From the Desk of Diane Shober: Celebrating 10 Years as your Tourism Director
Ten Years!! Can you believe it has been 10 years? Well, tis true. This month I’m celebrating a decade of serving as your state tourism director. Thank you for the honor!
So much has changed since I started way back in June 2003. Obviously, my age, eyesight, weight and hair color but let’s not focus on those changes. Let’s turn our attention to the evolutions in our world of destination marketing. Here goes……
Diane’s top 10 Amazing Changes of the last decade:
Diane Shober - Circa 2003
- Budget – grown from $5.5 million a year to $12.5 million a year (hooray, resources!).
- Marketing Emphasis – went from a mostly regional, print only campaign to a national, fully integrated, brand centric, advertising endeavor. Wyoming – Forever West!
- Website – transitioned from a static, one-dimensional website to an award-winning flexible, dynamic response platform that has been optimized for mobile and tablets (just think, in 2003, mobile was a rotating toy hung above a baby’s crib and a tablet paper for 1st graders).
- 800 # - was once the primary source of inquiries and today represents less than 2% of all inquiries. Phased out like rotary dial phones and vinyl records.
- Welcome Centers – small lobbies with static displays have given way to interpretive panels, interactive displays, integrating architecture and art with the landscape to further tell a Wyoming story. Pretty impressive!
- Destination Development – you, all of you have evolved! The growth and development of the local lodging tax boards and the marketing campaigns being deployed by our destinations is incredible. (good work, people!!)
- Film Incentive – Lights! Camera! Action! Modern Family, Django Unchained, Flicka and countless documentaries and other productions have filmed on location in Wyoming because we now have FIFI (not a French poodle, but the Film Industry Financial Incentive).
- Tourism Board – initially authorized by a “budget footnote,” and finally put into statute, I’ve worked for some amazing people and am the beneficiary of some wonderful friendships. To board members past and present, and those no longer with us, thank you for supporting me and for being unwavering champions of tourism.
- Staff – while many of the faces have changed over the past decade, one thing I can promise you that hasn’t changed is the dedication and passion for what they do. Love, love, love!
- Wyoming – thank goodness some things never change and can still remain amazing. How lucky are we to live and work in this great place??
I’ve truly loved the last 10 years. And I’m so proud of our accomplishments, individually and collectively. Reflecting on the past 10 years confirms that we capable of great things. Just imagine what we’ll accomplish in the next 10 years - I can’t wait!
Thank you for the partnerships, the friendships and the many, many chuckles. And thanks for letting me “ride for the brand.”