Agency Reports HUTCHISON: Okay, great. All right, Commissioners, is there anything else on Agenda Item E, if not, let's move on to Agenda Item F, Agency Reports. I'd like to go directly to our Administration Reports, the fiscal year '18 year and date budget overview, and Ms. Vecchio, maybe you can start us off with an overview here.
VECCHIO: Thank you, Lieutenant Governor. I'm going to turn the time over to David Peterson to go through a very short FY '18, because we're not very far into that year yet, budget overview, and then he's also going to provide an update just so you all know where we are in terms of the RFPs that have been distributed and awarded.
PETERSON: Thank you, Claudia. For the record, David Peterson, Deputy Director of Tourism. If everybody will turn to the page right after the green report that says Agency Reports. You're familiar with this. It's an update that we do at each quarterly meeting. It looks at the categories that are action steps or internal program budgets. For our new Commissioners, we have Category 2. That's our out-of-state travel category. Category 3 is in-state travel. Category 30 is for training, and Category 31 is where all of our marketing—most of our contracts come out of there, our ad buy, et cetera. The one category that you won't see, if you all recall, is Category 43 as a part of the last legislative session. We moved those dollars into Category 31. The monies that used to be for the quarterly administrative fees for our international offices are now inside Category 31 to allow us the flexibility and the transparency now to run all of those contracts on a project cost basis.
Again, we're looking at bills that we've paid through the 8th of August. We're only now getting our July invoices from most of our vendors. So, as you can see, it's a very small amount of money that we've actually paid out so far in Fiscal '18. About 8% of our Category 2 our out-of-state travel. We've paid 2%, just under a thousand dollars, for Category 3. We have yet to have any actual training take place this fiscal year. Most of that training will take place this fall and over the winter, and just a very small amount, 1% of our Category 31 monies have been expended so far this fiscal year. If there are no questions about the budget, I'll be happy to move forward and talk about RFPs.
HUTCHISON: Any questions, Commissioners, on the budget overview? Sounds like you can move on, Mr. Peterson, please.
PETERSON: Okay, thank you. For the record, David Peterson. As an update on the different RFPs that we have out there, we have two RFPs that went through, and we have awarded to Destination Analysts, and that is for ad copy testing and web usability research, and those await approval on the September 12th Board of Examiners. We don't anticipate any issues and expect to move forward the next day with both of these pieces of research.
We have a couple of RFPs in process right now. We have the one for Latin America representation. It just closed yesterday. We'll be going through that process where there will be an evaluation committee to review the technical and the costs, and then we will take a look at the top two or three firms and do a second round of evaluation. And the other one that I think impacts this particular group is we finally moved forward with an agency informal solicitation to get the chambers updated from an AV perspective. As you all know, we've had some challenges in here. This is the first phase, which is the design plan for the chambers, which will also allow us, hopefully, to bring our office in Las Vegas into the mix so we can have all of you in Las Vegas be present in our joint office down there.
In addition, we have released a print bid for Nevada Magazine for Janet and the team to print the Nevada Magazine Events and Shows as well as our statewide visitors guide. Then in terms of upcoming RFPs, once the contract is awarded for the design of the audio-visual in the chambers, we will work with purchasing to begin phase two, which will be a large-scale RFP for the actual equipment as well as the implementation and then maintenance going forward for that AV equipment. A couple of other things going on, the RFP for merchandise is—we're hoping to release that, I think, in September so we can be selling TravelNevada merchandise. We're working on that request for proposal, and we are also going to release a print bid as well through purchasing for the department level, but this is for the printing of letterhead, the printing of business cards and envelopes, et cetera. That's kind of an update on where we've been, where we currently are, and where we're going as far as RFPs and print bids. Thank you.
HUTCHISON: Thank you, Mr. Peterson. Any questions on the RFP update?
SANTOS: None in Carson.
HUTCHISON: All right. None here in Las Vegas. Let's move on Ms. Vecchio, to the Governor's Global Tourism Summit Update.
VECCHIO: Thank you, Governor. You also have in that Agency Report section the current agenda for the upcoming Nevada Governor's Global Tourism Summit. It will be December 4th and 5th at the Flamingo in Las Vegas. We will have a Commission Meeting on Monday, December 4th, from 10:00 to noon, and you'll see that reflected on the schedule. Then we are looking at an exciting open session in the Flamingo showroom, an opening dinner event at the Flamingo and then a cocktail dessert over at the High Roller. There will be an opportunity for the group to take that High Roller experience. On Tuesday, December 5th, you'll see the schedule outlined here. We're just now really diving into getting the sessions and the speakers to round out all of these sessions, but you'll see some of those that we have already on board. A quick change from last year. We have the popular Media Marketplace, which was new last year. That's where we bring international media to meet one-on-one with Nevada suppliers and properties and such, and that will be now at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, December 4th. Some of the comments from the last Summit was that industry did not want the Media Marketplace at the same time as the Sales Marketplace, so we've changed those. We're putting the breakout sessions at the late morning hour. We’ll do a lunch speaker, and then our overall general session for the Division of Tourism program overview. The Nevada Sales Marketplace, which is always such a popular piece of this conference, will be at the end of the day, and that's with some hope that people will stay through the whole conference.
You can see we bring in the buyers and the media on the 30th. We have three trips, two fam trips for buyers, and one press trip that will be traversing the state. Then they'll all come back rejoined together at the Flamingo for the conference. Our keynote speakers at this point, Roger Dow, who's the President and CEO of US Travel Association, Daniel Levine, who's a global trends expert, and Amy Jo Martin, who is the founder of a group called Digital Royalty. I think everyone will appreciate having her there to talk a little bit about this digital evolution and revolution on a global standpoint.
We're working with Tiffany East PR to be our event planner, and she's doing a tremendous job at getting sponsors and others geared up for this event. Are there any questions at this point?
HUTCHISON: Any questions on the Tourism Summit Update?
SANTOS: None in Carson.
HUTCHISON: Okay. Thank you. Ms. Vecchio, why don't we move to the South America Tourism Sale Mission Recap?
VECCHIO: Thank you, Governor. The next three items really are just brief recaps. The Division participated along with the Governor's Office on Economic Development and our partners at the LVCVA on a sales mission to South America. This was an interesting timing for this mission because of the fact that we are evolving our efforts down there to be Latin America regionally focused. It was tremendous for us to be in Panama, Bogota, Colombia, and in Santiago, Chile, we did events and sales calls with tour operators and travel agents and the media, but the excitement and the hunger from all of them for information about Nevada. Obviously, Las Vegas is a tremendous appeal to them, but the Nevada outside of Las Vegas, they're all very excited about that, and it's so fun when we get to a place like Santiago, Chile, and the Chileans who are very much like Nevadans, and I get the same feeling with the Australians. They're adventurers. They're fun. They're outdoor people. There's a lot of connectivity there immediately in the way they approach their travel experiences and the product that we have to offer in the state. A lot of good synergy started there, and as we get this Latin America group on board, that will be a really good foundation for that.
We have a trade mission to India coming up. We're going along with Brand USA. I know there are a number of Nevada partners going along with this one. There are three of us going on this mission. It is a typical sales mission in that there will be sales calls and opportunities to interact one-on-one with buyers from India. With Brand USA, it's a detailed agenda where we're in three cities in five days. It's going to be a big trip, and we'll report back on how that goes.
So you know, there's a US-China summit that we have been invited to in collaboration with Brand USA. It's in Atlanta at the end of the month. We'll be going down to that. That's always a good opportunity for us to continue those connections and conversations with our counterparts in China which this year might be very interesting about the relationship between the US and China.
HUTCHISON: All right, thank you very much, Ms. Vecchio. Any questions on those three updates? Okay, let's move, then, on to Agenda Item F3, Nevada Magazine.
GEARY: Hello, everyone. I'm Janet Geary, publisher of Nevada Magazine, and I have quite a few things to tell you today. First of all, I need to hand out two of the latest publications that we've just completed. The first one is the Las Vegas Wedding Guide. I'm sorry you don't have any down south or on the phone, but if you get on lvweddingguide.com or nvweddingguide.com, you'll be able to see the Wedding Guide. We did this in cooperation with the Las Vegas Wedding Chamber of Commerce. We actually were able to print this for them just with the advertising revenue and we still made a fairly nice profit. The other one is our Rides Guide. This is our tenth annual Rides Guide that we do every year. It's got a lot of different itineraries for motorcycle and actually cars, RVs, whatever. They're different itineraries on where to go within the state and what to see.
Kippy put together a PowerPoint for me. Since we've done so many things in the last couple of months, I really wanted to show you some of the visual since we're such a visual medium. We actually all took a photo trip with a professional photographer. If you read the last issue of the magazine, we all had our photos in there, everyone from taking it with a cell phone all the way up to taking it with a huge professional camera. I'm the one with the cell phone. Anyway, this is all of us when we were out on our trip.
Kippy Spilker, who is our Art Director now for a year, has done so much to help us get our photographers involved in the magazine. She put together a focus group. We had four professional photographers come in and speak to almost 50 people that had signed up to come to this symposium. We had it right here in this room. We were standing room only. The photographers, some quite well-known Nevada photographers, spoke on all the different issues involved in taking photos in the state of Nevada.
These are just some photos from the symposium. As you can see, we had a great group of people. Some even stayed and went to lunch together, and we're still getting information from people talking about it on our photographers' Facebook page. That's another thing that Kippy takes care of, is our photographers' Facebook page. 2,900 photographers actually belong to our Facebook page, and they're always submitting photographs of Nevada, both south and north. You can certainly join the page. It's under Nevada Photographers, and you can see all the beautiful photos that they take. We had a huge amount of response to the seminar which were very positive, and they want us to do another one.
We also just finished with our Great Nevada Picture Hunt. It will be in this next issue of the magazine, and I wanted to show you the winners of the Picture Hunt. They're not out in the public yet, but this was actually our first place winner. These two brothers actually climbed up a mountain with his dog, and the other one stood at the bottom of the mountain and took this photo. So, that's what home means, Nevada, and that was our theme this year, and that's what home meant for these two brothers and their dog.
This is our second place winner, our third place winner. And our fourth place winner, I kind of like this one. It's a Burning Man. We haven't had a Burning Man one for a couple years and thought this was the best of the Burning Man photos that we received.
This one here, the last one, it was number five, was done by Neil Lockhart. He's one of our premiere photographers for the state of Nevada. He has actually won our contest several times, and I actually have that photo hanging in my living room. I love that photo. He paints with light, and it's amazing, his process. He was one of our presenters at the photo symposium.
These are some of our other winners. We received over 1,600 photos this year, and the staff actually whittles them down to a hundred, and then we all go through them over and over and over to vote for the winners. We had so many tremendous photos this year, it was really hard to pick winners.
Kippy came up with a great project. She asked photographers for 40 photos from around the state, and put them all together into a state of Nevada shape. All the photos are from the specific areas of the state. She put them in the areas where they belong, and we're going to be selling this 24 by 36 poster this year. If anybody would like to preorder, let me know. They're $10. And this will be the cover of our magazine for this issue, because we will be promoting this poster through the Christmas season. If you would like to see a bigger one, it's downstairs. It's absolutely phenomenal.
We also just finished our 3rd Silver State Scavenger Hunt. This is our third year, and this is a brainchild of our Associate Editor, Eric Cachinero. Eric has actually done this for three years. He picks sites for people to go to, take a selfie with the magazine and they're included in a drawing for a Range Rover weekend. We've had a huge response and have had some great winners. In fact, two of our winners have bought Range Rovers. So, they love to partner with us.
We just got word from our NPA Awards this year. We received 17 awards again this year. We got the Best Overall Design, thanks to Kippy. We're up against 17 magazines, including Edible Reno-Tahoe, the Reno Magazine, Las Vegas Magazine, Las Vegas Weekly, all the Tahoe magazines. We're really proud that, with a small staff like we have, that we continue to garner these types of awards. We also won the Best Advertising Excellence in the whole entire magazine field.
In this slide, I added some kudos from our readers. You know, we get so many notes and emails and letters from our readers. A lot of people say, hey, I've never been to Nevada before. I came because I read your magazine, or, I took a trip because I read your magazine. We get inundated with these, and I never include these. We wanted to start letting people know exactly what people are saying about the magazine other than Herb, who always has a nice anecdote from his mother-in-law. We wanted you to know how the magazine actually impacts our readers and wanted to share some with you. I'll be happy to take any questions if you have any for me.
HUTCHISON: Yeah, we have a question here, Commissioner Miller in Las Vegas.
MILLER: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Ms. Geary, with respect to the Rides Guides, and I apologize, I don't have a copy of it, you mentioned motorcycles and automobiles. Do you include bicycles?
GEARY: Oh, yes, these actually are bicycle-friendly routes. We also include motor homes. They're not off-road routes, but any of these can be accessed with bicycles, absolutely.
MILLER: How do you distribute the rides guide? Is there any additional distribution?
GEARY: Our advertisers all receive a good supply of them. That's why we have a dollar on them. We don't really actually sell them for a dollar, but we give them to our advertisers so they can give them out to their customers and they have a perceived value. We also distribute them at all the welcome centers, all the visitors bureaus, and anyone that actually would like them. We're happy to hand them out. We give boxes of these to the bike festivals throughout the state. There's a digital version online as well.
HUTCHISON: Great. Thank you. Any further presentation? Are we at the point for questions?
SANTOS: Herb Santos for the record. Do they put these at the Reno Airport? There is a section where they have different collateral stuff. The last time I was at the airport, I didn't see anything from our office. Maybe it's because everyone takes them and there's none left.
GEARY: Well, in fact, all of their racks are owned by Anderson Distribution, and we have to pay to be in those racks. We do send the airports our guides, and also, Events and Shows. They get 2,500 of our Events and Shows every issue, and they usually put them on their counters, so they don't stay very long. But we don't pay to put them in the racks.
HUTCHISON: Great. Any other questions, Commissioners?
GEARY: Thank you.
SANTOS: None in Carson.
HUTCHISON: All right. Well, thank you very much, and that takes us to Agenda Item F4, Public Relations.
DRYSDALE: Hello, for the record, Bethany Drysdale. I'm here just to show you a final product, the “Welcome to Nevada” that you approved in May. I showed a preliminary version of it in June. We have the final version I wanted everybody to see and new Commissioners as well that weren't here to see the early version. I think you'll like the final. With that, Ron will play that. [Video plays]
DRYSDALE: As a reminder and for those who weren't here in the early conversations about this, it is really a unified effort with all states and destinations around the US to send out that welcoming message that the United States, and Nevada specifically, has open arms for every traveler around the world. This will be sent to the US Travel Association and Brand USA to distribute internationally. It will be sent to our international offices to distribute to their markets, and we'll be starting a social push at about 4:00 p.m. today, so you may see it pop up on Facebook as well. With that, I'm happy to answer any questions and very pleased to show you this final product.
HUTCHISON: Any questions for Ms. Drysdale? All right, thank you very much. Let's move on to Agenda Item F5, Marketing.
NEBESKY: For the record, Brenda Nebesky, Chief Marketing Officer. I'll just run through the rest of my presentation, many of the items that the marketing committee reviewed last week.
As you know, the “Don't Fence Me In” Campaign is fueled by real stories told by real Nevadans, and our print and digital ads reflect that. These are some of the upcoming print placements, David Low, the Park Ranger for Spring Mountain Ranch; Aurel Baker, who is an outdoor enthusiast. She's a fisherman, cyclist, and skier, her father was one of the first people to ski the Ruby Mountains, and Eric Burke, who is a renowned midtown muralist. We're also working on rounding out the series with some Nevadans in the south.
These are the digital placements that reflect those characters and their stories, and these ads are built to drive the potential visitor to travelnevada.com, where they can explore the Insiders Video Series, a long form of videos that tell the character's entire story. Then on the page at travelnevada.com, there are related points of interest that are featured in the video. From there, they can link out either to the partner's page on travelnevada.com if that exists or be linked out as a referral to the partner's website, et cetera.
In keeping with that campaign, this year, we need to replace our broadcast spot, our TV spot. It's reaching saturations in our markets, and so this broadcast campaign concept was presented to the Marketing Committee. I won't read the copy to you. I'll just explain it. The copy is just placeholder for now, but the concept is that there is a central narrator, and here, it's depicted by someone like Waddie Mitchell, a famous Nevadan and cowboy poet who embodies the “Don't Fence Me In” spirit and delivers a message about the transformative experience a traveler can have in visiting Nevada. As he stands, as if on stage, footage of all sorts of locations and activities in Nevada are projected on and behind him. Then in the final scene, what appears to be a backdrop behind him drops, and he's in a real location in Nevada, Lemoille Canyon or some similar stunning setting, and he delivers a call to action that we use in many of our digital placements, which is, let my story be the beginning of yours. We presented this to the Marketing Committee, and there were some reservations expressed about whether an older cowboy poet would resonate with the millennial audience. We currently have this concept in testing with Destination Analysts and are going to test it against the same concept, but with a younger narrative voice.
We identified this year, the need for something buzzworthy, an untraditional piece of media that would be a disruptor. What we came up with is a “Don't Fence Me In” virtual reality 360 video that takes the viewer on a wild ride through Nevada, through many locations, Vegas, Valley of Fire, Lake Mead, Sand Mountain, Virginia City, Austin. It's in tandem with Fahlgren Mortine our agency of record and Groove Jones, which are 360 video experts. The experience needs to be viewed through, ideally, through an Oculus viewer like this one. What we came up with is a TravelNevada saloon environment in which more than one viewer can step up and be seated and view the experience. It does take you through a 360 degree view, which can be a little bit awkward, so we wanted the viewers to be seated. And, there might be some liability involved. The environment will offer us the opportunity, which we are currently doing, to extend promotional opportunities to tourism partners for giveaways and to be featured on the bar top, in posters and on coasters. We're taking this exhibit and the 360 video to three cities in California.
This is a fun part. For the Oculus viewer itself, we're creating skins that depict some fun Nevada characters so when the person has this on their head, they appear to have eyeballs. It's a good social media opportunity as well.
As I said, we're taking this to three cities starting next month, starting on September 2nd, and all of the venues have been selected. They're either high-traffic pedestrian areas or ticketed events that are targeted to our audiences. It's going to start in Sausalito at the art festival there, going to go to Pier 39 in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Original Farmers Market, Santa Monica Pier in Los Angeles, Santa Monica Place, and we'll end in San Diego at the Kaaboo Del Mar Festival and then also at the Gaslamp Square Plaza. And, at this location, we'll also have a PR sales event for tour operators and the media. Are there any questions?
HUTCHISON: Any questions on marketing?
SANTOS: Herb Santos for the record. Any chance we'll have this at the Governor's Conference or trade shows.
NEBESKY: Yes, absolutely. Our intent is to repurpose both the exhibit and the video. It can be used at trade shows. The footprint is scalable. We can use all or part of it depending on the footprint of the venue, and we are hoping that the 360 video can live online. There are platforms now that are developing some 360 viewers, like YouTube and Facebook. They aren't as immersive as this viewer with the headset, but they're still effective, and so we'll be promoting that on our site and online after the tour is over. But yes, this will all be repurposed as a trade show experience as well.
I'm also going to present the urban sponsorships that were awarded in June. This slide lists all of the awards and should be in your packets. We've identified all of the promotional opportunities for TravelNevada related to those events. Upcoming next month, we have the air races and the balloon races. For instance, with the balloon races, we'll be doing an online social promotion. In past years, we've done a photo contest on our website, and this year, we're going to try a social promotion and give away balloon rides. Is there anything else you wanted to cover related to sponsorship, Claudia? Okay, any questions?
SANTOS: Herb Santos for the record. On that $7,500 that's unassigned, what are the opportunities for organizations? Is it too late for them to submit for that?
VECCHIO: This is Claudia Vecchio for the record. They can submit for that. We have $7,500 for the rest of this fiscal year. We don't have a process for submitting. If there is an event—that's kind of an opportunistic piece of money, although it also is used for banners and other things that we do on-site. I don't know that there's a whole of $7,500 left that's unassigned, but we can figure out what that is once we get the collateral and all the things that need to be produced for these events. But they can still call us. We get calls all the time, and that's how we come up with these lists.
SANTOS: Does the event have to occur this year or can it be next year?
VECCHIO: It needs to occur between July 1st of 2017 and June 30th of 2018 to be included in this cycle.
SANTOS: Thank you.
HUTCHISON: Great. Any other questions under our Marketing Agenda Item?
SANTOS: None in Carson?
HUTCHISON: If not, thank you. Let's move on to Agenda Item F6, Sales and Industry Partners. We got our presentation in Las Vegas. We're going to add to the meeting here by winding up and coming home and concluding our meeting here with our Sales and Industry Partners wrap-up from Las Vegas, Nevada, and full of gusto.
LUSVARDI: Hello, I'm David Lusvardi, Sales and Industry Partners. Teri Laursen, our Director, is out this week and not available to be here, unfortunately. Our first topic is Brand USA proposed F18 programming. I think most of you are familiar with Brand USA. That's the national destination marketing organization to bring inbound tourism from international markets into the US. They create a series of programs and promotional opportunities that other destinations, such as Nevada, can partner with. We have proposed to enter into an agreement with them for $250,000. In your packets there is a list of the proposed activities.
Of each of the proposed activities that we would like to be included in, we have tried to select the ones that will benefit us the most. The first couple of them, inspiration guide and experience pages are not measurable. They are really branding awareness, but most of the rest of the items listed do have a measurable component, a matrix set up where we can actually either gauge room nights or bookings or something specific so we can track that as we are trying to build into that area.
At the bottom, you can see by entering into this, our $250,000 will, they project, produce over $1 million in marketing awareness and value. It's a very good partnership that we plan to jump into, and some of these specifics, just as an example, one of the partnerships is with Rocket Fuel to support our storytelling videos. So, you know, each of these has been selected for a reason. We're trying to do something that really will support what our campaigns are. Are any questions specifically about these activities?
HUTCHISON: Commissioners, any questions on the Brand USA proposed fiscal year '18 programming plan that just has been set forth by David? What's been our experience in the past with the projected return investment that we're seeing here? I mean, has this been our experience to be accurate in terms of what we would expect would happen in the future?
LUSVARDI: I believe so. They will partner into multiple destinations with some of the activities. There are specific things that we can bring to the table that's a Nevada initiative. So, some things are ours with them just as a direct partner. Others have multiple partners. What they can do and what their clout is and their relationships, they stretch out much farther than we can, you know, in geography and in depth with these campaigns. It’s a projection, but I believe from the past that we could expect a very good rate of return.
HUTCHISON: Yeah, good. I know Members of this Commission have had experience with Brand USA, and usually, everything we do with them has been top shelf and has been a great benefit to us. Claudia, is this something that we need to approve here at the Commission level by a motion or is this by way of information in terms of what you tend to do?
VECCHIO: Historically, the Commission has approved this expenditure to Brand USA, because it's done as our national partnership with this organization. I'd like to have the Commission approve that this is the right direction and the expenditure. These programs are those that will help us to convey the brand of Nevada abroad. So, we do like to have that Commissioner approval.
HUTCHISON: Any questions before we take a motion on this, Commissioners?
CARANO: Yes, this is Cindy Carano. I'm wondering what is the political budget—or where is the Brand USA? Is it going to be cut in their budget? That's what I'm asking.
LUSVARDI: If I understand correctly, you're asking if Brand USA's budget will be cut?
CARANO: Right, are we in peril of losing this arm of the organization for tourism?
LUSVARDI: Over the last year, there has been discussion of that. I haven't heard anything for a few months, but the last I heard is that it's solid and reliable, and it's not going anywhere.
CARANO: Okay, good. Thank you.
HUTCHISON: Any other questions, Commissioners, on Brand USA proposal fiscal year '18 programming expenditure of $250,000?
SANTOS: None in Carson.
HUTCHISON: All right, none here in Las Vegas. The Chair will accept a motion, then, to approve Brand USA proposed fiscal year 2018 program in the amount of $250,000.
MILLER: So moved.
HUTCHISON: Commissioner Miller has moved for approval. Vice Chair has has seconded the motion. Are there any comments or discussion on the motion? Hearing none, those in favor signify by saying aye.
HUTCHISON: Any opposed, nay. That motion passes unanimously. Let's move on to Agenda Item F6.2.
LUSVARDI: All right, this slide is the proposed travel show schedule for Sales and Industry Partners, and if you see the sheet that has the yellow highlights, easiest one to look at perhaps, this has been broken down into domestic shows and then by region. There's one section in the middle called Domestic International, which is a little bit of an oxymoron. What that means is shows that are in the US that cover the international market coming in. Those are usually international markets coming to these shows in the US. Many of these we have attended in the past. Some of these are new. We've changed up a few things and, you know, trying a few different shows in place of others. But generally, we have our domestic shows and our international shows and as well as sales missions. We are attending sales missions, partnering with Brand USA, partnering with RSCVA and LVCVA, and we have one of our own sales missions that will be going to the UK next April. So, the rest of the sales missions, we're partnering with our DMOs in Nevada.
HUTCHISON: David, any major changes from the show schedule fiscal year '17?
LUSVARDI: Not really major, like I say, a couple replacements dropped one show and tried another one and things, but not really a major change in direction or focus.
HUTCHISON: Okay. Commissioners, questions on the fiscal year 2018 Domestic International show schedule?
SANTOS: None in Carson.
HUTCHISON: Thank you. Ms. Vecchio, do we need a motion on this as well?
VECCHIO: I would like a motion just to approve this, because this is a large expenditure as it relates to our sales outreach. I would just point out that you have two schedules in this packet. The first one is just the listing, and those listings that are highlighted are shows that we invite partners to. That's important to us that we continue to offer these opportunities out to our partners across the state, and those are the shows or the missions that we're going to be doing that.
If we could get a motion to approve this schedule. It seems to be a good and thoughtful show schedule. Again so you know, the team has really committed to ramping up and the distribution of leads to our territory partners. The distribution of leads really been the measure in the past. But not only that, they're going to be tracking new leads. They're going to be tracking follow-up of those leads, and they're also going to be tracking through to how the partners benefit from those leads. We have a more robust tracking system in place for these shows. We'll be able to come back next year with some benchmarks for these and some, I think, better reasoning as to why we choose to continue with shows or have selected other shows.
HUTCHISON: All right, thank you. If there aren't any further questions, the Chair will accept a motion to approve fiscal year 2018 domestic and international show schedule as presented in our materials.
CARANO: Motion to approve. Cindy Carano.
HUTCHISON: Okay, so, Vice Chair Carano has moved to approve. Is there a second?
SANTOS: Second, Herb Santos.
HUTCHISON: Commissioner Santos, thank you for your second. Is there any discussion or comment on the motion? Hearing none, those in favor signify by saying aye.
HUTCHISON: Any opposed, nay. Motion carries unanimously. Thank you very much. Move to Agenda Item F6.3.
LUSVARDI: And our last item is the marketing position. This is how we are moving forward with our different international markets and domestic. As we have been renewing our contracts with the international market representation companies and starting some new ones, we have changed the way that we have asked them to perform and to bill, as Dave Peterson has said. We used to have two silos of PR media budget and sales budget. We have combined that and asked our international partner companies to create projects and promotions that intertwine both of those areas as well as the budget. The other main change in the financial side of it is it will be a per project basis, again, as Dave had mentioned. Instead of just a retainer or a monthly fee that we pay them, each project will have an amount—a cost amount that would take place to produce that project or that promotion. This does speak to what Claudia has been talking about, integrating our different departments. We will have more PR media sales intertwined in our international markets. Along with that, we will be looking at projects that do have measurement, even more than we have in the past. It may be specific room nights with a call to action with a tour operator or a wholesale company. It may be something else that is measurable, but we're going to try more and more to these projects and promotions that do measure that we can actually compare and improve as we move forward.
The other thing that we've done is we've adjusted our markets just a little bit. We did have, in the past, have a Brazil office and a Mexico office. As we've said, were going after an RFP currently for a new company that will represent Latin America as a whole, and that will give us the ability to adjust. You know, if Santiago or Bogota or Buenos Aires becomes a very popular area due to economics or politics and another one is a little weaker, then we can adjust a little bit. It gives us a little more flexibility in that market. So, that's kind of a new angle with Latin America as kind—you know, market test and see how that works out. We have adjusted our markets with our team. I am over Latin America and Australia. Christian Passink is working with Europe, United Kingdom, and Canada, and Sylvia Welsh, our newest Market Manager, will be over domestic US and China and India. And again, with that, we will become Market Managers. So, we will be responsible for not only the sales, but at least the coordination of the PR and media promotions and projects as well. Well, we'll be working with our PR media department, but it will be funneled through our Market Manager to keep things a little more efficient. So, that's kind of that direction.
HUTCHISON: Great. Thank you. Any questions on the market positioning under this Agenda Item?
MILLER: I have a question.
HUTCHISON: Yes, Commissioner Miller.
MILLER: Mr. Chairman, thank you. And I may have missed this, I apologize, but when do we expect to have this new Latin American group on board?
LUSVARDI: Yesterday was the deadline for the proposals. We have eight companies that have proposed. We are going to work to narrow that down to about three, and in a month, we'll have a meeting with those three to narrow it down to the one, and then I believe it will be approved possibly in November. Is that correct, Claudia?
VECCHIO: That is correct on the November Board of Examiners for final contract approval.
HUTCHISON: Great. Any further questions for David? David, thank you very much.
SANTOS: None in Carson.
HUTCHISON: Thank you very much, Commissioner Santos. Anything else under Agenda Item F, Agency Reports, Ms. Vecchio?
VECCHIO: We have concluded Agenda Item F.