Visitors Bureau launches new marketing campaign

Includes new logo, website designed to attract tourism.

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The Springfield News-Sun is committed to covering stories on the economic impact tourism has on the region. For this story, the paper spoke to local businesses and economic development officials who discussed a recent plan to attract more visitors to Clark and Champaign counties.

The Greater Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau has a new logo and marketing campaign it hopes will help promote the region’s assets and bring more tourists to Clark County.

The visitors bureau has made gains in drawing more residents to Clark County, and an Oxford Economics report released earlier this year showed tourism contributes about $368 million a year to Clark County’s economy. That is a roughly 13 percent increase compared to two years ago.

The visitor’s bureau is hoping the new marketing campaign will help make potential visitors more aware of what the region has to offer. The new logo features Springfield as the focal point on a map of Ohio, with the phrase, “Find Your Unwind.”

“We are trying to expand to become a regional tourism hub,” said Chris Schutte, director of the Greater Springfield Convention and Visitor’s Bureau.

The new logo and tagline will be used in local promotions initially, including an LED billboard located on Interstate 70, Schutte said. It will also be used in social media promotions, which Schutte said is a factor that is becoming increasingly important into attracting potential visitors. The digital billboard, near I-70 and Ohio 41, could be operational by as early as next week.

The visitor’s bureau is also launching a new tourism web site, which will be specifically designed to work well with mobile devices and tablets as well as it does with laptops and other devices. Some tourism sites the consultants reviewed did not work as well on mobile devices, Schutte said.

The majority of travelers research potential destinations online now, as opposed to a travel brochure at a rest stop, Schutte said.

The visitor’s bureau worked with Hucklebuck Design Studio, of Springfield, and Knowble Media to develop the logo and social media campaign. The firms researched similar campaigns across the region, including areas comparable to Clark County like Lorain County in northern Ohio and Oshkosh, Wis.

Representatives from several local tourist attractions attended an event to unveil the new logo this week. The logo will likely be used to help promote regional attractions ranging from Frank Lloyd Wright’s Westcott House to events in Yellow Springs.

“I think people can relate to it,” said Marta Wojcik, executive director of the Westcott House, when discussing the new logo.

Most local businesses will likely get on board with the promotional material once it becomes clear the visitors bureau is helping drive new visitors toward area attractions, Schutte said. The goal is to encourage visitors to travel to sites across the region, from Bellefontaine to Yellow Springs, with Clark County as the starting point, he said.

“Clearly, visitors don’t see county lines,” Schutte said.