Noon, Wednesday November 7, 2012
Visitors Bureau Administrative Offices

Present: M Boyette, J Godfrey, T Godwin, B Dixon, T Stewart, K Brinson, P Boucher, K Henthorn, C McLamb
M Patel
D Bailey-Taylor, A Phillips

I.          Call to Order – T Godwin

T Godwin called the meeting to order at 12:15 pm and stated that a quorum was present. With no corrections, the agenda was adopted.

II.        Chairman – T Godwin

T Godwin announced the resignation of Heidi Stump from the Johnston County Tourism Authority to pursue completing her MBA. Godwin stated that H Stump would be missed and that her marketing insights and service to the bureau were greatly appreciated.

T Godwin asked for a motion to accept the October minutes that were previously sent to the Board.

B Dixon motioned to accept the October minutes as presented.  T Stewart seconded.  Motion passed unanimously.

III.       Finances – T Godwin

October Financials

Month-to-Date Revenue for October was $65,657.01. Month-to-Date Human Resources expenses were $24,291.43. Month-to-Date Operations were $55,685.20. Net Income for the month was $-14,319.62.  Year-to-Date Revenues were $315,473.66. Year-to-Date Human Resources expenses were $96,063.80. Year-to-Date Operations were $166,418.74. Year-to-Date net income was $52,991.12. The September revenues were $44,147.56. Smithfield’s September Revenues were $12,209.73. Selma’s September Revenues were $5,902.00. Kenly’s September Revenues were $1,758.19.  Benson’s September Revenues were $847.07. T Godwin stated that revenues were slightly down from last month and expenses were up due to quarterly fees to the county and advertising. D Bailey-Taylor stated that due to new auditing procedures it was necessary for the bureau to pay for bonding insurance for C McLamb. The bureau staff will also be reviewing credit card procedures with the county auditor.

T Godwin shared a possible Visitor Center opportunity with Carolina Premium Outlets as a new direction for the county’s visitor center. This option would link the Visitors Bureau with Carolina Premium Outlets, using the outlet staff and enhance the visitor information already distributed with some of the ideas that came from the visitor center ad-hoc committee. The bureau would be able to enhance the visitor center with interactive media, kiosks, and signage. These enhancements would also benefit the outlet center. Godwin stated that the outlet center offers the greatest traffic area in the county and he sees this as a move forward for the bureau. T Stewart questioned what the downside might be and no one could find a negative. B Dixon stated that the move would only be in a positive direction for the bureau. T Godwin stated that the bureau would need to consider the upfront cost expense of setting up the media equipment or kiosk stations. K Henthorn stated she has spoken to the management at Simon and a conference call or meeting is the next step to iron out details. Discussion was had on becoming chamber members and champions of all seven chambers in next year’s budget.

B Dixon motioned for D Bailey-Taylor to purse the Visitor Center Opportunity with the Carolina Premium Outlets. T Stewart seconded.  Motion passed unanimously.

IV. Special Projects Committee – T Stewart

T Stewart stated that the committee had met and reviewed the Capital Grant applications. The committee had received three applications that totaled requests for $44,000. D Bailey-Taylor summarized each grant application project with the full board. The 2012-13 budget allotted $25,000 for grants. Discussion was had on not getting sports facilities grants and the few applications received this year. The committee recommended to the board to award grants to each applicant based on their completion dates and amounts that each were illegible to receive.

J Godfrey motioned to approve the grants in the amount of $14,500 to the Benson Parks & Recreation Department, $5,250 to the Downtown Smithfield Development Corporation, and $5,250 to the Clayton Cultural Arts Foundation. K Brinson seconded.  Motion passed unanimously.

V. Marketing Committee – P Boucher

Highlights from the October Marketing meeting:

  • Installation of the new vinyl updates for the two new Smithfield billboards: “Ava and Outlets” and “History & Fun”
  • Bureau conducting website audits and will start with design changes and content, first to the Benson website and move through all six sites in the coming months.
  • Committee reviewed the Images Magazine banner ad options. Due to low Google Analytics (270 unique visitors for the year), distribution numbers and the project not budgeted for 2012-13, the committee declined to participate.
  • The lobby at the NC Division of Tourism has been decorated representing Johnston County until January 1, 2013 with displays on Carolina Premium Outlets, Clemmons, Howell Woods, Wineries, The Clayton Center and the bureau’s pop-up banners.

VI. Sports Council Committee – J Godfrey

Highlights from the October Sports Council:

  • Attendance was very good with the new meeting day and the group decided not to meet in December.
  • Leads from the Teams 2012 Conference have been given to the Parks and Recreation Departments.
  • Committee has two openings due to resignations due to work conflicts. Joe Lynch of the Holiday Inn Express has joined the council filling one of those openings.
  • J Godfrey was surprised that there were no recreation requests for Capital Grants offered by the bureau.
  • J Godfrey mentioned the Zoning/Johnston County Open Space funds and that the County Commissioners have not established a plan for the use of these reserves.

VII. Staff Report – D Bailey-Taylor

In the interest of time, D Bailey-Taylor mentioned just a couple of items from the staff report.  The next video shoot will take place the week of December 3rd, with the main locations left to be shot being outlets shopping, other retail and the arts locations in Clayton and Smithfield.  E Dean is working on the new YouTube Channel and will be posting up the finished videos, History & Heritage and Recreation/Sports.  Discussion was had on the NC Division of Tourism display for the county and how that rotates between destinations.  Johnston County was featured about four years ago.  D Bailey-Taylor indicated E Bailey is sending out at least one press release a week and we are starting to see bureau articles picked up in several papers.  D Bailey-Taylor pointed out closings of four tourism-related businesses that were well established like Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club in Clayton.  New visitors guide is here and over 20,000 were dropped shipped and delivered in October.

Summary of Visitor Inquiries and Distribution – October

Visitor inquiries: pieces of literature mailed: 4,004
Year to Date visitor inquiries:  14,580
Inquiry History by Brochure:                 Visitor Guide 3,969

Visitor Inquiry History by State: NC (405), GA (217), SC (167), PA (133), VA (166), MD (145), TN (117), TX (116), FL (412), NJ (225)

Visitor Inquiry for Advertising Source:  Civil War Traveler – 169
Coast Host - 557
Compass Marketing – 1,507
Oprah Magazine – 1,403
AAA Go Mag - 280

October Bulk Distribution:

JCVB Visitors Guide – 20,365
JCVB Agri-tourism Trail brochures – 520
JCVB Click Pens – 375
JCVB Plastic Bags – 375
JCVB Postcards– 125
JCVB Skittles – 375
American Music Jubilee – 200 schedules
Ava Festival Brochures – 590
Carolina Premium Outlets - 500
Muscadine Wine Brochure – 125
SS Visitors Map – 1,800
Smithfield Ham Shop - 300

New and Inactive IP Records in D3000

New Record /Opened: Dunham Automotive, Benson

Closed: Quizno’s Smithfield
A Bite of Italy
Crossroads Coffee
Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club


Google Analytics – report for October – 3,550 unique visitors, 8,900 page views
– 5,781 unique visitors, 17,677 page views
– 2,193 unique visitors, 5,816 page views
– 275 unique visitors, 569 page views
– 806 unique visitors, 2,543 page views
– 618 unique visitors, 1,580 page views
- 1,035 unique visitors, 2,798 page views
– 1,241 unique visitors, 4,301 page views
– 310 unique visits, 773 page views


VIII. Old Business


IX. New Business

December Board Meeting will be held on Tuesday, December 4th, 6:30 PM at The Boat House Restaurant in Smithfield

Meeting adjourned at 1:10 pm.

Next Meeting
County Tourism Authority
6:30 PM, December 4, 2012
The Boat House Restaurant