The official e-newsletter of the Sioux Falls Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Welcome to The Visitor Beat - a monthly look inside the Sioux Falls visitor industry. We will share recent industry news, show you what we are working on and introduce you to some of the faces that make our city truly the heart of America. Please let us know if your organization has news to share. 

Encore Worthy Travel Package to Attract Visitors for Shoulder Season

The overall objective for the Sioux Falls CVB's 2019-2020 shoulder season marketing campaign is to position Sioux Falls as an attractive travel destination through promotion of an encore worthy travel package. The package will include a two-night stay at Hotel on Phillips, four tickets to a Washington Pavilion Performance Series event, gift cards and more. The months of October through February are not traditional travel times of the year, but the CVB has been trying to shift that state of mind for several years in an effort fill more hotel rooms.

The CVB will use online marketing tactics to pique potential visitors’ interest in Sioux Falls. Legacy learnings have indicated the need for a strong media mix, knowing that different tactics drive different conversions. The ultimate objectives will be to increase the number of flight and hotel bookings, drive sweepstakes registrations, inspire travel through re-engagement, and drive in-market arrivals.

Primary geographies will include a 300-mile radius around Sioux Falls, with concentration in Minneapolis/Saint Paul, Omaha, Sioux City and Fargo. The CVB’s persona group along with audiences that show predictive travel intent will be targeted.

This campaign is partially supported by cooperative marketing funds through the South Dakota Department of Tourism.

CVB to Welcome Hunters at Airport

The CVB’s 25th annual Hunters Welcome will be held at the Sioux Falls Regional Airport October 17-18, just ahead of opening weekend of the 2019 pheasant hunting season. Local businesses participating in welcoming pheasant hunters will join in the fun as the CVB rolls out the red carpet to welcome hunters flying in from across the country. Hunters will be greeted with cookies and coffee, Sioux Falls visitor information, and a small gift to show the CVB’s appreciation for them flying into Sioux Falls.

Family Travel Association Summit

Later this month CVB sales manager, Jackie Wentworth, will attend the Family Travel Association’s (FTA) annual summit in Custer State Park. The FTA Summit is held in a different location each year and the South Dakota Department of Tourism was influential in landing the event in the state. The three-day, trade-only, conference style event brings together the leading players and key influencers in family travel.

The goal of having the Sioux Falls CVB represented at the FTA Summit is to meet one-on-one in pre-arranged appointments with industry professionals while gaining key insights and learning about best practices from the experts through inspiring presentations, interactive workshops and enlightening research. Also, in attendance will be a select group of over 100 Media Center Members, including those who represent brands such as AFAR, Travel + Leisure, Scholastic, Expedia, Travel Age West, and a host of vetted, quality bloggers and freelancers.

The FTA Summit has become the preeminent industry event to network with family-focused suppliers, travel agents and media professionals. Attendees will learn what’s shaping family travel and how to promote family-focused attractions to the travel industry’s influencers and decision-makers.

Sioux Falls Pickleball

Are you familiar with pickleball? If not, you should be. Did you know that pickleball is the fastest growing sport in the country over the last 10 years? The Sioux Falls Pickleball Club started in 2011 with four players, and they have grown exponentially since that time. Members of the club aren’t just from Sioux Falls, they also have members living in places such as Sioux City, Mitchell, Pierre, Rapid City, Spearfish and more. The club primarily plays at Riverdale Park, where they have six courts. A pickleball tournament will be held at the Sanford Pentagon October 19-20. Those that are avid pickleball fans, or even those that are looking to learn more about the sport are encouraged to join the Sioux Falls Pickleball Club.

Connect Independent Planners

The CVB will be at Connect Independent Planners at the end of this month in Grand Rapids, MI. Connect Independent Planners is a reverse tradeshow put on by Connect Meetings. Connect Meetings brings together meeting and event planners with suppliers to interact and build relationships as well as exchange RFPs, arrange future site visits and book events.

The event includes three days of general sessions, preset appointments and networking opportunities. The Sioux Falls CVB will be meeting with independent planners focusing on national association, corporate and international meetings and events.

Sanford International

The Sanford International capped off its second year resulting in another huge success. This PGA TOUR Champions event, which took place last month at the Minnehaha Country Club, featured over 75 players. The winner of this year’s event was Rocco Mediate. Next year’s event will be held September 7-13.

The CVB saw a large number of visitor foot-traffic at their booth, where they provided information about area attractions, restaurants, shopping and more.

CVB to Attend Connect Faith

Sioux Falls CVB sales manager, Erin DeWitt, will represent Sioux Falls at Connect Faith in Grand Rapids, MI at the end of the month. Connect Faith is an annual education conference and appointment-only reverse tradeshow. The reverse tradeshow system matches planners and suppliers for individual appointments based on their needs, requests and additional factors. This show brings together active planners, suppliers and industry experts in faith-based meetings and events for three days of general sessions, workshops, appointments and numerous networking events. DeWitt will have the opportunity to meet with over 30 faith-based meeting planners during one-on-one pre-scheduled appointments. Thousands of suppliers and meeting planners will meet in Grand Rapids looking for new opportunities and growth.

South Dakota Rodeo Association Finals

The South Dakota Rodeo Association (SDRA) will hold their Finals in Sioux Falls October 11-13 at the W.H. Lyon Fairgrounds. This event will feature some of the top rodeo talent from around the state. Taking place during all three days is the Dakota Cowboy Trade Show, as well as the High School Extravaganza on Saturday. The SDRA is expecting a crowd of 4,000 in attendance.

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