Business Corner


COOLinary- August 1- 31

COOLinary New Orleans Restaurant Month exceeded all expectations this year with more than 80 participating restaurants, 158,556 users, 190,213 sessions and more than 1.2 million page views. These results were a 98% increase year over year. There were many factors that we can attribute to this success. Our new partnership with the Louisiana Restaurant Association assisted us in increasing the number of participating restaurants, our new mobile friendly website redesign made it easier for us to reach more people and an earlier launch of marketing and PR efforts started the program with increased momentum. We estimate that more than 20,000 meals were served through the COOLinary program.



Public Relations

DMAI- July 14-17

Kristian Sonnier, Erica Taylor and Tara Micelle attended the annual Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI) Annual Convention in Austin, TX July 14-17. The convention provided valuable information about destination branding, social responsibility and the latest technologies such as drones, apps and virtual reality.


MPI WEC- August 1-4

The New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB), in partnership with the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center (MCCNO), sponsored the press room at the Meeting Professionals International (MPI) World Education Conference (WEC) from August 1-4 in San Francisco, CA, which was attended by 2,200 meeting professionals from around the country. The press room, frequented by 25 of the most prominent meetings trade journalists, was the hub of media networking where the CVB and MCCNO hosted a Happy Hour on Monday, August 2 from 6-7 p.m., featuring New Orleans' famous Hurricanes, logoed to-go cups, pralines, Tricentennial lapel pins and flash drives. In addition, the CVB's Director of Group PR and Senior Sales Manager at the MCCNO, and both current Gulf States Chapter board members, presented updates on the city with the theme of "From K-10 to Tricentennial." Writers from Smart Meetings Magazine, Meetings Focus, MPI Professional and the editor and chief of USAE were in attendance and were very attentive and interested, asking many questions and applauding after the "Business" video teaser video was aired. We received overwhelming feedback about how remarkable the renaissance has been and how much they loved covering New Orleans. All in all, the sponsorship was hugely successful in nurturing relationships, meeting new contacts and continuing to keep New Orleans in the forefront of their minds when deciding on which DMO or destination to highlight.

Katrina 10- August 24-29

The City of New Orleans hosted a full week of commemorative activities surrounding the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. The CVB participated in the events through moderating panels, assisting in the press room, volunteering for the official Day of Service and hosting a panel discussion of industry partners. The panel, "A Convention Destination Once Again," featured five major meetings partners who showed strong commitment to the city in the decade since Katrina (watch clips from the panel HERE). The week of commemoration and reflection resulted in significant positive media coverage from national and international publications including leisure, group travel and meetings industry publications.


USAE 40 Under 40

Tara Letort, CMP, the Director of Group Public Relations here at the CVB, has been awarded the Forty Under 40 Award by Association Forum of Chicagoland and USAE. This prestigious award recognizes emerging leaders in the nonprofit and association industries under the age of 40 who demonstrate high potential for success in leadership roles and exhibit a strong commitment to the association management profession. Tara was chosen from hundreds of nominees and is the only 2015 honoree from a destination marketing organization (DMO) in the public relations role. Full media alert HERE.


External Affairs

Business After Hours - August 6

Business After Hours was held on August 6 at Latrobe's on Royal. All catering was provided by the Besh Restaurant Group and Global Staffing Solutions partnered with Latrobe's to provide staffing. We had 250 members in attendance at this quarterly networking event.

We also partnered with the Young Leadership Council and RECreate to collect school supplies for families in need in our area. This was a huge success! We collected an array of school supplies including paper, notebooks, crayons, pencils, pens, highlighters and so much more. With the donations collected between our staff and CVB members, we were able to supply 50 of ReCreate's youth participants with a bag of school supplies totaling approximately $15 to $20 each. ReCreate is able to use the additional supplies in their educational and cultural enrichment activities for the remaining 2015 fall season.

Member Holiday Breakfast - December 4

External Affairs is hosting a catered Member Holiday Breakfast on December 4th for all members. It will be from 8am - 10am in the downstairs conference room as a way to say "thank you" to our members and offer a little holiday cheer. Members can stop in have some breakfast and network for a bit before heading to the office. Members will also be encouraged to bring a teddy bear for the 2nd Annual Arnaud's Teddy Bear Program.

Hospitality Industry Holiday Party - December 10

The New Orleans CVB, Greater New Orleans Hotel and Lodging Association and the Louisiana Restaurant Association Greater New Orleans Chapter will be hosting their annual Hospitality Industry Holiday Party from 6pm - 9pm on December 10th at Messina's at the Terminal at the New Orleans Lakefront Airport. Music is being provided by After 8 and catering by Messina's Catering. The CVB will pay for employees to attend the party, if any employee wishes to bring a guest the ticket price is $45 per person. Please see External Affairs with any questions or to submit payment.


Executive Office

St. Jude's Legends for Charity Award- August 21

"St. Jude in the Big Easy," a Legends for Charity Event, honored CVB Board Member Doug Thornton, Executive Vice President of SMG, for his dedication to New Orleans and his instrumental leadership in rebuilding the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.  The event will took place on Thursday August 20 at the Hyatt Regency in New Orleans and benefited St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

Doug Thornton spearheaded the Herculean effort to rebuild one of sports' most iconic venues. The Superdome returned better than ever and hosted the Saints' first home game in the new stadium in September 2006, which marked a palpable shift in the spirit of the local residents who needed inspiration to rebuild. The New Orleans Saints' return to the Superdome became symbolic of the city's restoration - going from the worst to the best, eventually becoming Super Bowl Champions in 2010. Former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue, who presided over the league as Doug and the Saints readied the Superdome and the city for the Saints' return, was the featured guest speaker and made the award presentation.

U.S. Travel Roundtable Discussion- August 21

The CVB, in conjunction with the U.S. Travel Association, hosted Congressman Cedric Richmond for a Roundtable Discussion on travel and tourism and the congressional landscape on key industry issues. The panel discussed International visitation, the JOLT Act, H.R. 1401, airport modernization and infrastructure investments and the current Open Skies Agreements. The Roundtable was held in the Purple Heart Room at the WWII Museum on August 21st.

YLC 2015 Role Model Gala- September 12

Young Leadership Council (YLC) proudly announced our President and CEO, Stephen Perry, as part of the 2015 Role Model class. Composed of business, community and civic leaders, the 2015 Role Model class was honored at the 29th Annual YLC Role Model Awards Gala on Saturday, September 12 at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans Hotel.

Since 1986, YLC has annually sought nominations for local individuals who distinguish themselves as Role Models by actively contributing to the betterment of the Greater New Orleans region and by serving as an example not only to YLC's young professional members but also to the community at large.

National Black College Alumni Hall Chairman's Award

The CVB's incoming Chair-Elect, Michael Smith, General Manager of the Hyatt Regency New Orleans, was inducted into the National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame and was recognized with the organization's esteemed Chairman's Award. This is only the second time the award has only been extended in the organization's 30-year history, and was previously given to C.T. Vivian for his efforts during the American Civil Rights Movement.


Public Affairs

Career Fair- July 15

Councilmember LaToya Cantrell, the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau and New Orleans Tourism and Marketing Corporation hosted July's Flash Career Fair featuring a variety of jobs within the hospitality and tourism industry. The career fair was located at the New Orleans Jazz Market within Councilmember Cantrell's district on July 15 from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. There were more than 100 job seekers in attendance. Employers at the event included Hyatt Regency New Orleans, Walk-On's Restaurant and the Orpheum Theater.

Career Fair- September 15

The September Flash Career Fair brought out several employers from across the industry, including major hotels like the Sheraton New Orleans and museums like the New Orleans Museum of Art and the Audubon Institute. NOCVB partnered with Councilmember Jared Brossett to host the career fair in his district at the Historic Carver Theater on September 15 from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. There were a total of 198 attendees at the event looking for job opportunities or assistance with job applications.