3.08.12 WTA Board Meeting Minutes

WTA Board Meeting

March 8, 2012

2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Bell Harbor, Sound Room

In attendance: Jane Kilburn, Andy Olsen, Cheryl Kilday, John Bookwalter (left early), Kevin Clark, George Sharp, Christina Pivarnik, Darrell Bryan, Kim Bennett, Dan Moore, Cara Egan, David Bauermeister, Monique Trudnowski;  Staff: Suzanne Fletcher and Brianna Mark & Mike Moe

On phone: David Blandford, Jennifer Leavitt (joined late), Karen Stebbins,  (joined late) Brett Wilkerson, Duane Wollmuth, John Cooper

Not in attendance: George Schweitzer, Donna Cappa, Diane Schostak

  1. Called to Order at 2:16 pm by Kevin Clark
  2. Introduction around table for new members
  3. Approval of Minutes from February 9 – moved by Andy Olsen and seconded by Christina Pivarnik. Unanimously passed
  4. Committee Reports – 10 minutes each
  5. Website Committee – Cheryl Kilday
  6. Server challenges being fixed by end of this week to improve performance
  7.  Content coordinators are updating contact information
    1. SagaCity getting ready to promote listings
    2. April 1 – free listings will be gone
    3. Will create a task force of 7 for next generation of website,  what it needs to be and look like
    4. Question raised about SagaCity revenue goal – no goal but currently only attached to current website. No performance standards for site or traffic since the state didn’t support or update the site.
      1. There is a price break for members
      2. Paid listings are tied to visitors guide, a lot of content is coming off the site so trying to contact those affected to communicate that
      3. Business listings are not a part of the website
      4. Marketing Committee – George Sharp
        1.  Social media committee established weekly schedule for postings, established guidelines and adding a toolkit (will include posting guidelines)
        2.  Marketing plan submitted to LTF committee – thank you to Chris Murphy, Dan Moore and Michel Pendelton. $15 million budget with line items. More detail is still needed. Budget is based upon competitive research.
          1. George will send out budget breakdown to board
    5. Co-op ad met expectations and fully committed. $30,000. Created tabs for Facebook and finalizing media buy with Frause.
    6.  Mary Monroe creating matrix of activities available April 5
      1. Reached out to all committee chairs and asked what we want the public to know about committees
      2. Andy feels that between all reports is that all information out there and she can use that, rather than recreating the wheel.
      3. Dan clarified that the matrix could show public what we are doing – and wonders if this is happening with Suzanne’s newsletter and how many people read the newsletter for this information. Dan thinks a strategy need to be developed to get information out in other ways.
      4. John Cooper thinks we need to discern how we communicate to different people. Need to sustain communication, and keep focus.
      5. Christina Pivarnik thinks it could be a good way to get more people on committees.
    7.  Branding Subcommittee – take current brand and create roadmap for that brand.
      1. Dan wonders if clarification is needed about what they are doing. It was made clear that no new branding would be done and they don’t want to spend money, but want to come up with a plan about how to use the current brand to promote the state. Want to ensure brand is part of the strategy. Don’t want to fall behind by leaving it alone.
      2.  We have a brand and are using the brand on the website, on covers in editorial board. Monique commented that we are not saying no to a new brand, just saying not right now.
      3.  There are a few people who are concerned that the WTA is not working toward marketing and promotion (of the brand) and establishing a brand strategy – and need to address that concern. Dan pointed out that the board has made a decision not to move or change the brand, and that any work would be to work with the current brand.
      4.  What do we want the committee to do?
        1. Co-ops and be inclusive to show that Washington is open for business
        2. Attracting visitors to the state
      5. Kim said that we are taking a strategic approach to how to address issues, without so many committees. Need a gatekeeper to ensure two-way communication. Stay strategic and prioritize with website and co-op activities. Process should have committee recommendations first go to executive committee and then the board.
      6. Cheryl said that at retreat the decision was made that revising or changing the brand is to be put on hold. Moved to table all brand discussions until further notice, determined by the board.
      7. Darrell seconded. Need funding first before we even think about a new brand.
      8.  Motion amended to reaffirm that we will continue to use Washington the State and ask Marketing Committee to help & ensure everyone use that
      9.  Media Call to action to begin shortly. CBS radio approached for summer time promotion with Allstate. CBS hopes to raise $30,000. Discussion concluded that the Board should not be asked to endorse one-off opportunities like this.  Marketing Committee’s role is to gather co-op opportunities, evaluate them against appropriate criteria and then Put in place  a policy and schedule of opportunities.
      10. The board could then approve the policy and general plan but still  we could be nimble for great opportunities
      11. Vendor Showcase in fall to sign up for co-ops
      12. Communications Committee – David Blandford
        1. Destination publicity (promoting the state to travel writers and media)is the main day to day focus.
        2.  Currently also doing PR for WTA
          1. Press releases – Summit 3/5, Visitor Guide 3/13, Summit 3/23 and summit day of 4/5
            1. Written, targeted pitches, posted to WTA site, Why Tourism Matters website, all DMO communicators, and in any other way
      13. Media Pitches – Summit (business story), WTA fundraising efforts, and follow-up editorial boards or op/eds
    8. Why Tourism Matters
      1. Website is updated and maintained by Seattle’s CVB
      2. Statewide effort
      3. Communications committee contributing – flag raising efforts
      4. Tourism ambassador program is Seattle but always wanting to grow that.
      5. Seattle video – can be done statewide
      6. Statewide – you pick ambassador, one area of cost is photo
        1. Style guides provided
        2. Small core of photographers who will work for great rates
    9. Working out kinks with b-roll and photos
    10. Long Term Funding + Advocacy Committee – Andy Olsen
      1. Continued work toward a private sector industry assessment model of funding. Refined Dean Runyan numbers and analysis. Determined industry sector share of funding and non-assessed sectors (and seek investment from them instead), using a $1 Million threshold..
        1. Accommodations 32%
        2. Food Service 28%
        3. Attractions 13%
        4. Retail 19%
        5. Transportation 8%
    11. Quantify total industry funding based upon marketing committee budget. Develop 1 page FAQ summary outlining talking points of proposed funding model. Identify and communicate with industry sector stakeholders. Board members are assigned to act as liason with their industry sector
    12. Develop preliminary presentation structure for summit.
      1. Marketing needs to be clearer about how the money is spent and justify huge jump in budget. Maybe look at spending less money initially. Ramp up time is prior to the collection starting.
    13. Need industries to figure out how to self-assess. Becky has assured that legislation can be written with a variety of methods and different levels of contribution
    14.  Funding model is in DRAFT form. Need to talk to people before the summit, so there are supporters but don’t want word to get out in a negative way.
      1. How much detail is going to be covered at Summit? Need to be pretty specific at Summit and compelling
      2. Buckets have been shared with LTF committee, John Cooper  expressed his disappointment  that the budget was not presented today, as it is the last meeting before the Summit
      3. Defensible & competitive budget
      4. Need to set the bar – and not set that bar too low
      5. Can’t endorse without industry support
      6. Membership Committee – Monique Trudnowski
        1.  Membership retention and new member drive
        2.  Prospect list – working with Mike Moe
        3.  Blue or green nametags for members at Summit
        4. Dollar bill from Colorado – to tell public what value tourism generates
          1. Want to do a similar one for WA and distribute at the Summit
          2. Christi will develop with permission
            1. Tax Relief is an important number to note
            2. $400 per household
            3. Will pass on to executive committee for approval
    15.  Ginny Whiffen is procuring raffle prizes – wants to be on agenda just before morning breakfast. Basket by region taken offline.
      1. Current members table
      2. Prospective members table
      3. Summit + Events Committee – Christina Pivarnik
        1. Summit
          1. Need attendance: 143 summit, 80 reception
            1. Reception – $4000 in sponsorship (Squaxin, NW Tribal Tourism, Suqamish, Tulalip)
            2. Shuttle from Hilton to MOF
            3. May need to increase numbers for reception
      4. Want minimum of 500
    16. Bidding for Good
      1. 2 per month – 1st is Bellingham/San Juan Package (launch at Summit) will run for 2 weeks
      2. $600 annual fee for the Bidding Good site
    17. Wine/Dinner Auction in Seattle
      1. Working out details
      2. Summer timeframe possible
      3. 150 ppl – those who love buying fine wines
    18. Bowling in Vancouver
      1. Brett or Kim have connections with event coordinators in the area
      2. Need someone to spearhead
      3. Big Al’s as possible location
    19.  Golf tournament
      1. Seattle Golf show volunteer – need to join first
    20.  Wine Barrel Painting event
      1. Auction fundraiser night before the Summit 2013

Executive Director Update

  1. New Membership Sales-Mike Moe – sales, events and tourism background
    1.  On for 2 days and has 20 appointments
    2. Finance Update
      1. Statement of Activities highlights – revenue $11,400 has not billed back attendance for PowWow yet. Will come in next month. Expenses insurance and licenses.  Membership dues are not taxable (saved$9000)
      2. Just filed non-profit status with IRS, had been told initially we did not need to do this.
      3. Fundraising-Board members asked to please provide middle initial; Boeing grant requires full names
      4. Thanks  to Cheryl & Spokane and her team – 4 appts
        1. Spokane PFD at $20,000 per year
        2. Davenport hotel at $5,000
    3. Need help with outreach to:
      1. Microsoft – 3 meetings with no success, not reaching right people
      2. Expedia – meeting next week, not sure it is with right people
      3. Amazon – contact 3 ppl and can’t track down right person
      4. Operations update
        1. Mike Moe joining
        2. Looking for bookkeeper/finance
          1. If you have anyone who can help part-time, we need it!
    4. CPA firm to do audit
    5. By law updates
      1. 2.8 was deleted
      2. 5.1.2 was denied
      3. Moved and seconded to approve the bylaws changes. Approved, with one abstain.
      4. Speaking dates – 7 on the books for March
        1.  Need volunteers to accompany or take over
        2. Could we have a membership table at these events
        3. Should take something with you when you go (brochures, etc)

3/20        Best Western GM’s Meeting                 Lacey                         8:00

Sumner Rotary                                        Sumner                   11:30

3/21        Highline CC                                             Burien                       9:00

Issaquah Rotary                                     Issaquah                  12:00

5/7          Olympia CVB Board                                Olympia                 6:00

3/27        WFEA Conference                                 Semiahmoo            10:00

3/30        Arts Council                                             Seattle                      8:30

  1. Updated Policy for WTA marketing proposals – postponed; Diane not in attendance and she was heading up that effort.
  2. Next meeting of full board – June 14 in Yakima.
  3. Limited flights 945 am flight on Alaska. Most will drive over.
  4. Details to come.
  1. Good of the Order
  2. Jane – just come back from int’l trip to Iceland, UK and France. They are very interested in our state and wine. Going to Japan in 2 weeks.
  3. Cheryl – USTA is working on Senate bill to redo transportation maps & in DC last week and Colorado is under threat to lose funding. Be careful in using it as a model.
  4. Pennsylvania is probably going to $0 as well.
  5. Monique – DMAI Annual Convention in Seattle in July. How can WTA be involved?
  6. PowWow put on by USTA – largest inbound sales show for international market. John putting together a booth for Washington State next to Seattle’s booth. Port of Seattle and SCVB will be there as well. 40-45 appts plus walk-ups. WTA will  piggy back on slide show of Seattle, with the adjacent booth.
  7. Thank you Andy & Columbia hospitality for hosting today
  8. Please stay for reception with WLA and SagaCity and unveiling of Visitors Guides.
    1. Moved to Adjourn at 5:02 pm.