TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (February 28, 2012) – During last evening’s awards gala in New York, Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI) recognized VISIT FLORIDA with one Gold and three Silver Adrian Awards. The awards were given for public relations and digital marketing excellence for VISIT FLORIDA’s winning entries in the 55th Annual Adrian Awards Competition, the world’s most recognized and prestigious advertising, public relations and digital marketing competition for the hospitality, travel and tourism industries. This year’s total of four awards marks VISIT FLORIDA’s largest number of winning Adrian entries ever received.
Established by the Florida Legislature in 1996 as the state’s official tourism marketing corporation, VISIT FLORIDA serves as the sole statewide destination marketing organization representing the entire Florida tourism industry. VISIT FLORIDA was selected by HSMAI to receive a Gold Adrian Award for its “Great VISIT FLORIDA Beach Walk” crisis recovery campaign and Silver Adrian Awards for its “Sunshine Moments” social media campaign, its “Florida Seafood Celebration” special event in Washington, D.C. and its “GO Magazine” feature placement in AirTran’s on-board publication.
“The past 18 months have been nothing short of transformational for the Florida tourism industry,” said Chris Thompson, President and CEO of VISIT FLORIDA. “I am extremely proud of the VISIT FLORIDA team, whose creativity and innovation have resulted in these four remarkably successful efforts being recognized by our tourism marketing peers at HSMAI.”
VISIT FLORIDA’s winning entries were showcased on digital displays during the annual HSMAI Adrian Awards Gala, a black-tie dinner reception and awards presentation attended by more than 1,000 hospitality, travel and tourism marketing and communications executives on Feb. 27, 2012 at the New York Marriott Marquis. This year’s contest attracted nearly 1,000 entries from over 30 countries, judged by more than 200 top advertising, public relations and digital marketing experts and leading members of the travel community.
"This year's Adrian Awards call for entries saw a shift to more digital work and campaigns integrating digital marketing mediums," said Fran Brasseux, executive vice president of HSMAI. "Judges from this year's competition remarked on the overall high level of creativity displayed in the entries, with those that also delivered strong results rising to the top."
In addition to the Adrian Awards, HSMAI selects its annual “Top 25 Most Extraordinary Minds in Sales & Marketing.” VISIT FLORIDA’s Chief Marketing Officer Will Seccombe was chosen as one of the “best of the best” in the hospitality, travel and tourism industries for 2011. Five other Florida tourism industry leaders were named to this year’s list, including Rolando Aedo with the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, Sal Dickinson with FloridaVacationAuction.com, Hunter McIntosh with The Boat Company LTD, Jorge Pesquera with the Palm Beach County Convention & Visitors Bureau and Dan Rowe with the Panama City Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau. Chris Thompson was selected to the 2009 “Top 25” list.
“I am incredibly honored to be named to such a prestigious list and want to congratulate my fellow Florida inductees,” said Seccombe. “Chris and I would not have received the recognition of our industry peers without the dedication of the VISIT FLORIDA staff and our partner-driven leadership team, so it is with pleasure that I accept this award on behalf of the VISIT FLORIDA family and the entire Florida tourism industry.”
Seccombe has more than 25 years of professional experience in tourism marketing at the state level. Prior to joining VISIT FLORIDA in March 2008, Will devoted 19 years to the Colorado tourism industry. He is a member of the Destination and Travel Foundation Board of Trustees, the Brand USA Marketing Advisory Council, the Association of Travel Marketing Executives, the National Western Association, Destination Marketing Association International and Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International.
Now in its ninth year, the ‘Top 25’ recipients are judged by a panel of senior industry executives for their recent work based on the following criteria: creativity and innovation, cutting edge sales or marketing campaigns, triumph in challenging situations and sales efforts that resulted in dramatic gains. The 2011 recipients were honored during a private ceremony preceding the Adrian Awards Gala and also recognized on-stage during the evening’s featured event.
"The 'Top 25' is our who's who list of sales and marketing professionals that we celebrate each year as they are innovators and have produced strong results in their respective industries," said Robert A. Gilbert, CHME, CHBA, president and CEO of HSMAI. "These professionals have succeeded in growing business for their own organizations and have continued to inspire and raise the bar for the rest of the hospitality industry."
HSMAI is the hospitality industry source for knowledge, community and recognition for leaders committed to professional development, sales growth, revenue optimization, marketing and branding. With a strong focus on education, HSMAI has become the industry champion in identifying and communicating trends in the hospitality industry. Founded in 1927, HSMAI is an individual membership organization comprising more than 7,000 members worldwide, with 40 chapters in the Americas Region. For more information on HSMAI, call (703) 506-3280 or visit the website at www.hsmai.org. Join our social networking communities on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.