Santa Monica Convention & Visitors Bureau (SMCVB) took home two Best Idea Awards from the Western Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus earlier this month.

The bureau was recognized for a social media contest that coincided with the opening of Santa Monica Place and the Mannequin Collective art exhibit. The bureau created “Sandy Monica,” a British tourist, represented by a fashionable mannequin, who was visiting the city for a month. Using Twitter and Facebook, bureau staff would keep fans informed as to Sandy’s activities. Fans were invited to submit an idea for a final adventure for Sandy for a chance to win a $500 gift card to stores at Santa Monica Place.

SMCVB’s other winning Best Idea project was the development of a partnership with Striker Media in support of Santa Monica hotels and their marketing and sales efforts. The partnership provided each of the city’s conference-style hotels with customized copies of a publication, which focused on their property specifically.

The customized sales pieces are unique to Santa Monica, and have not been created in any other destination, bureau officials said. Each of the hotel’s customized marketing materials included a personalized cover featuring a photo of the hotel, as well as expanded property highlights with additional pages in the accommodations section.

This year’s Best Idea Program awards were presented during the 2010 WACVB Annual Conference, held October 13-15, in Salt Lake City. Following receipt of the entry forms, a board-appointed task force reviewed the submissions and selected several ideas for presentation at the conference. Representatives from several bureaus presented their best ideas during the conference.

Throughout this year, SMCVB has been recognized for its many exemplary endeavors, netting them various honors and awards. One of the awards was first runner up for the 2010 Best Industries Reader’s Choice Awards within the category of the Best Destination Marketing Organization from the Southern California Meetings + Events Magazine.


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