Tampa Bay Region "Moved The Needle" on Positive Perceptions During 2012 Republican National Convention: Research Reveals 18% Increase in Positive Perceptions

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The 2012 Republican National Convention presented the Tampa Bay region with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to shape the impression the nation has of our region. Research done on behalf of the Tampa Bay Partnership surveyed 1,200 RNC delegates, media and press representatives, and convention attendees before and after the convention to measure the impact of the RNC Convention experience with key target audiences. The results - the region "moved the needle" on perceptions with this key audience of influencers.

Perception research done in conjunction with the 2012 Republican National Convention revealed an 18 percent overall increase in positive perceptions of the eight county Tampa Bay region in key economic development measures by those attending the convention.

The research, done on behalf of the Tampa Bay Partnership by Market Enhancement Group, surveyed 1,200 RNC delegates, media and press representatives, and convention attendees three weeks prior to the convention and again two to three weeks after to measure the impact of the RNC convention experience with these key target audiences.

The survey measured perceptions about the Tampa Bay regional brand on 27 key attributes; degree of overall familiarity with the Tampa Bay region as a place to do business in or as a vacation destination; change in beliefs and perceptions about the eight county Tampa Bay region as an area to expand to locate businesses in and as a place of employment; and perceptions about the eight county Tampa Bay region based upon quality of life.

All 27 attributes registered an increase from the pre to the post convention research, 15 of which saw significant improvement, and there were no decreases. Tampa Bay achieved major improvement on seven attributes, each of which increased its mean score by more than 2.0 on a 10-point scale, including:

1.    A region I would recommend to a friend or business associate (+3.89)
2.    Air quality (+3.34)
3.    Ballet, theater, arts, museums, range of cultural activities (+3.34)
4.    A region I would like to work in or relocate and/or expand a business to (+2.70)
5.    A region I would like to live in (+2.32)
6.    Overall quality of life (+2.21)
7.    Public safety (+2.03)

Pro-business local, state public leadership and taxes were the highest rated attributes in both the pre and post-convention research.

“The 2012 Republican National Convention presented the Tampa Bay region with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to shape the impression the nation has of our region. Now that the delegates, media and guests have gone home, research has shown we ‘moved the needle’ on awareness and positive perceptions of the Tampa Bay region among a key group of influencers from across the country,” said Vincent Dolan, Chair of the Tampa Bay Partnership. “We should see the benefit of this exposure for a long time to come.”

“The results of this study illustrate what our community can do when we work together for common purpose. Individually, we are strong but collectively ever so much stronger…and now the world knows it,” said Ken Jones, President & CEO of the Tampa Bay Host Committee.
“This study validates a simple truth about Tampa Bay,” said Rick Homans, President & CEO of the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation. “When people come to visit, they leave so impressed they can imagine moving their family, employees and business here. There’s no better result from an economic development marketing effort.”

“While our various organizations play unique roles within the community, we realize the importance collaboration on larger issues can have for all our efforts and the region as a whole,” commented Bob Rohrlack, President & CEO of the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce. “The RNC was a great opportunity to leverage this collaboration and influence positive perceptions about our area.”

“The collaborative efforts by groups across the region before, during and after the RNC really helped us to show what is best about our region,” said Stuart Rogel, President & CEO of the Tampa Bay Partnership. “The areas where we made the biggest improvement are key measures which support our ongoing economic and business development efforts.”

Full Research presentation here - http://partnership.tampabay.org/documents/2012%20RNC%20Convention%20Study-Pre%20and%20Post%20Perceptions.pdf

Research Summary - http://partnership.tampabay.org/documents/RNC_Perception_Research-one%20pager.pdf

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About Tampa Bay Partnership:
The Tampa Bay Partnership is the regional organization that works with its partners to market the region nationally and internationally, to conduct regional research and to coordinate efforts to influence business and government issues that impact economic growth and development. Founded in 1994, the Tampa Bay Partnership provides regional economic development for the metro areas of Tampa/St. Petersburg/Clearwater, Lakeland, and Bradenton/Sarasota/Venice and the counties of Citrus, Hernando, Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, and Sarasota. Learn more about the Tampa Bay region at http://www.TampaBay.org.

About Market Enhancement Group
Market Enhancement Group, Inc. is a leading supplier of market-based strategic analysis. Since 1977, MEG has been collecting, analyzing, and reporting market research information to companies across the country and around the globe.

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Betty Carlin
news@tampabay.org
813-872-2811
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