The Norman Transcript

January 19, 2014

Visitors bureau has halftime lead


The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — The first six months of the Norman Convention and Visitors Bureau’s fiscal year ended Dec. 31. We have already crunched the numbers and measurables that we have so far.

We prepare a semi-annual report for the city of Norman, looking at the same time period the previous year so the comparisons can be as close to apple to apple as possible.

Much like the Sooners’ halftime lead at the Sugar Bowl, we are certainly in hopes that the second half will feature the kind of wide margin when the clock hits zero.

One of the most impressive increases have been in the number of qualified leads sent out by our sales staff to our hotel partners. Once a lead is sent out to the partners, then the hotels are able to check the event planners’ requests and requirements, the dates for the event and many other details.

The number of qualified leads nearly doubled in the first six months of Fiscal Year 2014 compared to the Fiscal Year 2013 time period. The additional increase in our operating budget stemming from the increase in the transient guest tax has meant that the sales staff had more money to spend to attend more conferences and trade shows to tell planners and professionals about Norman.

The other measurement that is especially exciting is the increase in the number of unique visitors to VisitNorman.com. (Unique visitors means the number of times one person visits our site within a month; a repeat visitor from the same Internet Protocol address would be not be counted again.) This measurement practically doubled.

There are quite a few factors that can account for that increase, including an ad campaign on SoonerSports.com that asked visitors to their site to click over to our site to book overnight stays.

VisitNorman.com is one of the very most important vehicles we have to attract not only leisure travelers but groups, as well.

Other increases include number of gross marketing impressions, number of visitors guides distributed, number of media placements, number of earned media impressions, amount of advertising equivalency of earned media placements, estimated room nights from qualified leads, number of groups serviced, transient guest tax collection and sales tax collection.

Stefanie Brickman, CTA, is currently the interim executive director of the Norman Convention and Visitors Bureau. The Vision of the Norman Convention & Visitors Bureau is to be the leader who proactively markets and develops Norman as the preferred destination in Oklahoma.

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