"Explore Elgin" earns state tourism award
The Elgin Area Convention and Visitors Bureau won an Illinois "excellence in tourism" award for its "Explore Elgin" branding campaign.
The bureau launched the campaign in December 2017, when it began operating under the name "Explore Elgin Area," and got the award last week during the 2019 Illinois Governor's Conference on Travel & Tourism in Chicago.
"We are hoping the success and synergy of the branding campaign, along with our brand-new website rolling out in the coming months, will continue to build momentum encouraging both residents and visitors alike to explore Elgin," said Krisilee Murphy, the bureau's executive director.
The awards recognize travel and tourism marketing teams across the state. The Elgin bureau tied for "best branding initiative" in the under $500,000 budget category with the city of Columbia, near St. Louis.
According to a news release from the Illinois Office of Tourism, other Chicago-area recipients were: Skydeck Chicago, which got best social media marketing over $500,000; the Art Institute of Chicago, which got best website over $500,000; Visit McHenry County, which tied for best cooperative partnership under $500,000 for its "McHenry County Made Passport" initiative; The Magnificent Mile Association, which got best event or festival over $500,000 for its Magnificent Mile Lights Festival; and the Illinois Holocaust Museum's "Stories of Survival," which got best tourism marketing over $500,000.
The Explore Elgin branding campaign was featured last year in the bureau's visitors guide, social media, various websites and printed materials, hotel packages for visitors and street banners in downtown Elgin, Murphy said. The bureau partnered with area businesses to create buzz, including with #ExploreElgin T-shirts.
According to the bureau's data, 108 businesses and individuals used #ExploreElgin at least once in the past 14 months on social media, and 33 businesses in Elgin featured #ExploreElgin in their Facebook cover photos.
The bureau's budget includes $196,700 from the city of Elgin and nearly $250,000 from the state.