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Aug 27

Visit McKinney awarded for ad campaign, cooperative project

Posted on August 27, 2020 at 12:18 AM by Beth Shumate

Ask a local - Phyllis at Zin Zen

The Texas Association of Convention and Visitor Bureaus (TACVB) announced that Visit McKinney won two “People’s Choice” Idea Fair awards in the Under $1,000,000 budget category in the “People’s Choice” Idea Fair categories of Video and Cooperative Marketing. The awards were presented during TACVB’s Virtual Annual Conference on August 12, 2020. 

Visit McKinney, the tourism office for the City of McKinney, received second place in the Video category for the videos launching their Ask a Local campaign that began in Spring 2019.  The three initial videos featured McKinney locals talking about their favorite McKinney places that they would recommend visitors check out. These locals were also featured in print ads coinciding with the video release. A variety of social media posts are still being posted on Visit McKinney’s social media account, asking locals to share their favorite McKinney places to eat, hang out with friends, enjoy time with their families, etc. Their responses are being used to populate the Ask a Local page of the Visit McKinney website. A planned second wave of the campaign featuring a new group of locals had to be postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak.  

red McKinney Strong logoThe #McKinneyStrong campaign received a third-place award in the Cooperative Marketing category. This campaign was a cooperative effort by several city entities - Visit McKinney, the City of McKinney, McKinney Main Street, McKinney Community Development Corporation, and the McKinney Chamber of Commerce – that raised money for local businesses and non-profits through the sales of t-shirts featuring the “#McKinneyStrong – Support Local” message. One hundred percent of the net proceeds from the sales were split between non-profits via One Heart McKinney and to local businesses via the recent Lucky 13 competition. (Small businesses in McKinney received grants from the City of McKinney and MCDC that are unrelated to this campaign.)

“We enjoy such a wonderful relationship with our city partners, and it was a pleasure to collaborate with them on both of these winning campaigns,” said Visit McKinney Executive Director Dee-dee Guerra. “The City Communications Department worked with us to launch our Ask a Local campaign and we’re looking forward to ramping it up again once the pandemic situation changes. We were also thrilled with the results of the #McKinneyStrong project and are thankful to all those who purchased the t-shirts in support of local businesses and non-profits. It was exciting to have this cooperative marketing project recognized by our Texas tourism industry peers.”

The Lucky 13 contest involved local businesses applying for consideration to receive funds from the #McKinneyStrong t-shirt sales earlier this summer. A panel of judges selected 21 of the applicants to make “pitches” about the innovative actions their businesses had taken to cope with the constant changes brought about by COVID-19. Of those, 12 were selected to receive $1,000 each and a lucky 13th applicant received $2,000. The event showing the “pitches” and awarding of the prices was live-streamed on the Downtown McKinney Facebook page.    

TACVB’s Idea Fair promotes excellence in destination marketing each year.  Goals of the Idea Fair awards are to generate awareness of the quality work done by TACVB members as they promote their destinations to leisure and business travelers. Members may enter their campaigns in the following categories: Tourism Branding & Advertising, Cooperative Marketing, Convention Promotion, Local Awareness, Sports Marketing, Website/Mobile Site/App, Video and new this year, COVID-19 Messaging. Each award contains three budget categories to allow participation from all TACVB members (Under $1,000,000, $1,000,000 to $3,000,000, and $3-million plus).  “Judges’ Choice” winners are selected by a panel of judges comprised of tourism industry experts.  A People’s Choice competition allows tourism industry peers to weigh in on their favorites as well.

“We had a record 119 entries this year,” said Jodi Willard, TACVB Idea Fair Chairman.  “The winners encountered strong competition and these awards are well-deserved”.

Founded in 1972, the Texas Association of Convention and Visitor Bureaus (TACVB) provides professional development and training opportunities that give DMO professionals a competitive edge in destination marketing.