DuMore in DuPage
DuPage County has a fresh face. And Beth Marchetti, executive director of the DuPage Convention & Visitors Bureau (DCVB), is confident you'll see a side of DuPage you've never seen before.
As one of the healthiest counties in Illinois, with miles of bike trails, golf courses and forest preserves, combined with a sophisticated range of shopping, dining and cultural experiences, the DCVB wants you to know you can DuMore in DuPage -- for your body, mind and budget.
"When representing an area as large as DuPage County, it is important to think inclusively from the point of view of visitor and a planner," explained Marchetti. "With the new DuMore DuPage brand, we can share the DuPage story in a more experiential, meaningful way. We aim to show the shared values and common themes across our 38 communities -- such as health/wellness, high-end offerings and small-town charm -- while highlighting each community's unique personality."
A campaign with the new brand was on display this summer in the Chicagoland area and surrounding region, consisting of digital, transit, billboard components, and more. A newly branded DuPage Visitors Guide is also now available.
The DCVB officially rolled out its new branding for DuPage County in July, after spending more than a year in the research and planning phase -- all a part of the organization's strategic planning process called GPS: A Tourism Roadmap.
"The timing was right for a state-of-the-industry analysis," said Marchetti. "Going one step further, we evaluated what our audiences knew about DuPage, and what makes us stand out in the Chicagoland area. DuPage has significant amenities that set us apart from our neighbors, but we also discovered opportunities to expand the stories to further drive visitation."
Efforts extend beyond the new look and feel to strategic collaborations resulting in partnerships, such as with the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County -- a partnership driven by common goals to increase community vitality and promote awareness of DuPage County's identity as a haven for natural areas and healthy lifestyles.
"Moving forward with the Tourism Roadmap, we are building stronger connections and linking products for easier use by residents and visitors alike," said Marchetti. "When the comprehensive industry comes together under one unified vision, everyone wins, as marketing reach is maximized and the visitor experience becomes seamless."
As a "destination architect," the DCVB is prioritizing collaboration with additional businesses and industry leaders -- from science to education to health care and more. This will mean more opportunities for planners to tap into the unique resources in DuPage, including intellectual and physical infrastructures.
Also underway, yet in its early stages, is a working product development committee and comprehensive study on sports tourism opportunities in DuPage County. The committee will discuss ways to close the gap with DuPage County competitors, while the study will review resident quality of life, countywide economic impact and whether DuPage can be competitive in the tourism sports market.
The DCVB won't stop there in getting their message out on DuPage County. Grassroots efforts have led to greater international exposure, having welcomed over a 1,000 new visitors from China, Asia and other European countries this past year as a part of our group travel and student STEAM programs. And regional sales missions are planned for later this year in partnership with Chicago.
During her tenure as executive director, Marchetti has cultivated and nurtured impressive relationships with 38 communities and hundreds of individual businesses. The result is an invaluable network for planners to tap into when creating their next event. With GPS: A Tourism Roadmap, Marchetti will expand upon that network of success to enhance the visitor experience even further.
No matter the nature of the event, Marchetti's team of tourism professionals at the DCVB work to provide affordable packages for attendees while being mindful of the necessary comforts, conveniences and unforgettable experiences that are expected. Meeting and corporate event planners are never without a multitude of options when it comes to premium quality hotel rooms, millions of square feet of meeting space, and ample recreation opportunities.
And with its location at the crossroads of major expressways and equidistant between Chicago's two major airports, DuPage is truly in the heart of it all.
DuPage County is a destination even to those who live in nearby downtown Chicago. Every week, cyclists load their bikes onto Metra trains and leave the congestion of the city to enjoy an urban escape on the hundreds of miles of bike trails in DuPage. The forest preserve boasts 25,000 acres of trails, lakes and streams. Add in 1,700 acres of gardens and 4,100 species of trees and plants in DuPage's Morton Arboretum and you have an abundance of recreational opportunities to hike, bike, or simply stroll through an impressive array of nature.
For groups that prioritize great food, DuPage has no shortage of world class restaurants. From newly opened Michael Jordan's steakhouse to multiple local breweries and culinary visionaries, great dining experiences are all right here. Myriad of other festivals, quaint downtown districts, world class restaurants and peaceful landscapes draw yet more people to visit DuPage.
For a perfect fit tailored to any group, the DuPage Convention and Visitor's Bureau is truly well positioned to make any meeting, sports event or retreat a success.
• Beth Marchetti is executive director of the DuPage Convention & Visitors Bureau.