The Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau is in the process of developing a new branding platform to improve its advertising and promotional effectiveness.

Each year, the CVB conducts a more than $1 million advertising campaign designed to inspire people to visit Springfield. The CVB retained MMGY Global, its Kansas City-based advertising and research agency that specializes in travel and tourism, to develop the brand.

The research-based process includes a variety of steps to ensure that all key stakeholders have a voice in the development of the new brand.

Beginning in August, the branding development team conducted one-on-one interviews with more than 50 business and community leaders in Springfield. Next, several CVB and MMGY staffers conducted focus groups in St. Louis and Kansas City, two primary advertising markets for Springfield.

In each city, moderators spoke with two groups of people - one comprised of people who had been to Springfield within the last two years and another group who had not been to Springfield but were interested in visiting.

Finally, a quantitative online survey was developed by Springfield-based H2R Market Research. The survey is available to visitors, non-visitors, local stakeholders and Springfield residents. Anyone interested in completing the survey can click here.

Once the research is conducted, MMGY’s research team will compile the results and work with the CVB to develop the brand platform.

Laura Whisler, marketing director for the CVB said, “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to bring in experts outside our organization to look at what we’ve been doing, talk to our visitors and develop techniques to improve our marketing efforts going forward. This process is critical for the continued success of our advertising and marketing programs into the future.”

The CVB plans to unveil the new brand at its Salute to Travel & Tourism Banquet Feb. 19 at the DoubleTree Hotel.

The CVB is a nonprofit marketing organization dedicated to improving the local economy through growth in travel and tourism.