As Sandy ravages the Northeast, I was reminded that my city hosted the Republican National Convention when Hurricane Isaac threatened the city in August. In spite of that threat, perception research done in conjunction with the RNC revealed an 18 percent overall increase in positive perceptions of the eight county Tampa Bay region in key economic development measures.
The research, done on behalf of the Tampa Bay Partnership by Market Enhancement Group, surveyed 1,200 RNC delegates, media and press representatives, and convention attendees three weeks prior to the convention and again two to three weeks after to measure the impact of the RNC convention experience with these key target audiences.
Tampa Bay achieved major improvement on seven attributes, each of which increased its mean score by more than 2.0 on a 10-point scale, including:
- A region I would recommend to a friend or business associate (+3.89)
- Air quality (+3.34)
- Ballet, theater, arts, museums, range of cultural activities (+3.34)
- A region I would like to work in or relocate and/or expand a business to (+2.70)
- A region I would like to live in (+2.32)
- Overall quality of life (+2.21)
- Public safety (+2.03)
Some of the credit for the positive feedback should go to the Social Media Command Center that Tampa Bay organized during the week. I visited with Chris Herring of BarkleyREI which ran the center and he showed me tools like Radian6 and Spiral16 the team used to monitor conversations to calm many of the visitors about the weather before they boarded their planes, and provided them friendly input on local places, rides etc once they arrived. Chris also told me about similar monitoring his firm had done for Kansas City during the MLB All Star game the month prior. The video below shows more of Chris talking about the Tampa Command Center.
Oracle was telling us America’s Cup is expected to bring $ 1.5 billion to San Francisco. The RNC may not help my town that much in short term revenues, but the long term impact should be very positive.