Macon-Bibb CVB Rolls Out New Brand and Logo at Annual Meeting
by Clarence Thomas, Jr.

Macon-Bibb County's marketing efforts got a huge boost during the 35th annual meeting of the Macon-Bibb County Convention and Visitors Bureau on January 21.

Held at the Professional Science Center on the campus of Middle Georgia State University, the event featured a panel comprised of executive CVB leaders from Cabarrus County, N.C., Kentucky Lake, KY and Enid, OK discussing branding; the presentation of a proclamation to the local convention and visitors bureau from the Office of the Mayor; lunch and the bestowing of awards on individuals who contributed to local tourism efforts last year by MBCCVB President and Chief Executive Officer Monica Smith.

Commissioner Larry Schlesinger presenting a county proclamation to MBCCVB President/CEO Monica Smith during 35th annual meeting

The main attraction was the unveiling of the MBCCVB's new brand and logo "Where Soul Lives". Smith says that the brand is so much more than a logo. She describes it as a way visitors can interpret the fun, music, festivals and food; and for residents, the beauty, history and energy of the area. "It's beautiful, friendly, exciting, full of history and alive with energy - and it’s that combination that has created this beautiful thing we call soul," she says.

The brand and logo was created by the convention and visitors bureau in concert with Breensmith advertising agency and ChandlerThinks advertising and branding according to a press release from the office of MBCCVB communications director Valarie Bradley. The Macon portion of the logo is designed to serve as a bold yet playful mark that denotes the city's colorful past and vibrant future. The arches at the end of the "M" and "N" are designed to serve as a nod to Macon's central location for both commerce and recreational travelers. The tagline "Where Soul Lives" speaks to Macon's rich history and what it is today - a vibrant, growing city teaming with hospitality and history with a ton of offerings for visitors and residents.

Over the past year, the CVB booked 108 group tours that resulted in 2,650 attendees and 18,000 hotel room nights. The top five repeat conventions and the top five new conventions drew more than 22,000 folks. The CVB website got 240,000 hits from unique visitors that helped the site total 775,000 views in 2015. The Visitors Center saw 658,000 travelers come through its doors and referred almost 47,000 of them to local hotels, shopping, restaurants, attractions or camp sites.

A local historic site manager and a restaurant owner are impressed with the branding effort and believe it will be helpful. Gerri McCord directs the Ruth Hartley Mosley Center. She says from day one the Macon CVB has been a strong supporter and her go to agency for assistance in marketing and showcasing the historic home of its namesake. "The new brand is fitting and reflects their continued commitment towards capturing and promoting the essence of our town," added McCord. Back to Edenz Vegetarian Restaurant owner Gerad Andre admits to being a beneficiary of out of town guests. Many of his patrons are health conscientious consumers looking for an eatery in Macon that meet their back home needs while here. "I welcome the CVB effort to highlight our strengths in a profound way,"