Visitor Guide

Rome CVB wins statewide Tourism Smackdown

Posted September 3, 2012 by Kristi Kent in News

Friday, August 31, 2012

GRCVB Contact:
Chris Cannon, director of communications
From left:  Katie Dempsey, member of the Georgia House of Representatives, district 13; Lisa Smith, GRCVB executive director; Ann Hortman, GRCVB sports and events coordinator; Chris Cannon, GRCVB director of communications; Luke Chaffin, GRCVB special events coordinator; and Janet Cochran, GDEcD tourism project manager for Northwest Georgia.
Video Link:

Rome CVB wins statewide Tourism Smackdown
Rome, Ga. — The Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) announced on Wednesday, August 29 that the Greater Rome Convention & Visitors Bureau (GRCVB) has won the 2012 Georgia Tourism Smackdown Challenge.
The Smacktown Challenge was a statewide competition between tourism organizations, attractions, and travel partners and hosted by GDEcD. Each competitor submitted a proposal outlining a tourism marketing campaign for 2013 that will promote inner-state travel for all communities across Georgia. GDEcD will implement a version of the proposed plan in 2013.
The Greater Rome CVB team consisted of: Chris Cannon, director of communications; Ann Hortman, sports and events coordinator; and Luke Chaffin, special projects coordinator.
Greater Rome CVB proposed “Twist & Shout” for July and August of 2013. This interactive marketing campaign has Georgians lip-dubbing and dancing to the song made famous by The Beatles. Georgia residents would be encouraged to create a video of dancing in front of their favorite attractions, hotels, restaurants, etc. throughout Georgia.
After uploading to the state tourism website, the video can be watched alongside information on the location listed in the video. Visitors would share the videos across social media and encourage voting to make their video the most popular.
“Think of the popularity of viral videos like the lip-dubs of Carley Rae Jepsen’s Call me Maybe,” said Cannon. “We want these videos to show our Georgia communities as fun and full of energy.”
The proposed campaign is an extension of GDEcD’s current marketing campaign: “The South with a Twist,” a campaign that focuses on unique elements of Georgia’s culture.
The Greater Rome CVB was selected as a finalist this summer and presented their proposal to 400 tourism officials from around the state during the Georgia Governor’s Conference on Tourism. Conference attendees then voted on their favorite proposal for the GDEcD to implement in 2013.
To help visualize the campaign, the CVB produced a introduction video featuring several Rome & Atlanta landmarks. The video can be seen at:
The Greater Rome CVB’s “Twist and Shout” campaign came in first place over Atlanta Metro Travel Association’s “Twisted Lovers” campaign and the Classic South Travel Association’s “Twist Off the Thermostat.” The two other competitors were regional travel associations representing dozens of CVBs and marketing professionals while Rome CVB competed as the only solo CVB.
The CVB brought home a $15,000 advertising grant for their victory and also received a coveted Smackdown boxing championship belt.
The CVB will also get to watch their Rome-born campaign launch across the state from Ringgold to Valdosta.
“Our marketing team did an incredible job putting together a complex proposal that impressed every tourism professional around the state,” said Lisa Smith, GRCVB executive director. “I’m extremely proud of our team and the incredible work they do.”
The Greater Rome Convention & Visitors Bureau is the official destination marketing organization for Rome, Georgia. A branch of the City of Rome, the bureau employees eight tourism professionals who market Rome and run the Rome – Floyd Visitor Center and Last Stop Gift Shop. Learn more at

The Greater Rome Convention & Visitors Bureau (GRCVB) is the official destination and sports marketing organization of Rome and Floyd County, Georgia. The GRCVB’s mission is to strengthen the economic fabric of the community through tourism development by attracting leisure travelers, conventions, meetings, sports and events.
About the Author

Our Georgia's Rome tourism team works hard to curate content to help you discover and explore our beautiful town! We want to ensure our content is up-to-date and accurate; so please let us know if we ever overlook an important detail! This post was originally written by Kristi Kent and is updated by staff.

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