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Indianapolis’ Official Tourism Organization Rebrands City April 22, 2009

Posted by ICVA Communications in Advertising Campaigns, Conventions & Meetings, ICVA Business.
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INDIANAPOLIS—In response to extensive research and trend analysis, the Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association (ICVA) officially has launched the City’s new brand, aimed at increasing convention business and attracting additional leisure visitors.

The new brand, with tagline “Raising the game,” showcases the 13th largest city in the nation in a more confident tone, focusing on Indianapolis’ first-class sporting amenities, its convention and hospitality package, its rich cultural offerings and continued economic  growth.

“Around the world, Indianapolis’ name is synonymous with the spirit of competition.  With every structure we build, every event we stage and every attraction we display, we set new national standards,” said Warren Wilkinson, ICVA senior VP of marketing & communications. “Our new brand strategy leverages this competitive spirit.”

The new brand coincides with more than $3 billion in new tourism related product coming online by 2011—including the doubling in size of the Indiana Convention Center and significant hotel growth.

As the official sales and marketing organization for Indianapolis, the ICVA is charged with driving tourism, filling the expanding convention center and meeting the demand of additional hotel inventory.  The ICVA spent more than six months researching trends and analyzing how meeting planners and potential visitors view the city.

The new marketing campaign incorporates a deliberate suite of materials to catch the eye of meeting planners and leisure visitors.  The campaign was creatively designed with the help of the ICVA’s strategic/local partner, Young & Laramore.

New Brand Elements: “Raising the game”

  • New URL: www.visitindy.com  
  • New Microsite in the works for convention planners: www.visitindy.com/raisingthegame 
  • Convention Print Advertising (convention/meeting magazines)
  • Leisure Print Advertising (regionally)
  • Radio Spots (regionally) 
  • TV Spots (10 new spots each 15 seconds in length; regionally) 
  • E-mail Marketing Campaign (engaging meeting planners)
  • Public Relations (media materials and promotional items)
  • Comprehensive Tradeshow Strategy (industry events around the U.S. and Canada)

An integral component of the brand rollout will be an increase in summer radio advertising during morning and evening drive times in key cities that research shows draw the most visitors: Chicago, St. Louis, Cincinnati and Louisville.

The ICVA booked a record-breaking 685,000 room nights in 2008.

“Whether it’s $69 million in hotel renovations in the last 24 months or significant improvements to our many cultural attractions—Indianapolis is continually ‘Raising the Game’ and our momentum will continue,” said Wilkinson.

The mission of the Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association is to advance Indianapolis tourism and economic growth.  The ICVA seeks to increase the number of visitors and their financial impact, expand positive perception of Indianapolis, and positively influence the visitor experience.  According to a Global Insight report, in partnership with D.K. Shifflet & Associates, 22 million visitors annually provide $3.56 billion in total annual economic impact of tourism on the Indianapolis economy resulting in 66,600 full-time equivalent employment positions in the hospitality industry.

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Indianapolis Named 2009 Most Disability Friendly City April 21, 2009

Posted by ICVA Communications in Expansion & New Development, ICVA Business.
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INDIANAPOLIS – Mayor Greg Ballard today accepted congratulations from the president of the National Organization on Disability (NOD) in recognition of Indianapolis’s selection as the national model of a disability-friendly city. Sponsored by NOD, the 8th annual Accessible America competition showcases best practices in accessibility and the inclusion of persons with disabilities in community life.

“Indianapolis is honored to be recognized with the National Organization on Disability’s Accessible America Award,” said Mayor Ballard. “A commitment to make our city more inclusive for people with disabilities and the aging population has spanned generations, and I am pleased our collective efforts are benefiting both our residents and visitors.”

Approximately 20 percent of Indianapolis residents have a disability, and that number is expected to increase as medical technology saves more lives, baby boomers age and veterans return from combat.

NOD applauded Indianapolis for its historic commitment to access, including the creation of the Indianapolis Business Leadership Network, a business-led endeavor which promotes employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. It also highlighted the universally accessible features along the Cultural Trail and the efforts of Mayor’s Advisory Council on Disability in distinguishing Indianapolis from other communities. Additionally, NOD cited the City’s partnerships with the Veterans Administration, Bosma Enterprises and the Indiana School for the Blind and Visually Impaired in providing internships for students and adult jobseekers with disabilities, as well as training exercises for contractors regarding physical access.

Carol Glazer, NOD president remarked, “The National Organization on Disability is dedicated to recognizing best practices through which communities offer people with disabilities major footholds to an independent lifestyle, such as education and employment. We commend Indianapolis as a city that has worked hard to achieve a vision where opportunities are available to people of all abilities.”

As part of the recognition from NOD, the City will receive a check for $25,000. The funds will be presented to Mayor Ballard and representatives of the disability community by NOD at a future ceremony in Indianapolis. The money will be used to support access and inclusion for persons with disabilities and seniors in Indianapolis.

The six other finalists in the competition included: Alexandria, Virginia; Denver, Colorado; Louisville, Kentucky; New Haven, Connecticut; Sioux Falls, South Dakota; and Surprise, Arizona. AARP is the sponsor of this year’s competition. The mission of NOD is to expand the participation and contribution of America’s 54 million men, women and children with disabilities in all aspects of life. NOD created the Accessible America Competition in 2001 to identify cities, towns or counties that value, recognize and promote the economic, social and cultural contribution that people with disabilities represent. The purpose of the Accessible America Competition is to recognize exemplary community practices that facilitate the comprehensive involvement of citizens with disabilities in community life and promote replication of best practices and innovative ideas to communities, nationwide.

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Gen Con to Stay in Indy Through 2015 April 7, 2009

Posted by ICVA Communications in Uncategorized.
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INDIANAPOLIS – “The Gamers” are staying in Indianapolis through at least 2015.  Gen Con, one of city’s biggest and most colorful annual conventions, has signed a five-year extension with the Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association (ICVA) for 2011-15.

Billed as “the best four days in gaming,” Gen Con is in its 42nd year and has been in Indianapolis since 2003. It generates an annual attendance of more than 28,000 with estimated visitor spending at $26.9 million. Attendees include hobby game and science fiction enthusiasts who often dress the part of their favorite characters.  It also attracts more than 300 exhibitors and runs more than 5,000 events during the course of the show.

This year’s Gen Con convention takes place Aug. 13-16 and will occupy both the Indiana Convention Center and meeting space throughout downtown hotels. Expansion of the Indiana Convention Center by 2011 will provide Gen Con room for continued growth.

“Gen Con has been good for Indianapolis and Indianapolis has been great for Gen Con,” said Adrian Swartout, CEO of Seattle-based Gen Con LLC. “Our attendees love the city and how welcomed they are by everyone in the hotels, restaurants and venues.”

“Expansion of the Indiana Convention Center and future increases in our downtown hotel inventory were crucial components in achieving this extension with Gen Con,” said Don Welsh, ICVA president and CEO. “We are delighted to ensure its unique and lively presence in Indianapolis through 2015.”

Dates for the future Gen Cons are:  Aug. 4-7, 2011, Aug. 16-19, 2012, Aug. 15-18, 2013, Aug. 14-17, 2014 and July 30 – Aug. 2, 2015.

The mission of the Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association is to advance Indianapolis tourism and economic growth.  The ICVA seeks to increase the number of visitors and their financial impact, expand positive perception of Indianapolis, and positively influence the visitor experience.  According to a Global Insight report, in partnership with D.K. Shifflet & Associates, 22 million visitors annually provide $3.56 billion in total annual economic impact of tourism on the Indianapolis economy resulting in 66,600 full-time equivalent employment positions in the hospitality industry.