JOHNSTON COUNTY TOURISM AUTHORITY
BOARD MEETING MINUTES
Noon, Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Visitors Bureau Administrative Offices

Present: M Boyette, T Godwin, B Dixon, K Brinson, P Boucher, H Stump, J Godfrey, K Henthorn, M Patel, T Stewart

Absent: C McLamb

Staff: D Bailey-Taylor, A Phillips

I.          Call to Order – Vice-Chairman T Godwin

T Godwin called the meeting to order at 12:29 pm and stated that a quorum was present.  T. Godwin welcomed K Brinson to the board. With no corrections, the agenda was adopted.

II.        Vice-Chairman T Godwin

T Godwin asked for a motion or corrections to the January minutes that were previously sent to the Board.

B Dixon motioned to accept the January minutes as presented.  M Boyette seconded.  Motion passed unanimously.

III.       Finances – Vice-Chairman T Godwin

October Financials

Month-to-Date Revenue for January was $60,849.23.  Month-to-Date Human Resources expenses were $19,994.67. Month-to-Date Operations were $46,757.97. Net Income for the month was -$5,903.41.  Year-to-Date Revenues were $510,415.25. Year-to-Date Human Resources expenses were $132,490.92. Year-to-Date Operations were $298,416.23. Year-to-Date net income was $79,508.10. The December revenues were $41,222.15. Smithfield’s December Revenues were $9,939.68. Selma’s December Revenues were $7,536.60. Kenly’s December Revenues were $1,850.52.  Benson’s December Revenues were $561.14. T Godwin pointed out that January revenues are typically a lean month due to low travel in the winter.

IV. Special Projects Committee – T Stewart

No meeting.

V. Marketing Committee – P Boucher

P Boucher shared some of the highlights from the January Marketing meeting:

  • Smithfield/Selma Visitors map is being updated and will be reprinted upon completion of updates.
  • Smithfield hotel billboard will be updated to include the new Holiday Inn Express (opening date 2/29/12).
  • Ham & Yam marketing has begun. Molly Hatchet Band will be the main attraction. The bureau will be helping with press releases and the printing of a tri-fold brochure.
  • The NC Main Street Conference took place at The Clayton Center with the bureau helping with services, transportation, information table, billboard vinyl to promote the event, posters for sponsors and gift bags. H Stump stated that the event went well; the hotels and restaurants were pleased with the increase of business. J Godfrey stated that Bruce Naegelen, H Stump and staff did a great job. There were approximately 350-400 attendees.
  • There will be several sporting events that will be taking place including a Wheelchair Basketball event, a State Gymnastics Tournament in March and Primal Mud Run in April.
  • The bureau will host a media visit from the I-95 Exit Guide on February 5th.
  • D Bailey-Taylor stated that to keep pushing leisure travel the bureau will help promote a new leisure marketing campaign for attracting shopping visitors. There will be a custom landing page and ads will run to promote $5 CPO coupons, $5 off hotel rates, and a $5 gift on check-in.
  • The Marketing Committee discussed the possible use of Lunar Cow Interactive Map as a web based custom itinerary function, trails, and set itineraries for individuals and groups. Lunar Cow uses Google Map and custom software for the mapping system.
  • D Bailey-Taylor presented the need for some staff training that would help correct some issues with ad words and key word content management. Discussion was had about using SEO Company at a cost that would not exceed $200 per month. This would be done on an as needed basis for the next few months.

P Boucher motioned to accept the recommendation from the Marketing Committee to act on the Lunar Cow Interactive Map and the SEO Company training.  K Henthorn seconded.  Motion passed unanimously.

VI.       Staff Report – D Bailey-Taylor

  • D Bailey-Taylor stated that the JoCo Annual Report was now on the www.johnstoncountync.org website. A link had been sent to the County Commissioners and the County Department Heads. This has eliminated the cost of printing the report. T Godwin stated that he would like to have feed back from the Commissioners on whether the JCTA board is performing as expected. He expressed a desire to host a luncheon with interaction from the Commissioners and not just a presentation. M Boyette requested that the bureau bring up the I-95 Toll at this luncheon.
  • A press release had been sent out about the JCTA Sports Council appointees.
  • ECU Research Pilot Program will be coming to an end soon and it is hoped that it will provide information as to how a visitor views our destination.
  • Leads for hotel rates have been sent out for the Primal Mud Run event that is booked for April 28th, which will be held on the Cox Farm, site of the Logging Expo held this past October.
  • The bureau continues to gather information about upcoming events that will be held through out the county with a recent push to get all 2012 festivals in the calendar.

Summary of Visitor Inquiries and Distribution – January

Visitor inquiries: pieces of literature mailed: 1,238

Year to Date visitor inquiries:  27,137

Inquiry History by Brochure:                 Visitor Guide 1,195

Visitor History by State: NC (162), FL (124), IL (87), VA (75), TX (62), MD (43), OH (42), PA (41), NY (41), MI (38)

Visitor Inquiry for Advertising Source:  Oprah Magazine – 649

Civil War Traveler – 195

AAA Go Magazine - 82

January Bulk Distribution:

JCVB Visitors Guide – 510

JCVB Agri-tourism Trail brochures – 375

SS Visitors Maps - 500

New and Inactive IP Records in D3000

Closed: Inflow Studio, Smithfield

Upscale Resale, Benson

New Record /Opened: William Family Ice Cream, 40/42 area

Lion and the Lamb Bookstore, Clayton

JoCo Outfitters, Smithfield

Google Analytics – report for January

www.johnstoncountync.org – 3,077 unique visitors, 7,229 page views

www.visitsmithfield.org – 2,805 unique visitors, 10,386 page views

www.visitkenly.org – 1,036 unique visitors, 2,140 page views

www.hamandyam.com – 643 unique visitors, 4,168 page views

www.americasmainstreetnc.com – 158 unique visitors, 179 page views

www.visitbenson.org – 324 unique visitors, 1,255 page views

www.visitfouroaks.org – 452 unique visitors, 2,062 page views

www.visitclayton.org - 478 unique visitors, 1,682 page views

www.visitselma.org – 806 unique visitors, 2,811 page views

www.muscadineheritagewinetrail.com – 168 unique visits, 505 page views

VII. Old Business

  • The Bureau Open House will be February 28th; 3-6 pm drop in. Invitations will be sent to all chamber and visitor industry partners.
  • The NC Governors Conference will be held March 11-13 in Concord. Discussion was had about the importance for board members and staff to attend if possible and for the bureau to pay for the cost of registration. D Bailey-Taylor was asked to send out an agenda for the board members to review.

T Stewart motioned for the bureau to pay for the cost of registration for any board member desiring to attend this year’s NC Governors Conference. B Dixon seconded.  Motion passed unanimously.

VIII. New Business

  • Discussion was had about grants and the current process. J Godfrey asked if grants were awarded on an annual basis or if they were available at other times when a new event may occur after the cut off dates for application.  P Boucher indicated that the board had accepted applications after the deadline in the past.  D Bailey-Taylor informed the board that approximately $500 was unencumbered in this line-item.
  • Discussion was had about the need to replace the computer server that the bureau is currently using due to two failing drives. D Bailey-Taylor stated that we had been in contact with our IT Company and received a quote for $3,628.54 (server and battery) to replace the server with an enhanced operating system and more memory and speed which will allow for additional programs if necessary. D Bailey-Taylor also stated that there was a need to upgrade the existing D3000 Database software when the server is updated. The bureau hasn’t updated software since 2004. The cost for the upgrade on the software would be $7,000 which includes training and data transfer. Discussion was had about looking for different database software at a lower cost.

B Dixon motioned to purchase the new server at the cost of $3,628.54 and for D Bailey-Taylor to research the upgrade on the database software that is compatible with the new server. J Godfrey seconded.  Motion passed 9 to 1.

Meeting adjourned at 1:25 pm.

Next Meeting

Johnston County Tourism Authority

Noon, March 7, 2012

Visitors Bureau Administrative Offices

Respectfully submitted,

Mary Boyette, Secretary/Treasurer