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Greater Parkersburg CVB holds meeting

Mark Lewis, president and CEO of Greater Parkersburg Convention and Visitors Bureau, recaps 2019 at Thursday night’s annual meeting of the CVB. (Photo by Madeline Scarborough)

PARKERSBURG — The Greater Parkersburg Convention and Visitors Bureau recapped 2019 and started looking ahead to 2020 at Thursday night’s annual meeting of the CVB at the Parkersburg Art Center.

“It has been a great year bringing attention to local businesses and all the best events this area has to offer,” said Blair Couch, chairman of the Greater Parkersburg Convention and Visitors Bureau Board.

According to Couch, 2019 saw “a lengthy list of accomplishments.”

“Innovation and additional funding from a stellar 2018 helped to propel significant increases in website traffic and other major marketing metrics,” said Couch.

According to Mark Lewis, president and CEO of Greater Parkersburg Convention and Visitors Bureau, the bureau increased its social media efforts by hiring a social media manager, Avery West, and has seen a great response.

“In the past year our Instagram followers increased by 18.5 percent, Twitter by 2.5 percent and Facebook by 9 percent,” Lewis said.

Website traffic for the CVB was up 66.7 percent, he said.

The 2019 year also saw creative improvements, such as the downtown selfie stations and the bureau’s remodeling, Lewis said.

The remodeling gave the CVB an “updated” look, and better highlights on what the community has to offer.

“We have sections like gateway to adventure, good eats, what’s happening, shop local, stay awhile and discover our story, to help visitors find exactly what they are looking for,” said Lewis.

The Mid-Ohio Valley hosts many events throughout the year. Couch said one noticed growth was in the record number of paddlers that showed up and spent the weekend in Parkersburg for the Paddlefest Weekend.

“We believe that the success of tourism in our area comes through the success of each of our partners,” said Couch.

A video was provided by Stonewall Marketing, one of the CVB’s partners, that highlighted 2019 accomplishments, events and everyday activities such as hiking that represent what makes the Mid-Ohio Valley “unique and beautiful,” Lewis said.

“Every year we learn from our efforts and keep building on them to help bring attention to the area,” said Lewis.

Madeline Scarborough can be reached at Mscarborough@newsandsentinel.com

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