Tourism RFP Issued By Arlington County Government

2022-04-04 by EPR Staff

The Arlington Convention and Visitors Service (ACVS), a division within the Arlington Economic Development (AED) department of the Arlington County, Virginia government (County), is the official destination marketing organization (DMO) for the County. ACVS promotes the County through a variety of owned, earned and paid communication channels as the ideal combination of convenience and value for visitors to the Washington, D.C. region. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Arlington annually welcomed 7 million visitors that spent nearly $3.6 billion, making it the #1 county in Virginia for tourism economic impact from 2009 through 2019. A vibrant urban destination, the County has 38 hotels with more than 9,500 rooms and nearly 300,000 square feet of meeting space. It is also home to iconic sights including Arlington National Cemetery and the National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial; more than 400 restaurants; major shopping venues and a wide array of local retailers; renowned arts venues; and much more.

During the August 2021 Virginia General Assembly Special Session, the Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC) was appropriated $50 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Tourism Recovery Program funds to revitalize the Commonwealth’s tourism industry in the wake of COVID-19’s devastating impact. The majority of these funds were directed to the 133 Virginia counties and independent cities for tourism marketing and product development via their official DMOs. These funds are to be used by June 30, 2024, for supporting/creating new products and/or activities that touch the visitor and have a direct impact on the hospitality industry’s bottom line by generating revenues from overnight visitation and visitor spending. Arlington County will focus grant resources on VTC’s five designated activity categories: Paid Media, Public Relations, Marketing Production, Sales, and Tourism Product Development.

OBJECTIVE

The intent of this solicitation and resulting agreement is to obtain Creative Services for the ACVS team at AED. The selected firm will work with ACVS staff on key destination marketing and sales initiatives to drive Arlington hospitality industry recovery through June 30, 2024, including: a StayArlington Brand & Messaging Refresh; Creative/Campaign Plans & Implementation; a Digital Asset Plan for photography and video; and ongoing Content Development. For the purpose of this solicitation, Creative Services specifically include: a StayArlington branding assessment, recommendations and refinement; messaging/positioning assessment, recommendations and refinement; tourism marketing campaign creation (seasonal, year-round and special event); content planning and publishing (digital and print); artistic direction; graphic design; copywriting; and miscellaneous related activities.

Services provided under this solicitation will support but NOT INCLUDE the following activities, which are procured separately: Market Research; Website Development/Updates; Public Relations; Media Strategy, Management & Implementation; Paid Media (including Advertising and Brand Partnerships); and Photography and Video Production.

ACVS anticipates entering into a contract for up to five (5) years with the successful Offeror as follows:

• One (1) initial twelve-month term from the date of award of Quick Quote and receipt of Purchase Order (PO) (“Initial Contract Term”)

• Upon satisfactory performance by the Contractor, the County may, through issuance of a PO, authorize continuation of the Agreement under the same contract prices for not more than four (4) additional 12-month periods.

For questions, the Contractor may email contractorvaccineinfo@arlingtonva.us

DELIVERABLES:

The successful Offeror shall do the following:

• Review, assess and refine the existing StayArlington brand and messaging to incorporate new themes that are highly relevant to Arlington’s key tourism audiences in a post-COVID-19 world. Update StayArlington Brand Guidelines accordingly.

o Primary audiences are 1) domestic leisure and business travelers; 2) meeting, group and event planners; 3) domestic tour operators and travel trade; and 4) media.

• Develop and present a minimum of three (3) creative concepts for an overarching StayArlington marketing campaign that can be customized for key audiences; easily modified for annual, seasonal or special event uses; fully integrated across multiple communication channels and devices; and successfully drive awareness, consideration and conversion of Arlington audiences for local hotel stays.

• Work with ACVS staff and designated Media Management vendor to execute campaign deliverables according to an approved Paid Media Plan; refine campaigns throughout contract period based on results.

• Develop a long-term Digital Asset Plan for photography and video that identifies and prioritizes photography and videography needs and includes a continuous schedule for photo and video shoots to highlight Arlington’s unique and diverse people, neighborhoods, stories, businesses and more.

• Write, design and produce a sales profile-sheet template that can be customized for different audiences and trade events.

• Develop and present a minimum of three (3) e-newsletter template concepts for leisure, meetings and hospitality community audiences. Based on selected concept, design and code three e-newsletter templates.

• Based on updated StayArlington Brand Guidelines, design three pop-up tradeshow displays of varying sizes to-be-determined.

• Based on updated StayArlington Brand Guidelines, design an online presentation template.

• Based on updated StayArlington Brand Guidelines, design a wrap for Arlington’s Mobile Visitors Center van.

• Write, design and/or produce other sales and marketing content or collateral as needed.

• Provide Account Management services including weekly email communications with the ACVS project manager; monthly virtual or in-person meetings with the ACVS team; and a monthly update of projects.

• Provide additional and optional services at agreed-upon hourly rates specified for Offeror’s assigned team members.

RESPOND BY: 5:00 p.m. on April 5, 2022

Tourism PR firms include Coyne PR and Zeno Group.