Minot is rapidly growing into a modern city and the Minot Convention and Visitors Bureau is ready to help the place grow into its own. As of Jan. 7, 2013, the Minot Convention and Visitors Bureau is now known as Visit Minot under its new brand, complete with a new eye-catching logo.
The decision to rebrand started about two years ago, according to Wendy Howe, executive director for Visit Minot. In a board retreat, she and others in attendance talked about how Minot is changing and thought it was time for a new logo and to rebrand, she explained. The name Convention and Visitors Bureau sounded too governmental or bureaucratic, Howe and others thought. Minot has a booming economy and has been seeing a surge in population, she said, which is transforming the community into a modern city with more attractions and amenities than ever before.
"Visit Minot does a good job of showcasing our message and is kind of a call to action and gets the message out there," Howe noted.
Jill Hambek/MDN • A life-size troll carved out of wood greets visitors at the Minot Convention and Visitors Bureau. As of Monday, Jan. 7, the Minot Convention and Visitors Bureau will officially be known as Visit Minot. Wendy Howe, executive director for the bureau, said the decision to rebrand was made due to Minot’s booming economy and surging population.
Jill Hambek/MDN • Wendy Howe, executive director of the Minot Convention and Visitors Bureau, now known as Visit Minot, sits at her desk in her office on Monday. Monday was the official day that the rebranding of the Minot Convention and Visitors Bureau was announced, which Howe said is an exciting time.
Jill Hambek/MDN • The Minot Convention and Visitors Bureau, located at 1020 S. Broadway, will officially be known as Visit Minot, according to an announcement made by executive director Wendy Howe. The new name is part of a comprehensive rebranding initiative that also includes a new logo, website, and message that says, “We’re ready for you.”
The mission and passion of Visit Minot is to connect people with the Magic City, whether it's to visit or move here, Howe explained. She and the staff feel that the new logo will help convey what Visit Minot is about. The new logo features a pinwheel design with "Visit Minot" in front of it. The lettering is white, while the background is royal blue. Before, the logo was maroon and gold with a shooting star above the "M" with no mention of paying the city a visit. Howe said they kept the same font for Minot in the new logo. "It takes a piece of the old and puts the new with it," she added. "We're moving into the future."
The new look represents the energy of the community and where Minot is headed, Howe pointed out. The dynamic changes taking place in Minot inspired the new look of the logo, she said. Minot is becoming a more vibrant city with more and more attractions, while at the same time playing a larger and larger role in the region's economy, Howe also said.
Technically, Visit Minot is still a convention and visitors bureau, Howe said, but is branded as Visit Minot. "Every city has a convention and visitors bureau that acts as that community's tourism agency," she explained. "But what we want to communicate to the public is not only our purpose, but also the spirit that drives us to connect people to Minot. Our new name aligns our identity with our purpose." Howe said she has seen more bureaus rebrand themselves to promote the city as more of a tourist destination.
Minot is the first bureau in the state to move away from the convention and visitors bureau name, Howe remarked. "I feel like we're blazing a new trail and I'm sure there will be other bureaus that follow in the future."
"We're ready for Minot to grow," Howe said. "Change can be hard but also exciting and we're excited for this. We can't get stagnant when marketing a new destination or place. The new logo represents the new brand and a call to action."
What's more, the bureau's website, (www.visitminot.org), has also had a facelift with the new brand. The site has been revamped, Howe said. People will see the new logo and colors, she added, and that will give people the message that Minot is ready for them to shop or dine or live there, which they will see on the website. The site showcases everything Minot has to offer, serving as a one-stop information center, Howe noted. There are also specially customized trip agendas that help visitors manage their time through the Map Your Trip feature, she also noted. Plus, the staff at Visit Minot figured out the items on the website that were most visited and included them on the revamped website to make it as easy as possible for people to find events or places to shop or dine.
Additionally, the hotel availability search was also revamped, Howe said, which gives a list of hotels that are available. Visitors input the date they want to come and the search engine provides a list of hotels that will be available at that time, she explained. "It makes it easier for visitors to use."
The website can also be found on mobile devices, which is easy to navigate, Howe noted, and lists restaurants that are closest to the person's current location. "We wanted to make sure that was included," she added. "We're trying to make it more user friendly for visitors."
In the near future, the sign on Broadway will be changed to the new logo, Howe noted. Currently, they're in the process of updating all of the items in the gift shop. "Everything you'll see will eventually have the Visit Minot logo on it."
Howe said she has heard nothing but positive comments so far about the rebranding of the bureau. "People are excited about something new," she added. It was a process to rebrand the bureau, Howe remarked, but definitely worthwhile.
"Minot is evolving so much as a community and it's fun to be a part of it," Howe said. "Our whole goal is to give people a better awareness of what our mission is and what a convention and visitors bureau does. We feel Visit Minot will do a better job of expressing our mission and what we're about and help spread the magic."