Strategies target leisure travelers during shoulder season
The Sioux Falls Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) will begin their shoulder season marketing campaign earlier this year and further refine strategies to attract leisure travelers to the city between Oct. 1, 2018 and Feb. 28, 2019. The campaign will seek to build awareness through conversion metrics such as email sign-ups, trip planning engagements and hotel and flight bookings.
Based on the timing of engagement from previous years, the campaign will shift to incorporate two phases. The first phase will be lead-generating through a sweepstakes promotion, and the second phase will focus on awareness and driving hotel bookings. Due to the high engagement in the earlier part of the campaign in previous years, the launch will move to Oct. 1.
In phase one, users will have the chance to register to win a fall getaway and a holiday getaway. A new landing page feature will encourage participants to share the promotion, extending the reach of the campaign organically while featuring a variety of Sioux Falls activities based on travel personas.
On Jan. 2, 2019 the campaign will shift to phase two, where more inspirational messaging will be communicated. Media will be directed to trip planning tools and relevant content pieces. This phase will encourage travel to Sioux Falls to break out of the winter routine and start highlighting all Sioux Falls has to offer year-round.
Each phase and persona will have unique imagery and messaging to align with the seasonal reasons to travel to Sioux Falls, including use of social channels, media placement and email marketing.
This campaign is supported by matching funds through the South Dakota Department of Tourism´s Community Cooperative Marketing Program.
Connect FAM tours Sioux Falls
The CVB hosted a Connect Familiarization (FAM) Tour on July 17-18 with meeting planners working in a variety of industries.
Connect Meetings is an organization the CVB partners with to identify meeting planners from across the country that could potentially hold their convention, meeting or event in Sioux Falls. For the past several years, the CVB team has attended several Connect Trade Shows which have proven to be a good lead source for Sioux Falls.
Nine planners from across the nation came to Sioux Falls to experience the city like a local. The planners toured the city´s meeting and convention facilities, along with a sampling of attractions.
Sioux Falls has excellent industry partners who helped showcase our city as a meeting destination. Special thanks to the Washington Pavilion, Josiah´s Coffee House Café & Bakery, the Holiday Inn City Centre and the Sheraton Sioux Falls Hotel for their generosity in support of this FAM Tour.
CVB welcomes visitors at rest stops
The CVB and several local hospitality partners greeted visitors at interstate information centers recently. Team members were at the Valley Springs Information Center along Interstate 90 on July 20 and Aug. 3. The rest stop welcome events provide an opportunity for the local hospitality industry to draw visitors off the interstate and into Sioux Falls to experience the community. They also serve to promote Sioux Falls attractions and events, restaurants and hotels. The CVB team handed out t-shirts, Sioux Falls Visitor Guides, visitor maps and Falls Park brochures with warm hospitality!
Sioux Falls PREMIER Rodeo this month
Sutton Rodeo of South Dakota is bringing the Sioux Falls PREMIER Rodeo to the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center on September 28-29 as part of the Professional Rodeo Cowboy´s Association (PRCA). This event will showcase the PRCA´s top bull riders, saddle bronc and bareback riders against the best rodeo stock in the world, in a unique $40,000 competition. The riders will be competing to qualify for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo and World Championship titles in Las Vegas.
CVB staff attend ESTO
Members of the CVB staff attended the U.S. Travel Association´s Annual ESTO Conference (Educational Seminar for Tourism Organizations) last month in Phoenix. ESTO is regarded as one of the top conferences for Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs), and this year´s event certainly did not disappoint. Attendees learned about up and coming trends in the visitor industry and how to better market their destination to people all across the globe.
Travel journalists share Sioux Falls with national media
The CVB hosted several travel journalists during the month of August. Travel blogger Tamara Gruber of We3Travel visited early in the month. Gruber is a passionate advocate for the benefits of family travel. She and her preteen daughter, Hannah, wanted to experience Sioux Falls through a family destination lens. They visited Falls Park, experienced SculptureWalk along Phillips Avenue and enjoyed the culinary offerings in the downtown area. As a mother-daughter duo, they visited several of the beautiful and eclectic boutiques in Sioux Falls. Gruber commented that the community exhibited a real vibrancy and noted that in her short visit she interacted with many young professionals.
Later in the month, the CVB, in conjunction with the South Dakota Department of Tourism, hosted four travel journalists whose mission was to experience Sioux Falls from an agri-tourism perspective. They were on assignment to experience restaurants that are intentional about serving farm-to-table fare. The fast-paced afternoon included a stop at the Stockyards Ag Experience, locally sourced appetizers at The Market, a trip to Strawbale Winery for their Thursday evening Summer Porch Series, and dinner served family-style at Bread and Circus Sandwich Kitchen. The group also enjoyed treats from locally sourced Stensland ice cream and a late-night stop at several of the breweries on Brewer´s Row. The journalists, armed with information about agri-tourism from the region, will now develop content for several magazines in both print and digital format. The Sioux Falls CVB was excited to host this group because of the earned media exposure the journalists will provide for Sioux Falls.
Sioux Falls to host REALTOR Convention of the Dakotas
Sioux Falls has been chosen to host the 2023 REALTOR Convention of the Dakotas. The convention will take place September 13-15, 2023 at the Sioux Falls Convention Center, with the Sheraton Sioux Falls Hotel as the headquarter hotel and Ramada Hotel & Suites as overflow. The convention is for members of the South Dakota Association of REALTORS and the North Dakota Association of REALTORS. Approximately 725 licensed real estate brokers and salespersons are expected to attend from the two states.
Motorcycle Celebrity Meet & Greet
J&L Harley-Davidson hosted a motorcycle celebrity meet and greet as a kick-off event for those who traveled west for the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. The event provided an opportunity for motorcycle enthusiasts to mingle with some of the top industry professionals from across the country.