Hannibal Convention and Visitors Bureau applies for marketing grant

Published: May. 25, 2023 at 3:58 AM CDT
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QUINCY (WGEM) - Those at Hannibal Convention and Visitors Bureau say they want to be ready for the upcoming summer season and hope to secure funds to help with advertising and promotion.

Director Megan Rapp said they received permission from the city to apply for a $50,000 matching marketing grant from the Missouri Division of Tourism.

Rapp said they will use the money for digital advertising. She said in the past when they’ve received the grant, they have used it for digital marketing campaigns on streaming services and social media, which allow them to target and attract tourists.

“It’s such a turn-key operation,” she said. “You can really make changes. You can see whether or not the ad is being effective and then you change out the wording, change out the photos, you can change it out because an event is coming up and so it works really well with the grant because you are able to pivot so easily.”

Rapp said the will get word on if they receive the grant later in June. She said until then, they’ll prepare ads and get them approved, so they’ll be ready to go for July. She said the advertisements will be 50 miles or more outside of Hannibal to attract out of town, and even out of state tourists.

Local organizations said they are excited for the summer, and that advertising really helps attract tourists.

Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum CEO/Executive Director James Lundgren said tourism has been good this year, but the summer months are when numbers really pick up.

Lundgren said advertising benefits local shops and businesses who have seen the number of tourists drop since COVID, but now see numbers slowly rising back to normal, especially when they advertise during the peak season of summer.

“Peak season is still a good time to advertise because there’s plenty of people that will make their decisions last minute so if they happen to see an ad and they’re not necessarily planning this for six months ahead of time, but saying ‘Oh what are we gonna do this weekend?’” Lundgren said.

He said they are on track to see 45,000 people at the museum this year, with pre-COVID numbers standing at 47,000.

Rapp said if they don’t get the grant, the city has money saved up so they’ll use that money for marketing.

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