If, like Savannah did recently, you inquired of the man on the street in your destination: “What is a CVB?”, I contend you would get the same answers varying from “It’s a governmental agency or it’s a bank!” Even when local citizens do know, they are often heard saying, “Visitors and Business Bureau” or other misnomers! Even the International parent organization moved from International Association of Conventions & Visitors Bureaus to Destination Marketing Association International.
Savannah recently dropped the CVB moniker and the organization and the brand is now “Visit Savannah”. Other CVB’s across the country are spicing up their names, making it easier for the locals to understand the mission and for customers to more easily find the destination on the internet: Visit Denver, Experience Grand Rapids, and Discover Kalamazoo. For popular destinations, this works well; but what about the lesser known? Marketing gurus suggest you add the State name ie Visit Macon, GA or Discover Historic Madison, GA.
Destinations being held hostage by the agencies through which funds are distributed is a common hurdle. For example Grand Rapids is in Kent County. Who knew that? Besides, who can find county names on maps or even a GPS? You must carefully convince your local partners that the CUSTOMER is the first priority! “How can we make it easier for the customer to find us?”