Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Maps Are Another Way DMO’s Are Relevant

One of the ways a Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) is very relevant to a community is as the gatekeeper and renderer of its official maps, often the initial face of any community to visitors and newcomers including executives surveying sites for expansion or relocation.

Durham’s highly accredited DMO, the Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau (DCVB,) partners to produce the community’s official street map and it has just launched a new “lighter” version called The Official Durham Overview & Visitor Map. New Map I say partners because DCVB not only databases part of the City-County GIS map but it then designs and distributes official user friendly versions for print and the web.

The link above and under the image to the right is just to give you an overview of the newest version of the map.  It isn’t the printer friendly version.

The new “overview and map” doesn’t replace the detailed street map produced for the community by DCVB but it is a slimmed down version that is more practical to distribute complimentary through hundreds of outlets the Bureau stocks on a bi-weekly basis including the airport, train station, hotels, corporate reception desks etc.

One side is an overview map of the entire county and an inset for Research Triangle Park, a county district four miles from Downtown and encompassed on three sides by the City.  The other side is a closer up view of the central part of Durham including more street detail and the three campuses of Durham University, Downtown and its districts and North Carolina Central University.  The community’s visitor features, dining and shopping districts, lodging properties, theaters and sports arenas and community facilities etc are all coded to the map.

There are other community services related to maps that are typically provided to a community by its DMO, e.g. DCVB in the case of Durham, such as:


  • Pushing maps out to update online as well as print mapping services for guides, wall maps etc and to GPS providers.


  • Producing print and online versions for visitors, newcomers, residents and other messenger organizations.


  • Pushing updated versions out in response whenever inaccurate or outdated maps are spotted by DCVB staff or reported by hundreds of members of the grass-roots Durham Image Watch.


  • Safeguarding the community and advertisers from inaccurate maps, often produced with very limited or inaccurate content in grossly insufficient quantities either as fund-raisers or solely for profit but not in the community’s best interest.

Durham businesses that are approached to advertise on maps can call DCVB or the DMO in other communities to find out if the requests are legitimate and if they will get enough distribution to make justify the cost and serve the community’s interests.

This all part of a Destination Marketing Organization’s responsibility to its community and its internal and external stakeholders.

No comments: