Towering cranes, earthmoving equipment, and an emerging architectural landscape make it hard not to notice the changes taking place in the heart of downtown at our Peoria Civic Center. The Peoria Area Convention and Visitors Bureau (PACVB) staff and Civic Center staff have worked steadily to ensure that when the $55 million revitalization is complete, our clients will be ready to get down to business.
The PACVB is charged with the task of selling the entire Peoria area destination to potential convention/meeting planners—one of the PACVB’s many roles, in addition to sports marketing, leisure and group tourism, and more. Our job is to bring in out-of-town visitors, including those attending meetings and conventions at the Peoria Civic Center, who’ll bring disposable income with them. A single meeting attendee means dollars spent on accommodations in our hotels, dining in our restaurants, entertainment in our venues, shopping in our stores, and so on. These visitors infuse our economy with important dollars that are recycled again and again because, in addition to the direct benefit we receive from their visit, their overnight stay is extremely important to us. A portion of that value serves as a hotel tax. The PACVB receives part of this hotel tax. The more hotel tax we receive, the more dollars we have to invest in our marketing campaigns to reach even more potential visitors—and the cycle continues.
Marketing the Peoria Civic Center and the Peoria area as a meeting destination to meeting planners is a major undertaking—one that’s likely to go unseen by the local public. The target audience tends to be specific, so advertising usually is focused on certain types of associations or groups reached through trade publications or trade shows applying to their specialty. When possible, advertising is placed in publications whose extra distribution goes to attendees of trade shows where exhibiting is planned, thereby delivering our message to as many meeting planners as possible. Our convention sales team partners with the Peoria Civic Center sales team and many of the local hotels to attend trade shows, including Meeting Planners International, American Society of Association Executives, Affordable Meetings Midwest, and Association Forum Holiday Showcase.
Our 2006 marketing campaign focuses on the Peoria area’s ability to give our clients the royal treatment; pampering our visitors; and emphasizing our reliability, down-to-earth credibility, and fun atmosphere. Our slogan: Come. Stay. Play. Our spokesperson: man’s best friend—furry, friendly dogs of every shape and size. Serving as our ambassadors of fun, they’re the focus of ads titled, “Get the Royal Treatment,” “Treat Yourself,” “Have a Ball,” and “Have You Heard?”
As the Peoria Civic Center is expanding, this dynamic advertising campaign—coupled with top-notch sales teams, innovative direct mail pieces, and a coordinating trade show booth—is our marketing strategy to get meeting planners to Come. Stay. Play. To view the campaign creative, visit www.peoria.org/goto/woof. IBI