 

 

 Marketing & Communications
Information Services

Visit Fort Wayne  |  www.visitfortwayne.com  |  www.fortwaynecvb.com  |

  927 S. Harrison Street, Fort Wayne, IN 46802  |  (260) 424-3700