The people who sell Kansas City to the wider world lit a fire Wednesday under the business community, inviting them to collaborate on telling our story and championing “the brand.”
VisitKC, formerly known as the Convention and Visitors Association, held its annual lunch at the Sprint Center to celebrate the city’s recent momentum and to commit to keep it going.
The past year saw record hotel revenues and the highest level of bookings in 17 years, said Brenda Tinnen, general manager of the Sprint Center and board chair of VisitKC. She and other speakers noted all the good publicity raining down on Kansas City during a period of cultural growth, technological advancement and sports success.
“Kansas City used to take great leaps forward every 30 years,” said Angelo Trozzolo, a marketing executive who moderated an after-lunch discussion. Now it seems those leaps are coming every year, he said, but it’s no time to slow down and feel satisfied.
Mayor Sly James exploited his Twitter addiction by taking a selfie in front of the luncheon crowd and urging attendees to express what they like about the city in a tweet, accompanied by the hashtag #ignitekc, the campaign theme. Who can argue with the thought or the energy of this feel-good pitch?
Speakers also celebrated the return of a Kansas City film office, which in six months already has landed some projects, and impending efforts to boost cultural tourism.
Jon Cook, CEO of the VML marketing and advertising firm, highlighted what accurately describes the city’s current story line. “The secret sauce of KC, creatively,” he said, “is the arts and technology coming together.”
In short, the city offers a potent mix for potential visitors. Spread the word.