After shopping for new tourism chief, Tampa Bay & Co. name will change
Wake up and good morning. Tampa/Hillsborough's tourism and meeting planning agency - now known as Tampa Bay & Co. - is regrouping. Not only is it still in the hunt for a new CEO to replace quickly departed Kelly Miller (here for less than a year). The organization is also going to changing its name. Probably to Visit Tampa Bay, which is, after all, the name of the group's web site.
No surprise, the name Tampa Bay & Co. was confusing to the tourism and meeting planning world since it did not inherently say what it does. Marketing chief Doug McLain says a name change to something more traditional using "Visit" immediately alerts people to what the agency does. So why not change it to Visit Tampa? Because Tampa Bay & Co. is no fool. It recognizes the extra clout a regional reach in its name offers when selling this area. Hence the likely name of Visit Tampa Bay coming soon. That will more closely match up with the Pinellas County tourism agency, Visit St. Pete Clearwater, as well as the statewide Visit Florida.
Funny, before the 2007 switch to "Tampa Bay & Co." the group was called the Tampa Bay Convention and Visitors Bureau and opted for a name change then supposedly to help clarify what they did. Read more in this Tampa Bay Business Journal story.
Right now, Tampa Bay & Co. is busy working with Tampa marketing firm Spark on a new destination branding campaign it hopes will add more pizazz and be adopted by the entire Tampa Bay area. Read more here.
As for a finding a new CEO, nominations are still open, at least until mid February. Tampa Bay Times staff writer Jamal Thalji reports more than 55 applicants already have tossed their names into the ring. Tampa headhunting firm Norstrem Associates is assisting in the search.
-- Robert Trigaux, Business Columnist, Tampa Bay Times