SHELBY, OHIO – The Mansfield/Richland County Convention and Visitors Bureau (M/RCVB) recognized Excellence in Tourism at its Annual Meeting, held today at the new Phillips Conference Center (in the Kehoe Center) on the North Central State’s Shelby Campus. Those attending got a got to take a look back with the Bureau and the tourism industry in the past year, as well as the first look at two new initiatives.
Events put Mansfield/Richland County on the Map
“2013 was one of the best years for tourism in Richland County for the Bureau,” according to Bureau Board Chair, Josh Maurer. “Much of what the Bureau does is behind the scenes, facilitating…making things happen. However, we had the incredible opportunity to step out and be a part of two major events in Tough Mudder, the Shawshank 20th Reunion and promotions for the Art of the Brick. Those three events alone brought in over 38,000 visitors from all over the US and 6 countries”, added Maurer.
The Bureau recorded another successful year with its Public Relations campaigns generating over $69.2 million in positive publicity promoting the area’s tourism product. The six most productive releases were:
- 20-Year Reunion Planned for the filming of The Shawshank Redemption
- “The Art of the Brick” to Debut at the Mansfield Art Center
- Tough Mudder comes to Mansfield
- Mansfield Memorial Museum Display has the Right Stuffing
- World’s First Robot Celebrates 75th Birthday
- Annual Mohican Wildlife Weekend offers Ultimate Eco Tourism Experience
Other highlights included
- Launching a new Visitor E-blast
- Mid-Ohio hosting the NASCAR Nationwide Children’s Hospital 200
- Winning four marketing campaign awards for Tough Mudder and the Shawshank Reunion
- Being a stop on the 100th Anniversary of the Lincoln Highway caravan
Two New Projects Unveiled
“It was nice to finally show everyone the brand new Richland B&O Bike Trail brochure”, according to Bureau President Lee Tasseff. “We rebuilt the map digitally, built the brochure around it and also gave the bike path its best web presence ever.”
Tasseff added, “We’ve been working to improve our mobile strategy and it was fun to be able to demonstrate the most critical part of it: Our responsive website. We are now able to extend our brand image down to tablet and smart phone sized screens by having the site adapt (or respond) to the device accessing it and displaying the appropriate version of our website. The idea behind the mobile strategy it to communicate with visitors in the growing market segment that mainly uses their mobile devices to access visitor information. We can have all the signage and information out there we want, but if our site doesn’t match their expectation in look, feel and functionality…we’ll lose their interest.”
Tourism Hall of Fame gains Four New Members
Top honors in tourism excellence went to four businesses and individuals who have driven tourism or helped the Bureau enhance tourism in Richland County. “They set standards for excellence that has helped grow Richland County’s tourism offerings,” stated Maurer. “They help set us apart from other communities competing for the same visitor dollar.” This year’s winners are:
- Teri Meyers Design: Award winning designs
- Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course: NASCAR Nationwide Children’s Hospital 200
- Mansfield Art Center: “Art of the Brick” Exhibit
- Bill & April Mullen and Bob Watchman for their role in the Shawshank Trail, Shawshank 20th Reunion and the Shawshank Woodshop
Criteria for Award
Award Recipients were chosen based on meeting at least three of the following criteria:
- Increased tourism in Richland County and North Central Ohio.
- Advanced tourism through a unique concept, niche, new market or collaborative partnership.
- Sustained excellence.
- Significantly added to the tourism product offering of Richland County and North Central Ohio.
- Helped gain positive statewide and/or national public relations or press.
- Made significant improvements to their lodging property, attraction, recreational or food services facility, sports venue, etc.