LITTLE ROCK, Ark., Feb. 28, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau (LRCVB) publicly unveiled a new advertising campaign at an industry press event Thursday, February 27, at the capital city's Statehouse Convention Center. Also presented were LRCVB's 2019 annual report featuring industry record highs, and LRCVB's 50th anniversary community events and programming scheduled for May 2020.
"As Arkansas's #1 travel destination, Little Rock has experienced tremendous growth in both our leisure travel and convention sectors, a trend that began with the 2004 opening of the William J. Clinton Presidential Center, and has been escalating each year," said LRCVB President & CEO Gretchen Hall. "This new advertising campaign builds on that momentum and further elevates our position of showcasing all that Little Rock has to offer," she added. The campaign is a fresh approach to the bureau's widely popular campaign of the 1990s; a beloved local favorite — Big On Little Rock. The re-imagined version is designed to appeal to people in multiple national target markets, as well as local and in-state markets. Based on LRCVB research, top out-of-state markets include Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, Memphis, Nashville, Shreveport, Kansas City and Chicago. Paid media begins running in those markets and in Arkansas on March 1.
"We work with meeting and event planners, members of the national and international media, and people visiting from out of town and we're constantly hearing how pleasantly surprised they are and how much they love Little Rock. The other thing we hear from visitors over and over again is how fantastic our people are – people who are truly genuine and nice. Our residents are our most valuable resource. Little Rock truly is BIG on Little Rock," said Hall. "We conducted research, and focus grouped people inside and outside our industry. It became clear that looking to our future called for a nod to the past," she added.
The campaign launch coincides with the 50th anniversary of the creation of the city's Advertising & Promotion (A&P) Commission, the governing body of LRCVB. Since 1970, the bureau has served as the official destination marketing organization of Little Rock. It is charged with improving the quality of life and the local economy by bringing visitors, meetings, conventions and events to the city; responsibly managing public funds in its charge; efficiently operating the buildings it manages; and serving customers, visitors and delegates with courtesy, knowledge and skill. LRCVB manages the Statehouse Convention Center, Robinson Center, River Market (Ottenheimer Hall, First Security Amphitheater and open-air pavilions) and multiple parking facilities.
LRCVB's actual anniversary date is May 4. A series of special tourism-related events and programming is scheduled May 3-10, concurrently during the 2020 National Travel & Tourism Week. Headliner anniversary events include:
May 4: Industry-wide Community Service Projects Day
May 5: Wall of Honor for those who have greatly contributed to the organizational success
May 6: Clinton Speaker Series with a panel highlighting the history and impact of Little Rock A&P Commission & LRCVB
May 7: Throwback "Big Downtown Thursday" party
2019 was a significant year for Little Rock travel and tourism. The city and Pulaski County account for 25% of total travel expenditures in Arkansas, and 20% of the state's total travel-related employment. Little Rock is the county's largest DMA (designated market area). Download the full annual report here.