CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A new video featuring Mayor Danny Jones played a key role in nailing down two of the seven events the Charleston Convention & Visitors Bureau sold down in the last two months, CVB board members learned Wednesday.
Those events are expected to bring in 16,200 people, who will pour an estimated $10.3 million into the local economy during the next few years, said Tim Brady, vice president of sales and service.
That should more than pay back the $20,000 the CVB paid Motion Masters for the 5-minute high-definition video. The agency gets most of its operating funds from the 6 percent hotel-motel tax visitors pay when they stay overnight. The CVB's share is an estimated $1.3 million this year.
CVB sales people successfully used the video in recent weeks when they traveled to the Marine Corps League National Convention in Mobile and a National Guard convention in California.
About 1,000 Marines are expected to visit for three nights in August 2014, while the National Guard could attract 1,700 people for nearly a week in August 2017.
"When you're going for the Marine Corps up against Alexandria, Va., you can't go up there with sock puppets," said CVB president and CEO Alisa Bailey.
The video combines stock footage of Charleston scenes -- Mountain Stage, the Clay Center, FestivALL and other events -- with new video shot after Bailey joined the CVB this spring, said Diana Sole Walko, Motion Masters president.
"We probably shot in May and June, and July we started editing," she said. "We designed it so we could exchange -- drop in and out messages from the mayor."
A standard video to be posted on the CVB website has a stock message from Jones. Three other versions had specific pitches to the Marines, National Guard and a horseshoe-pitching group -- a group that decided to go elsewhere.
"The graphic design of the video was inspired by artist Charley Jupiter Hamilton, which makes it hip and artistic and helps fulfill the mission of positioning Charleston as hip, historic and almost heaven," Sole Walko said, echoing the CVB's new tag line.