Marketing director Megan Buchbinder holding award.Two local organizations received awards from the Missouri Division of Tourism in October. 

The Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau received the prestigious Marketing Campaign Award and KYTV received the Navigator Media Award.

The Marketing Campaign Award recognizes special achievements in effective, integrated marketing campaigns that lead to increased visitation and revenue. The campaign must employ more than one promotional medium to be eligible.

In 2020, the CVB launched several multi-media campaigns to encourage people to keep Springfield in mind as a vacation destination while being mindful of safety measures to stay healthy. The campaigns contributed to a quicker-than-average recovery for the hospitality industry from the devastating impact of the pandemic.

Megan Buchbinder, marketing director for the CVB, said she was honored the campaigns that were developed and executed during the height of the pandemic were recognized for their effectiveness. The CVB is a nonprofit marketing organization dedicated to boosting the local economy through tourism promotion.

“We’ve been seeing the benefits of these campaigns through better-than-ever hotel statistics,” Buchbinder said. “Springfield’s strong recovery follows one of the most challenging years on record for the hospitality industry. We’re pleased to know the CVB is making a difference in the local economy.”

Along with kickstarting the hospitality industry after travel came to a standstill during the pandemic, the CVB helped other parts of the city’s economy by using the local agencies Revel Advertising; Supper Co.; Locke and Stache; and Starboard & Port to create the campaigns that used mostly local talent.

The bureau invested $2.5 million dollars in the development and execution of the campaigns with the help of grant funding from the Missouri Division of Tourism. 

Spencer Ernst of KYTV holding award.The CVB nominated KYTV for the Navigator Media Award, which goes to a media outlet that promotes tourism in Missouri and its importance to the state's economy. The station launched an 18-week initiative to spotlight local destinations. Segments on "The Place" encouraged viewers to vacation closer to home, and vignettes featured during the show and on social media emphasized the importance of tourism in Missouri.

“KYTV was promoting local destinations during a time when people were reluctant to travel,” said Susan Wade, public relations manager for the CVB. “Those programs helped the struggling local hospitality industry remain viable during the pandemic.” 

Across the state, other organizations received awards at the Governor’s Conference on Tourism that took place in Branson.

  • Hall of Fame: Gina Walsh, former Missouri Senator for the 13th District
  • Pathfinder Award: Perry County Heritage Tourism’s Christmas Country Church Tour
  • Innovator Award: Visit Hermann
  • Rising Star Award: Melissa Wharton, tourism coordinator in West Plains
  • Hospitality Award: Tim Riley, director and chief curator at America’s National Churchill Museum
  • Legislative Award: Aaron Griesheimer, Missouri Representative for the 61st District
  • Film Industry Champion Award: Kathryn Swan, former Missouri Representative for the 147th District

For more details about the awards, visit

Sample CVB video ads from the campaign