VDP Certification Program
The Virginia Destination Professional (VDP) certification program is a Virginia-centric, DMO professional, individual certification that provides opportunities for CVB staff to both invest in their development as well as be recognized by their community and peers.
VA-1 Tourism Summit - 2015
Virginia & Tourism: Technology Driven
Virginia's 2015 VA-1 Tourism Summit will focus on the importance of and how to harness today's technology. Destinations, attractions, hotel, and restaurants will learn how to put technology to work for marketing, improving the guest experience, and more. Presented by Virginia Tourism Corporation, Virginia Hospitality & Travel Association, and Virginia Association of Convention & Visitors Bureaus.
Staunton Virginia Site of 2015 Summer Quarterly Meeting
Proving that having a good time and professional development are not mutually exclusive, the VACVB gathering earlier this month in beautiful Staunton was a success.
The meeting kicked off with a presentation by Tom Griffin from the revamped Virginia Green Travel Alliance. Mr. Griffin provided a number of examples of DMOs which are engaging in positive ways with the alliance. He also highlighted the training, certification, and audit programs that DMOs and their stakeholders may be interested in.
Following Mr. Griffin’s presentation, Darren Smith, presented on the visitor engagement app he is developing called Traipse. Traipse is a catalyst for people to connect with a community - its history, its geography, and its commerce - in a fun, active, and social way. Attendees split into teams and “traipsed” throughout downtown Staunton, answering questions in the Traipse game as they visited local merchant
The day concluded with a fantastic reception at the Frontier Cultural Museum where the attendees learned about the way the museum is marketing itself as a learning institution. While visiting the various farms representing the cultures of the frontier families, attendees were treated to fabulous food from the talented Mike Lund. Many thanks to Sheryl Wagner for arranging the day and the reception.
Halifax County Hosts the 2015 Spring Meeting
Halifax County Virginia provided the bucolic setting for the 2015 Spring Quarterly Meeting. With Agritourism as the theme for Wednesday our luncheon featured local Extension Agents Ashley Nauta and Livvy Gill speaking on the business of Agritourism.
Their presentation was then followed by a visit to the Hudson Heritage Farm where hosts Denise and David Hudson provided a fun and informative Agritourism experience. In addition to our tour, Sandy McPherson of Hunting Creek Vineyards conducted a Wine Sensory Class and Sharon Munyak from Hobby Hills Farms conducted a cheese making class. The Reception and Farm to Fork dinner were also held at Hudson where Chef Steve Schopen of Molasses Grill and Personal Chef Miles Perkins tickled everyone’s palates with fresh and delicious fare.
Thursday found the group back at Berry Hill Resort where they were treated to a presentation of “The Value of a Strong Brand” by David Mikula of Mikula-Harris. His presentation was followed by VACVB’s own Kevin Costello of Abingdon Tourism who talked about his experiences during re-branding. The day also included a tour of Berry Hill led by Historian Leland Luck and a directed topic round table activity. The Meeting concluded with the Virgo Awards Luncheon which is detailed below.
A special thanks to all of our speakers, organizers and hosts for this down to earth program….and the opportunity to “make hay while the sun shines”!
2015 Virgo Awards Presented!
The 2015 Virgo Travel and Tourism Awards were presented at the Annual Awards Luncheon held at the Berry Hill Resort and Conference Center on April 30, 2015. The competition was judged by a panel of four out-of-state peers who made their determinations based on the quality of the submission, economic efficiency, and the economic or community impact. Once again, Tubby Kubick of Chocklett Press helped us find outstanding judges who turned in results reflecting the high quality of submissions and a very close competition.
The 2015 competition debuted new categories which were designed to more accurately reflect the type of cutting edge promotional campaigns being waged state-wide. These awards pay tribute to individuals, groups, businesses and destination marketing organizations that have significantly contributed to the Commonwealth of Virginia's economy through tourism promotion and development. The winners of the 2015 VIRGO Awards for their respective categories are listed below:
2015 Virgo Award Winners Pictured above (l to r: Justin Kerns, Mecklenburg; Lisa Moorman, Botetourt; Leigh Mawyer, Orange; Debbie Aylor, Spotsylvania; David Mikula, Mikula-Harris accepting for Roanoke Valley; Kevin Costello, Abingdon accepting for Friends of Southwest Virginia; and Dean Miller, Fairfax)
Members “Pigged Out” on valuable (and entertaining) sessions at the Winter Quarterly Meeting in Smithfield Virginia
Kudos to Judy Winslow and her crew for putting together a fabulous program in a warm and welcome environment! Smithfield Station was the site for two days of informative and cutting edge programs…with an underlying homage to pigs, Smithfield pigs in particular.
Our Thursday highlight was a panel formed by Anthony DiFilippo of VisitNorfolk, Bob Harris of Greater Williamsburg Chamber & Tourism Alliance, Susan Long of Norfolk Airport authority and Jim Ricketts of the Virginia Beach CVB that discussed the Coastal Virginia Tourism Alliance (CVTA). They shared how their regional partnership works, why it works and pigged out on puns while doing so. A tour of Downtown Smithfield and a lavish reception at the Wharf Hill Brewing Company capped off the day.
Friday found even more pig references when Will Brunt of Smithfield-Farmland talked about “Marketing, Branding and How to Always Come Up Smelling Like a Rose Instead of a Pig”. He shared valuable advice garnered from his years in the field. “Get out in front” and “Be transparent” were two main themes he emphasized as he discussed how Smithfield handled situations like the Food, Inc. movie release and the recent publicity tornado, Chef Paula Deen. Will’s presentation was preceded by another panel discussion focusing on Driving Tourism Through Special Events. Theresa Earles of Suffolk Tourism, Gina Ippolito of Smithfield Wine & Brew Fest (et al), and Terry Rhinier of Smithfield Isle of Wight CVB, dazzled the audience with how much they were able to accomplish with limited budgets, how these events benefit the community economically and how they make it all work. Friday finished with lunch and member sharing.
Thanks to all of our speakers and organizers for a “pig”-tastic program!
And as they say... “That’s all folks!”
Our Mission: To offer our members advocacy, networking and professional development opportunities for the purpose of member destination success.
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