Central PA Convention & Visitors Bureau is changing its name to the Happy Valley Adventure Bureau.
Allen & Gerritsen (A&G) served as the agency partner helping with both the name selection and awareness campaign set to launch early next year.
This makeover hinged on one decision, says Fritz Smith, president and CEO, HVAB. “Our first order of business before launching that campaign was to make sure our organization was named properly. And we found it was not," he explains.
He said that market research showed two more conventional options — Centre County or State College — would be "significantly" stronger geographic identifiers than "Central Pennsylvania." But ultimately research uncovered another name was the strongest: Happy Valley.
"It is known across the nation. It hints at the wholesome emotions of visiting here," says Smith. "And it pays homage to our beloved Penn State -- while extending beyond State College to all the wonders of Centre County."
Now, the Bureau is tasked with getting the word out. The first phase of that effort will focus on the fundamentals, specifically changing the Bureau’s website URL from www.visitpennstate.org to www.happyvalley.com and making sure workers answer the phones properly.
"We want prospective travelers to experience the remarkable promise of the Happy Valley region at every moment of their travel planning experience -- from the moment they first hear or see or read our marketing, to when they call for more information -- and the person answering the phone says, 'Happy Valley Adventure Bureau, how can I help you?’"
Next A&G is working on creative messaging the agency thinks will inspire notice in the travel and tourism industry across the nation, as an identity that doesn't just say to "Go" somewhere or "Explore" somewhere -- but rather that hints at the experience that will follow when you do, says Tim Reeves, principal of A&G. "We hope to help Centre County assert its rightful place as a leader among counties and a competitor among nations."