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Tourism 101: What is a CVB?

What is a Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB)? In this blog, Grace Caswell, executive director of the Noble County Convention and Visitors Bureau, explores the many benefits of destination management organizations.

April through November is Visit Noble County's "business time" of the year, as the area welcomes over 75% of all visitors during this period. As we await the arrival of another summer season, it's a great time to pause and share some insights about the tourism industry and what kinds of services a convention and visitors bureau (CVB) or destination management organization (DMO) has to offer residents, visitors, and tour partners.

Tri State Indiana Bluegrass Festival, Sylvan Cellars Event Center, Hemmingway Wetlands and Gazebo at Gene Stratton Porter State Historic Site, Tiger at Black Pine Animal Sanctuary, Baker Hall Wedding Venue at the Mid America Windmill Museum, Front door of Kimmel House Inn Bed and Breakfast

Visit Noble County is Noble County, Indiana's official CVB, established under statutes. Many counties and cities in Indiana have CVBs. These organizations may also be referred to as destination management organizations, or DMOs. Sometimes, DMOs are not CVBs, but it's safe to assume any CVB is a DMO.

No matter what you call us, our primary responsibility is to promote a town, city, state, or region in an effort to increase the number of travelers, overnight stays, and to spur commerce.

While we are great at promotions and marketing, most CVBs and DMOs do significantly more than that. Think of us as a marketing, management, and relationship department for a geographic region, an extra tool in a destination's leadership toolbelt.

My job, as a director, is to develop and execute strategies that raise awareness about all of the beautiful things Noble County has to offer, like our 117 lakes. To do this, I create and publish articles, blogs, videos, guides, and social media content. I aim to help travelers and local tourism partners (those who make our region truly a "destination") connect to create a rejuvenating vacation experience.

You may already know that we create beautiful guides and flyers, engaging websites, and informative and timely blog posts. Sometimes, we also invite travel writers from other areas to tour our region in hopes our destination will be highlighted and promoted to their readers. We are active on all forms of social media, too. But wait, there's more!

A CVB is another lane for economic development

CVBs and DMOs are the home of the "visitor economy." Our clients are the residents and partners that reside within our destination. We partner with visitors to our destination as investors in our community. We drive economic development by flipping the script, by driving in a separate lane towards the same goal as our local economic development organization (LEDO), which focuses on other contributors and partners that help create a thriving local economy.

Our motto is Visit, Play, Live, Work. The perceptions of visitors drive enhancements to quality of life and quality of place in our community. Sometimes, when we're most successful, visitors later become permanent residents!

We promote and support local events and festivals

At the annual Ligonier Marshmallow Festival, Visit Noble County enhances a kick-off by providing S'more makings for the community bonfire, expanding messaging and raising awareness of our mission.
At the annual Ligonier Marshmallow Festival, Visit Noble County enhances a kick-off by providing S'more makings for the community bonfire, expanding messaging and raising awareness of our mission.

We are partnership-driven. We have tour partners who can help support and expand almost any local event to be bigger, better, and more impactful. We work to tackle challenges and help find solutions to meet community needs for transportation, entertainment, food, and more to help ensure a successful, sustainable outcome.

We provide information about local offers found nowhere else

At any given time, we may be able to offer rebates, discounts, and VIP tour options that are not available anywhere else, enhancing - and possibly extending - a traveler's stay. We are well-versed in our region’s “hidden gems,” too. When on a family trip or scoping out a possible vacation destination, we encourage you to ask the local CVB or DMO at your chosen destination how to find the best offers available there.

We market small and large meeting spaces

The restored early 1900's era auditorium at the Community Learning Center can host performances, meetings and presentations with state-of-the-art audio/visual technologies.
The restored early 1900's era auditorium at the Community Learning Center can host performances, meetings and presentations with state-of-the-art audio/visual technologies.

With the word “convention” in our name, you might guess we also market local venues for group meet-ups. Small meetings represent 70% of all meetings (those with less than 50 attendees) in the U.S. and more than $10 billion annually in spending. We strive (and compete) for planners to choose Noble County to host their next event!

Noble County has a variety of small meeting venues to offer, and we are here to help you find them! Like The Reception Room inside the Community Learning Center, Baker Hall at the Mid America Windmill Museum, and The Madison Rose inside Black Creek Ridge Flower Farm.

We ❤️ to help go above and beyond to fulfill special requests

CVB Board Members & Staff
CVB Board Members and Staff celebrating our graduates at the Engage Noble Leadership Academy graduation.

Suppose a visiting group wishes to collect food for a local pantry, spend a half-day volunteering on a local service project, or contribute to a local non-profit cause. We are here to help make that extraordinary experience a reality!

Maybe, while visiting, you want to learn more about wine, beer, and food pairings, or kayak down a river, across a lake, or through a chain of nine lakes. These experiences are great for a team bonding or training day. Whatever your wish, we will work with you to make it happen.

We can provide helping hands and other support services

Visit Noble County Staff volunteering to work informational booths and help set up NoblePalooza 2024, and Grace Caswell, Executive Director of the Noble County Convention & Visitors Bureau, along with the ITA Academy graduating class of 2024

Visit Noble County's staff goes above and beyond in our role as your destination concierge. We are ready to assist visitors, as well as local partners, to enrich experiences across Noble County and the greater region!

If you are a local tourism partner in need of additional "boots on the ground" at an upcoming event registration table, or to stuff visitor goodie bags, to judge a parade or food recipe, make commemorative tee shirts, or serve as tour guides to VIP guests and guest speakers, call us! Our team can help to provide or rally the support you need.

We are community leaders and partners

Grace Caswell, far right in front row, joins colleagues from across Indiana to learn, collaborate, and enhance the visitor experience and economic impact in Hoosier communities.

CVBs and DMOs are typically great connectors within a community. We partner with our neighbors in the greater region and state to multiply and enhance efforts that support local, regional, and statewide economic development and vitality.

We are in the trenches alongside other leaders in tourism, arts and culture, festival planning, talent recruitment, recreation, main streets, towns, cities, and economic development. We do our best and learn the most while being a part of an extensive network of leaders who join us in our desire to drive tourism and improve the quality of life.

"CVBs are destination marketing and managing departments for our counties and communities. We are intentional stewards of our communities' greatest assets and resources." - Grace Caswell

My job, and the job of Visit Noble County, is to propel awareness of Noble County and Northeast Indiana as a destination - one to visit and one to in which to live.

I encourage you, if a tourism partner in Noble County, to get in touch and remain current on free and low-cost advertising opportunities, upcoming events, learning opportunities, and other news. Consider applying for a Visit Noble County Tourism Grant today to help boost tourism at your location and our destination!

I am excited to be here and look forward to serving you!

Grace Caswell Executive Director Visit Noble County


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