Albany, New York - The Albany County Convention & Visitors Bureau is proud to announce that it has won the MARCOM Award for our 2016 "Hamilton in Albany" Marketing Campaign. The award was presented at the Glen Sanders Mansion, Wednesday, November 16, by the New York Capital Region Chapter of the American Marketing Association and the Public Relations Society of America NY Capital Region Chapter.
The "Hamilton in Albany" marketing campaign leveraged the immense popularity of Hamilton: An American Musical to highlight Alexander Hamilton's local connections to Albany. The Bureau worked with Schuyler Mansion State Historic Site, Albany Institute of History & Art, and First Church of Albany to assemble and promote new tourism products that focus on Hamilton's time in New York's Capital City. The products included a Hamilton focused tour at Schuyler Mansion, an exhibit on Hamilton at Albany Institute of History & Art, and a walking tour created by the ACCVB that highlights additional Albany sites and businesses. To unify the experiences into a cohesive package, the Bureau produced a full-color brochure, "Hamilton in Albany."
"This small-budget campaign had a big impact," says Michele Vennard, President and CEO of the Albany County Convention & Visitors Bureau. "It connected local resources into a cohesive ‘visitor package,' promoted Albany to a whole new audience, and drove increased traffic to important visitor attractions, helping ensure their sustainability. We were gratified by the results, and plan to mount similar efforts for future tourism campaigns."
Our marketing campaign consisted of print and digital ads, as well as media outreach. We took out a display ad in the travel section of the New Jersey Star-Ledger and NJ.com and Facebook ads targeting Hamilton and theater fans who were in Metropolitan areas (New York City, New Jersey, Boston) within a day's drive of Albany, and did a media FAM Tour, which we chronicled on social media.
Our partners reported that the number of visitors to their sites increased dramatically, and tied this directly to our promotion efforts. Visitors to the Schuyler Mansion State Historic Site June-September of this year was up 118% percent over the same period during the previous year, and visits to Albany Institute were up 53%. In fact, Schuyler Mansion had 5,543 visitors during this period, which is more than the total number of visitors they had for all of 2015. Both partners reported seeing younger people at their sites, and they were thrilled to be engaging with this new demographic.
Perhaps one of the most exciting developments was WMHT's decision to produce a documentary about Alexander Hamilton's relationship to Albany. The Bureau worked closely with WMHT to help them identify and connect with resources in the community, and they used our brochure as a basis for their own walking tour, which they chronicled on social media, and for a PBS grant application to produce the documentary and screening event. They also used the brochure as a "jumping off point" for their own research. The film, which is in production right now, will air on December 4.
About the ACCVB
The Albany County Convention & Visitors Bureau, Inc. was established in 1976 to promote the civic and commercial progress of the community through increased development of conventions and tourism. ACCVB currently represents more than 300 member businesses and assists each year in hundreds of regional meetings. ACCVB also operates the Albany Heritage Area Visitors Center, Henry Hudson Planetarium, and the Albany International Airport Information Center. For more information, call 518-434-1217 or 800-258-3582 or visit www.albany.org.