2011 ANNUAL REPORT
KANSAS CITY CONVENTION & VISITORS ASSOCIATION
ABOUT THE KCCVA THE KANSAS CITY CONVENTION & VISITORS ASSOCIATION (KCCVA) IS . . . • A nonprofit, 501(c)6 organization. • Committed to promoting and elevating Kansas City’s status as a prime spot for conventions, meetings, tour groups, business travel and leisure travel. • Directed by a board comprised of up to 30 civic and business leaders. • Supported by a full-time staff of 39 and an on-call registration assistance staff of 30. • Supported by membership of more than 2,000 businesses involved in the local hospitality community. KCCVA members represent a variety of businesses including convention services, hotels, attractions, restaurants, transportation companies and others. HISTORY The KCCVA was initially formed in 1918 as the hospitality arm of the Chamber of Commerce. On June 20, 1966, the Convention and Visitors Bureau of Greater Kansas City became independently incorporated as a not-for-profit corporation under the laws of the State of Missouri. Engaged on an annual basis by the City of Kansas City, Missouri, the KCCVA is a marketing and service organization charged with promoting existing convention, meeting and hotel facilities and to market related services and area attractions to association and corporate meeting planners, to individual business travelers and to the leisure travel market. In 2005, the Convention and Visitors Bureau of Greater Kansas City began doing business as the Kansas City Convention & Visitors Association. FUNDING The KCCVA’s primary source of funding is a tax on hotel/motel occupancy and a business license fee within the incorporated boundaries of Kansas City, Missouri. The ordinances creating the tax provide that the proceeds are to be used for marketing and operations of the KCCVA. The organization’s budget is greatly enhanced by private funds raised through a variety of sources including membership subscriptions, advertising participation and in-kind services. KCCVA VISION To serve as a primary catalyst for extraordinary and continuous economic growth of the Kansas City region’s convention and visitor industry. MISSION Ignite global passion for visiting Kansas City. PARTNER PROMISE We commit to business relationships based on trust and reciprocal benefit. VISITOR PROMISE We commit to facilitating travel experiences that exceed visitor expectations.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS CHAIRMAN: Troy A. Stremming, Senior Vice President of Government Relations and Public Affairs, Ameristar Casinos, Inc.* VICE CHAIR: Gayle Holliday, Ph.D., President, G & H Consulting, LLC* TREASURER: Bob Sullivan, Chief Marketing Officer, Boulevard Brewing Co.* Rod Anderson, Co-Owner, Anderson Restaurant Group** Sharon Sanders Brooks, Councilwoman, Third District, City of Kansas City, Missouri* Grant Burcham, President & CEO, Missouri Bank & Trust Gregory Carroll, Executive Director, American Jazz Museum Cindy Circo, Councilwoman, Fifth District At-Large, City of Kansas City, Missouri Anita Dixon, President, Lady of Freedom Monument Foundation Mark Donovan, President, Kansas City Chiefs Football Club Taylor Fields, Partner, Fields & Brown, LLC Bill George, President, Kansas City Transportation Group** Frank Hicks, Owner, Knuckleheads Saloon Steve Klika, President, International Motor Coach Group Bill Lucas (Immediate Past Chairman), President, Crown Center* Rusty Macy, General Manager, Hyatt Regency Crown Center Jan Marcason, Councilwoman, Fourth District, City of Kansas City, Missouri Oscar McGaskey, Jr. (Ex Officio Board Member), Department of Convention and Entertainment Facilities, City of Kansas City, Missouri Michele Newman, Director, Jackson County Parks & Recreation Cathy Nugent, President & CEO, Willis Pendleton, LLC Kevin Pistilli, President, Raphael Hotel Group* Jeanette Prenger, President, ECCO Select Corporation Edward E. Quick, Former Presiding Commissioner, Clay County, Missouri Clayton Reid, President, MMG Worldwide** Troy Schulte, City Manager, City of Kansas City, Missouri* Jewel D. Scott, Executive Director, The Civic Council of Greater Kansas City Angie Stanland, Director of Associate Services, Cerner Corporation Jon Stephens, President, Rockhill Strategic Brenda Tinnen, General Manager/Senior Vice President, AEG-Kansas City Sprint Center/ Kemper Arena/American Royal Complex Scott Wagner, Councilman, First District At-Large, City of Kansas City, Missouri Randy Wisthoff, Director, Kansas City Zoo * 2011 Executive Committee; ** Ex Officio Members of Executive Committee
EXECUTIVE MESSAGE READY FOR OUR CLOSE-UP In many ways, 2011 was a turning point for Kansas City. This was the year we welcomed the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts and LIVESTRONG Sporting Park, among other new attractions. But most of all, it was the year that the world began to recognize Kansas City as a travel destination. Consider: • Frommer’s named Kansas City one of its “Top Destinations for 2012”—the only American city to make the list; • Travel + Leisure, in a segment on NBC’s “Today” Show, named KC “America’s #1 Most Affordable Getaway;” • Forbes recognized Downtown KC as one of “America’s Best Downtowns;” • And to cap off the year, Saveur magazine called Kansas City America’s next Culinary Destination for 2012. But this is only the start. 2012 promises even greater exposure as Kansas City hosts the Major League Baseball All-Star Game for the first time in 39 years. The Kansas City CVA is working diligently to prepare for this rare moment in the spotlight. With the support of hospitality partners like you, the KCCVA was able to make several significant strides in 2011. Among the most noteworthy: • Despite a challenging environment, exceeded key measurement goals for tentative room nights, nights generated and site visits. • Assisted with the successful execution of 204 meetings in Kansas City, including 17 city wide conventions. • Conducted branding agency search and developed new KCCVA brand positioning and identity for launch in 2012. • Generated more than 300 million brand impressions through advertising, media relations and interactive marketing. • Recorded the KCCVA’s best year ever in terms of earned media coverage—producing an estimated 115 million brand impressions for Kansas City. National exposure included major features by USA Today, Washington Post, Budget Travel and many others. • Achieved a record number of members/partners (2,077), establishing KC as the second largest membership-based CVB in the country—second only to Boston. • Processed more than 58,993 room nights through housing reservations, generating nearly $7 million in revenue to KC area hotels. At the CVA, our job is to ignite global passion for Kansas City. We are doing that with every meeting we book, every visitor we inspire and every customer with whom we exceed expectations. Kansas City is ready for its close-up, and together with your partnership, we can make 2012 a year to remember.
Rick Hughes, CDME KCCVA President & CEO
MEETING & CONVENTION PLANNER
Convention Sales, Services & Marketing
OBJECTIVE Retain and attract new meetings and conventions to Kansas City with creative marketing initiatives, aggressive direct selling and servicing with strong partnerships to maximize customer satisfaction and economic impact within the community.
2011 KEY ACCOMPLISHMENTS • Despite a challenging environment, exceeded key measurement goals for tentative room nights, nights generated and site visits. • Assisted with the successful execution of 204 meetings in Kansas City, including 17 citywide conventions. • Met or exceeded attendance projections for 70% of meetings held in 2011. • Hosted 105 personalized site visits to Kansas City. A spring familiarization trip resulted in the booking of 13,500 room nights and an economic impact of $3.7 million. • Increased awareness and visibility of Kansas City by attending 22 industry tradeshows, representing 503 customer interactions. • Conducted 20 personalized sales trips to key markets calling on prospective buyers. • Successfully negotiated the return of key groups like Students in Free Enterprise (2012 & 2013) and Sam’s Club (2011 & 2012) for a total of 15,678 room nights and an economic impact of $12.8 million. Also extended agreements with USA Volleyball through 2016, American Academy of Family Physicians through 2014 and CVC through 2015—totaling 48,351 room nights and an estimated economic impact of $46.6 million. • Processed more than 58,993 room nights through housing reservations, generating nearly $7 million in revenue to KC area hotels. 5
• Secured 11 housing agreements for 2012— a 25-percent increase from the previous year. • Contributed marketing, sales and planning support to the Religious Conference Man agement Association in promotion of the organization’s 2012 meeting in Kansas City. • Launched the KCCVA’s deepest convention advertising buy in years, growing to 12 meeting planner publications and generating more than 1.1 million impressions. • Launched a $70,000 Keep Your Meeting Local advertising campaign encouraging locals to bring meetings & conventions home to KC. The campaign generated more than 16 million advertising impressions. • Launched VIP Perks meeting planner incentive program, enabling hotels and members to feature meeting-related special offers. • Created a new website and virtual tour showcasing the Kansas City Convention Center. • Concluded roll-out of an 18-month digital strategy to upgrade and update MeetKC.com. • Generated media coverage about KC’s revitalized convention package, including major stories in Association News, Smart Meetings, MPI One+ and Meetings MidAmerica.
CONVENTION SALES ACTIVITY
Convention Center Bookings
Meetings Booked Definite Room Nights Leads Generated Tentative Room Nights
Convention Center Room Nights
MEETINGS HELD IN KC
CONVENTION MARKETING Advertising Impressions MeetKC.com Website Impressions ‘Keep Your Meeting Local’ Ad Campaign Impressions* *2011 campaign included radio for first time.
SEEN & HEARD: COLLEGIATE STRENGTH & CONDITIONING COACHES ASSOCIATION “Kansas City was a great location for our conference, and we are looking forward to holding our 2013 conference there as well. Most importantly, we had our largest number of attendees ever, and we received extremely positive feedback regarding the facilities and the Kansas City area. We would definitely consider Kansas City as a location for future conferences.”
– Dr. Chuck Stiggins, CSCCA Executive Director
MAJOR BOOKINGS IN 2011 ORGANIZATION
Association of Equipment Manufacturers / AG Connect ExpoAdvertising
Advanstar Communications, Inc. / CVC in Kansas City
National Conference on Tobacco or Health
ViSalus Sciences / Distributor Conference
FirstFruits International / Prayer Conference
USA Volleyball / National Collegiate Volleyball Championships
American Guild of Organists / National Conference
American Culinary Federation / National Convention
USA Volleyball / Show Me National Qualifier
American Contract Bridge League / North American Bridge Championships
Silpada Designs / Annual Conference
Samâ€™s Club / Holiday Meeting
Marketing, Communications & Services
OBJECTIVE Increase overall leisure travel to Kansas City in 2011 through cost-effective, research-based marketing programs.
2011 KEY ACCOMPLISHMENTS • Generated more than 300 million customer impressions through advertising, media relations and interactive marketing. • Executed a $1.1 million destination advertising campaign that generated 242,000 incremental hotel room nights and $94.6 million in incremental economic impact. The campaign realized a record-setting $88 return on investment for every KCCVA media dollar spent—a 42-percent hike from 2010. • Recorded the KCCVA’s best year ever in terms of earned media coverage— producing an estimated 115 million brand impressions for Kansas City. National exposure included major features by Travel+ Leisure, Washington Post, The Today Show, Arthur Frommer’s Budget Travel and many others. • Realized a 7-percent jump in website and mobile page views, eclipsing 15.8 million page views for the first time. VisitKC.com also witnessed more than 110,000 coupon downloads redeemable at partner attractions. • Hosted 54 travel journalists throughout the year, including representatives from USA Today, Forbes, Midwest Living, Denver Post and Sporting News. Two high-profile visits by Saveur and Frommers.com led to national rankings for Kansas City.
• Experienced a 166-percent increase in mobile website visits (43,500 in 2010 and more than 230,000 in 2011). Smartphone app users also spiked—doubling to more than 100,000 active users in 2011. • Generated 4.3 million brand impressions for Kansas City through social media campaigns on Facebook and Twitter. Followers ballooned to 72,134 in 2011— a 27-percent increase over 2010. • Produced Kansas City’s slate of official visitor publications, including Visit KC magazine. In July 2011, the visitors guide was named one of the top three tourism publications in the country. • Expanded the 5th Annual Visitors’ Choice Awards, a program that recognizes traveler favorites in 43 fun categories, such as Favorite Barbecue Restaurant and Best Midwestern Hospitality. • Debuted Jam Sessions, an official travel blog for the Kansas City metro, featuring regular posts about things to see and do from an insider’s perspective. • Partnered with The Downtown Council to produce the Downtown Restaurant Guide and maintain GoDowntownKC.com. • Fulfilled nearly 6,000 visitor calls and 800 requests for information from the KCCVA office.
LEISURE MARKETING CAMPAIGNS
Local Media Partner Investment
State of Missouri Investment
Mobile Page Views*
Mobile Applications Impressions**
Stories in Target Markets
Advertising Impressions ROI per Media Dollar Room Nights Generated Incremental Economic Impact
INTERACTIVE MARKETING WEBSITES/E-MAIL MARKETING
E-mail Subscribers MOBILE
* Launched late May 2010 ** Launched October 2010
COMMUNICATIONS MEDIA RELATIONS Journalists Hosted*
Earned Media Circulation SOCIAL MEDIA Total Subscribers Interactions *2010 includes 50 writers during a meeting of the Society of American Travel Writers
SEEN & HEARD: SAVEUR MAGAZINE “This Midwestern city has a deep-rooted food culture that’s been around for well over a century, one that’s now poised to reinvigorate itself and position the city as a new culinary destination. We all know about Kansas City’s reputation as a great barbecue town, but recently there’s been a fantastic wave of smart, new high-end cooking that’s been lighting a fire in the heart of America […] inspiring Kansas City’s next generation of chefs to reach for new heights.” – December 2011
Services & Marketing
OBJECTIVE Increase member and partner investment with the KCCVA through the delivery of valued benefits and targeted marketing opportunities resulting in significant return on investment for members and increased relevance and revenue for the KCCVA.
2011 KEY ACCOMPLISHMENTS • Achieved a record number of members/ partners (2,077), establishing KC as the second largest membership-based CVB in the country—second only to Boston. • Maintained a 90-percent membership retention rate in a challenging economy. • Presented the 2nd Annual KC Restaurant Week in partnership with the Kansas City Restaurant Association, raising more than $80,000 for Harvesters—an equivalent of 400,000 meals for the hungry. • Collaborated with the Kansas City Area Development Council and Arts Council to lay the groundwork on a major arts marketing initiative in conjunction with the opening of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in September 2011. • Partnered with the Kansas City Regional Destination Alliance to develop a $30,000 summer advertising campaign to encourage locals to explore the Kansas City region and host friends/relatives. • Continued the Heartland Tourism Ambassador training program, recognizing 539 Certified Tourism Ambassadors in 2011. Kansas City ranks #3 in the nation for CTA renewals.
• Organized the Tourism Day at The K event to commemorate National Travel & Tourism Week, emphasizing the 45,000 jobs the hospitality industry supports in the five-county area. • Assisted with planning the 5th Annual WaterFire Kansas City event, attracting more than 30,000 spectators. • Expanded Kansas City’s Multicultural Guide to include a more comprehensive list of multicultural activities and minorityowned businesses.
Hotel Lead Share
Marketing Campaign Partners
Total Membership Retention
HEARTLAND TOURISM AMBASSADORS
SEEN & HEARD: NATIONAL FEDERATION OF REPUBLICAN WOMEN “The KCCVA Services team has been an amazing partner in our convention planning process. They have been able to answer every question we asked and had provided us with countless suggestions and knowledge about the city. We couldn’t have asked for a better understanding of the needs of our group and work with us to help make the event a success.”
– Bethany Nichols, Special Events Coordinator
NOTEWORTHY RANKINGS TOP 2012 DESTINATIONS: Frommer’s TOP BUDGET TRAVEL DESTINATIONS FOR 2012: Budget Travel TOP CULINARY DESTINATION FOR 2012: Saveur AMERICA’S BEST DOWNTOWNS: Forbes #1 MOST AFFORDABLE GETAWAY: Travel + Leisure #1 BARBECUE CITY: Travel + Leisure SEVEN EMERGING INNOVATIVE CENTERS: The Wall Street Journal AMERICA’S BEST CITIES FOR FALL TRAVEL: Travel + Leisure TOP 10 CITIES FOR YOUNG ENTREPRENEURS: Under30CEO.com WORLD’S MOST BEAUTIFUL BUILDINGS (BLOCH BUILDING): Travel + Leisure THE U.S.’S BIGGEST BRAIN MAGNETS: Forbes TOP 10 CITIES FOR COLLEGE GRADS: Livability.com TOP 10 CITIES FOR JOBS NOW: Monster METROS WITH THE MOST GREEN JOBS: Brookings Institute AMERICA’S TOP 5 BASEBALL MUSEUMS (NEGRO LEAGUES BASEBALL MUSEUM): Yahoo! Sports
Professional Development, Technology & Operations
OBJECTIVE Seamlessly enhance and support all KCCVA efforts by providing consistent, ethical and transparent policies in the financial, human resources and technological operations.
2011 KEY ACCOMPLISHMENTS • Conducted branding agency search and developed new KCCVA brand positioning and identity for launch in 2012. Worked throughout 2011 to rebrand websites, mobile apps, brochures, signage and other KCCVA collateral. • Led comprehensive research study to measure the economic impact of tourism to KC and in-depth visitor profile. Presented key findings from Economic Impact Study & Visitor Profile at KCCVA Annual Meeting. • Led the organization through budget implementation, holding operating expenses to less than 19% of total KCCVA budget. • Maintained recognition of KCCVA technology as in industry leader while adhering to a standard of 100% system uptime. • Enhanced technology infrastructure giving KCCVA tools to surpass industry standards.
• Continued work on Convention/Tourism tax exemption collections. • Maintained the KCCVA’s successful college internship program. • Continued partnerships with the City and industry partners in revenue development.
2011 REVENUE Net Convention Tourism Tax
Arena Business Fees
State Co-Op Marketing
Hotel Consumption Program
Neighborhood Tourist Development
Convention Services Revenue
2011 EXPENDITURES BY TARGET AUDIENCE Meeting & Convention Planner – $3,418,360 (43%) Leisure Traveler – $2,647,321 (34%) KCCVA Organization – $1,277,118 (16%) Local Community - $516,639 (7%)
KCCVA AWARDS & HONORS MEETINGS & CONVENTIONS MAGAZINE GOLD SERVICE AWARD, KANSAS CITY CVA FACILITIES & DESTINATIONS MAGAZINE TOP DESTINATION AWARD, KANSAS CITY, MO PUBLIC RELATIONS SOCIETY OF AMERICA, KANSAS CITY PR TEAM OF THE YEAR, KANSAS CITY CVA PRISM AWARD – MAGAZINE, VISIT KC MAGAZINE PRISM AWARD – MEDIA RELATIONS, VACATION VALUES MEDIA CAMPAIGN PRISM AWARD – VIDEO, “THE CITY THAT CHANGED EVERYTHING” PRISM AWARD – SOCIAL MEDIA PROJECTS, KC’S OFFICIAL FACEBOOK PAGE HOSPITALITY SALES & MARKETING ASSOCIATION INTERNATIONAL SILVER ADRIAN AWARD, MEETKC.COM V.I.P. PERKS MAGNUM OPUS AWARDS BRONZE AWARD, VISIT KC MAGAZINE DESTINATION MARKETING ASSOCIATION INTERNATIONAL ACCREDITED DMO 2011, KANSAS CITY CVA
SEEN & HEARD: DESIGN-BUILD INSTITUTE OF AMERICA “KC’s hospitality and customer service were exceptional from the minute we arrived. From a planning perspective, the hotel package benefitted both the organization and our attendees with low room rates, amazing food and plenty of options for one-of-a-kind experiences. DBIA looks forward to bringing our events back to Kansas City in the future.”
–Stephenie Zvonkovich, Director of Meetings & Events
CORPORATE CIRCLE PARTNERS Agenda: USA, Inc. All Seasons Party Rental, Inc. American Academy of Family Physicians American Advertising Federation - Kansas City Ameristar Casino Hotel Kansas City Anderson Restaurant Group Aramark at Kauffman Stadium Aramark Sports & Entertainment Argosy Casino Hotel & Spa Arrow Stage Lines Bass Pro Shops - Independence Bass Pro Shops - Olathe Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Kansas City Boulevard Brewing Co. Brancato’s Catering Broadway Across America Brookside Shopping District City Center Square Food Gallery Clay County Parks-Tourism Division Coca-Cola Bottling Co. of Mid-America Conference Center & Town Pavilion Rotunda Corinth Square Shops Country Club Bank, N.A. Crossroads Arts District Crown Center Enterprise Rent-A-Car Excelsior Springs Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Limousines First Student Charter Bus Rental Gates Bar-B-Q Management Offices George E. Fern Company Greater Kansas City Attractions Association Greater Kansas City Restaurant Association Harrah’s Casino and Hotel Harvest Productions, Inc. Highwoods Properties, Inc. Holiday Casino at Kansas Speedway Hotel & Lodging Association of Greater Kansas City Image Technologies Corporation Independence Events Center Isle of Capri Casino JE Dunn Construction
Johnson County Community College Kansas City Area Transportation Authority Kansas City Aviation Department Kansas City Chiefs Kansas City International Airport Kansas City Power & Light Kansas City Power & Light District Kansas City Royals Kansas City Sports Commission & Foundation Kansas City Star Company Kansas City T-Bones Baseball Club Kansas City Transportation Group Kansas City Zoo Kauffman Stadium KC Live! Block KCI Expo Center Kevin Sink Photography Lathrop and Gage Legends Outlets Kansas City Liberty Exposition Services, Inc. Main Street Parkville Miami County, KS National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Overland Park Convention Center Panera Bread Park Place Parkville Chamber of Commerce Pepsi Beverage Co. Pizza Hut Prairie Village Shops Pro Staff Show-Me Audio Visual Resources Sprint Sysco Food Services of Kansas City The College Basketball Experience The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art University of Missouri-Kansas City Vista Productions, Inc. Waldo Area Business Association Weston Chamber of Commerce Westport Worlds of Fun Zona Rosa
Kansas City Convention & Visitors Association 1100 Main Street, Suite 2200, Kansas City, MO 64105 VisitKC.com 816.691.3800
Cover image by Kevin Sink Photography