Jacksonville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau Brings Home Two Awards From State Conference

By Benjamin Cox on April 1, 2024 at 6:15am

The Jacksonville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau recently brought home two awards from the state tourism conference held March 19-21 in Peoria.

The bureau was awarded for the city’s 2022 rebranding efforts and the bureau specifically was awarded for its new website.

Executive Director Brittany Henry says its been a massive turnaround for the city from when she started 15 years ago until now: “I’ve sat through 11 of these conferences and have watched so many of our peers and colleagues be recognized for the work that they do in their communities. Not to say we haven’t applied in the past, but we have. This is really exciting. The Illinois Governor’s Conference on Travel and Tourism is put on by the Illinois Office of Tourism. We were very excited to have the opportunity to apply this year. I think we had waited a little while prior to Covid, and then, had decided that now was the time to apply. With a little push from McDaniels Marketing, they helped us with our submissions. We wanted to make sure that they were clean and crisp to see if we had a chance. We took home two. That was even more exciting. They are very prestigious awards, and we couldn’t have done it without the support of everyone around us.”

Henry says that the rebranding effort, which took an exceptional amount of time to roll out and get right, now has other areas of the state and tourism and marketing leaders taking notice: “I think our residents can resonate with the new brand, not just with our entity, but all entities. As people see it, they say ‘Hey, that’s Jacksonville.’ I can tell you firsthand after receiving these awards on stage with people coming up to congratulate us – afterwards Tracy and I are standing there still beaming with joy, but there were several colleagues of ours throughout the whole state that said ‘We’ve been seeing Jacksonville. We’ve been seeing the work you’ve been putting out, and we like it.’ People are coming to us and asking questions: ‘How did you get it done?’ After the rebrand people asked: ‘What were your next steps to push that marketing further?’ Now, instead of us going to some of our colleagues and asking for advice, people are coming to us. That’s really exciting to share our secrets on what we have done to get there.”

Henry says they are going to continue to push the branding into new markets in hopes of attracting more people to visit and hopefully stay in Jacksonville in the future.