putinbayreservations.com is proud to present this article from the Put-in-Bay Gazette’s November 2022 issue. For the best South Bass Island journalism, visit putinbay.news and subscribe to the Gazette today!
By Brian Cultice, President
As we close out the 2022 season we’d like to extend an enormous amount of gratitude to all our volunteers, supporters, donors and members. We’re thankful for all of your help making 2022 one of the best tourist seasons in the history of South Bass Island.
We had a very busy year in 2022. Changing up how our membership meetings are held, one meeting in the spring and one meeting in the fall, proved to be a great solution as attendance at both meetings was higher than ever. We added a few new showcases for Put-in-Bay with AAA, having our information and island guides available at the Columbus State Fair and also the Pittsburgh Auto Show. One new publication you may have seen Put-in-Bay being promoted in was the Ohio Magazine. We secured a two page spread featuring all of our events for the season and also paid ads for various businesses on the island. The marketing strategy was a little different this year for our large paid ad campaign. Rather than paying an ad agency to create our graphics and strategize the ad spend, we worked directly with iHeart Media and created our assets in house with our Event and Marketing Director Jordan Jenkins and our intern Noah “Theo” Theodore. The campaign proved to be quite successful with a return of 1.4 million impressions across multiple platforms, web, social media, radio and email marketing. Our target market once again this year was weekday visits targeting families and the empty nester crowd within the greater Cleveland region.
Other notable marketing statistics include: 250k island guides and 125k island maps distributed; 917k total impressions from our own Facebook and Instagram pages, with an increase of 11% in followers; 785k TikTok views; an increase in reach by 41% on Facebook and 26% on Instagram, with paid ad reach increasing by 126% and paid ad impressions increasing by 267%; our newsletter database grew by 27% with an open rate of 37%. For our efforts, we were awarded three Ruby Awards from the Ohio Travel Association, Best Marketing Campaign, Best Newsletter and Innovative Marketing for the Put-in-Bay Sign at the South Bass Island State Park.
In 2022, we were able to raise over $150,000 at more than 30 events. We also received 6 grants totalling over $20,000. Shores and Islands Ohio awarded us with a Destination Development Grant for $9,000 that will be used to update the old signage on the island and help to create new signage with our new logo and branding images.
As we look to improve upon our success in 2022 be sure to look for many more changes in 2023, including a revamp of some of our events and an even larger marketing footprint. Island Wine Festival is being replaced with Island Hops and Vine Festival and will take place in the tent in DeRivera Park. Our traditional New Year’s at the Bay event will also be revamped and incorporated into Big Day at the Bay, now permanently the 4th weekend in September. One brand new event in 2023 will be Pride Week and kick off with the annual drag show at the Round House Bar on June 12th. We’re also in talks to have a special performance on the Sunday of Labor Day Weekend, Sept. 3rd. You’ll have to keep up with our newsletter over the winter for that announcement when it becomes official.
Our Executive Director, Wendy Chambers, has been very busy contacting all our members about renewals for 2023. If you have any questions about joining the Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Bureau you may reach out to Wendy at email@example.com.
We’d like to wish everyone a safe and happy winter and can’t wait to kick off the new season in April 2023!
The previous piece is published in this month’s Put-in-Bay Gazette. The Gazette has been producing incredible independent Put-in-Bay island news for over 40 years. If you have any interest at all in what is happening on South Bass Island, we urge you strongly to subscribe to the Put-in-Bay Gazette. One-year online subscriptions are only $15, and print subscriptions are available as well. To subscribe please click here.