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Visit Garland Recognized as Award Winning Team at State Conference

Amidst the pandemic last year, the Visit Garland team continued its mission to market and promote Garland as a premier destination in DFW to leisure and business travelers. The team traversed the choppy waters of mask requirements, hand sanitizing, and working from home. Garland's many hidden gems, along with the team's collaborations with multiple partners, proved to be a critical factor for a winning formula.

Visit Garland entered several campaign efforts into the Texas Association of Convention and Visitor Bureaus' (TACVB) Idea Fair. TACVB's Idea Fair promotes excellence in destination marketing. The goals of the Idea Fair awards are to generate awareness of the quality work done by TACVB members as they promote their destinations to leisure and business travelers. Each award contains three budget categories to allow participation from all TACVB members (Under $1,000,000; $1,000,000 to $3,000,000, and $3 million-plus). "Judges' Choice" winners are selected by a panel of judges comprised of tourism industry marketing experts. A People's Choice competition allows tourism industry peers to weigh in on their favorites as well. Members may enter their campaigns in the following categories: Tourism Branding & Advertising, Cooperative Marketing, Convention Promotion, Local Awareness, Sports Marketing, Website/Mobile Site/App, Video, and new this year, Pandemic Recovery.

Garland competed in the Under $1,000,000 budget category and won awards for the following:

Local Awareness- Garland Design Challenge
Judges Award and 1st Place People's Choice Awards

A collaboration with the city's image campaign, "Make Your Mark," to increase art inventory by reaching out to local artists. The designs' purpose was to create new merchandise, including t-shirts, coffee cups, and various items.

Pandemic Recovery: Fair Fare on the Square
Judges Award and 1st Place People's Choice Awards

Popular eateries in Downtown Garland were working hard to survive the pandemic in 2020. The announcement of the State Fair cancelation and, with it, the disappointment that fair food would not be available prompted the team and partners to come up with a safe food-themed event. The inaugural "Fair Fare on the Square" included 13 participating restaurants in Downtown Garland that offered State Fair-themed (fried) foods all of September.

Sports Marketing: Sports Facility Guide and Video Campaign
Judges Award and 2nd Place People's Choice Awards

Outdoor sporting events continued to thrive amidst COVID-19 closures. The team focused on the city's abundance of sports facilities and launched a robust sports marketing campaign. The campaign included a promotional video, an all-inclusive document, and a dedicated webpage outlining the facilities and venues.

Video: Staycation Video – Garland Getaway
2nd Place People's Choice Awards

With the pandemic halting all travel, our local community and the close-by drive market quickly became our focus. In less than 30 seconds, the Staycation Video features fishing on Lake Ray Hubbard, fun at Hawaiian Falls, and bowling at the state-of-the-art Strike + Reel entertainment venue. The goal was to create a leisure traveler video showing safe outdoor and socially distancing activities for the entire family to enjoy in Garland.

The awards were presented during TACVB's Annual Conference in Conroe, TX, on August 26, 2021.

CVB and Events Director Dana Lodge completed the Texas Destination Marketer (TDM) program, and she was also awarded her professional TDM designation during the conference.

The TDM program is administered by the TACVB and serves as an educational framework for marketing Texas as a destination for tourism and group business. The program provides a structure for continuing professional development for tourism and hospitality professionals. The TDM program offers education and training in 12 disciplines, including Texas Heritage/Cultural Tourism, Group Servicing, Administration/Finance, Marketing, Technology, Tourism Sales, Sports Sales, Policy & Advocacy, Facility & Operations, Communications, Visitor Services, and Group Sales. The program demonstrates TACVB's strong commitment to strengthening employees' knowledge base in convention and visitor bureaus and destination marketing organizations. Upon completion of the program, a professional TDM designation is awarded.

Lodge joins Veronica Maldonado, Marketing & Communications Manager, at Visit Garland with this designation after completing the program of work requiring a minimum of six disciplines.

After receiving recognition at the TACVB Annual Conference from their peers and industry professions, the Visit Garland team is rejuvenated with the energy to continue their mission - promoting Garland to potential visitors in the drive market and all over the world.

Follow how the team markets to potential visitors at or on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

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