Fargo-Moorhead CVB 2015: A year in review

So, is it already almost 2016? What? How did that happen so quickly? Well, I guess the year flew by because there was so much going on.

Things got off to a BANG in January, when we unveiled our brand, spanking new BRAND, “North of Normal.”  A year’s worth of hard work by our staff and our partners, North Star Strategies of Nashville, culminated in a party celebrating the big reveal at Drekker Brewery, in downtown Fargo, in late January.  We had a great turnout and overwhelmingly positive reaction to the change. It was a great way to start 2015!  The video our Multimedia Production Specialist, Kylie Herland, put together to launch the brand was a hit, and continues to be an excellent tool to help us spread the word. Last time I checked, it had been viewed more than 135,000 times, so thanks to all who shared it!

It was a great year for sporting events and conferences, too. Last March, our F-M Athletic Commission & CVB staff helped welcome the NCAA Hockey Regionals and the North Dakota State High School Hockey Tournament to Scheels Arena. Both turned out to be hugely successful events—so successful, in fact, that both the NCAA and State Hockey are already booked to return to Scheels Arena in 2017.  The success of those events will only be enhanced by the fact that the Scheels Arena is currently adding a second sheet of ice, complete with seating for up to five-hundred fans.

On the conference front, we were very excited to welcome the North Dakota Petroleum Council here for their Annual Meeting, in September, as well as a second consecutive year of a national Microsoft Conference. Microsoft is already planning its return in 2016!

As part of all this, we expanded our staff by three people in 2015, beginning with the addition of Stephonie Broughton as Sports and Events Manager. Most of Stephonie’s first six months have been filled with making plans for the first-ever “North of Normal Frostival”, a winter celebration set to make its debut January 29-31, 2016.  We also added a Housing Manager in the Athletic Commission to manage hotel accommodations for Fargo & Moorhead Youth Hockey Tournaments, Various Soccer Tournaments, and USA Wrestling, to name just a few.  And, we promoted Dannielle Riley to be our full-time, Lead Travel Ambassador in the Visitor Center.

We also expanded our community involvement by becoming partners in the Workforce Collaborative with the Greater Fargo-Moorhead EDC, the Chamber of Fargo-Moorhead-West Fargo, the United Way of Cass-Clay and the F-M Area Foundation. The study the group commissioned has moved into the action phase, and we look forward to finding ways to attract more workers to our wonderful communities.

Actually, we could trace our year by walking through the video archives that can be found on our You Tube channel, including the one Kylie put together in September with the excellent support of the FM Symphony, The Greater Fargo-Moorhead EDC and The Arts Partnership. The video featured members of the Symphony playing beautiful music on multiple downtown rooftops. That one debuted in October, and has already been viewed nearly 115,000 times, and shared more than 2,500 times.