Letter from the CEO
Never before has Oakland faced the collective challenges presented in 2020. As 2021 begins, our priorities have changed in so many ways. Getting a haircut (without having to know a secret knock) or sharing a slice of pizza and a beer with friends on a patio sometimes feel like distant memories, but also a light at the end of the tunnel that is now within our grasp.
As 2021 progresses, I believe our perspectives will change once more to accept that while we have not returned to “normal,” many aspects of our lives and our livelihoods will have returned to a degree of parity.
We at Visit Oakland –and Oakland’s resilient hospitality industry at large -anticipate that our hard work will begin to pay dividends again in 2021. While we all experienced 60, 70, even 80% reductions in revenue, guests, sales and travelers, we see those numbers continuing to improve as we move into the new year with news of a vaccine and a new presidential administration taking the helm.
Oakland’s economy needs a helping hand, a boost, a steady guide to move forward through 2021, and Visit Oakland is well up to the task.
In 2020, Visit Oakland launched a number of creative campaigns to best support Oakland’s challenged economy:
- At the onset of Shelter-In-Place ordinances, the team launched “Oakland From Home,” bringing together local businesses taking their sales platforms to the web.
- While in-person meetings were the first segment to suffer, Visit Oakland maintained relevance with meeting planners by launching virtual trade shows and nurturing relationships integral to a return to business as usual.
- To raise awareness of the 300+ restaurants doing take-out, we launched a Late Summer Edition to Oakland Restaurant Week.
- Our Spend Stay Love campaign embraced our BIPOC communities by supporting all of our small businesses in every neighborhood in Oakland, resulting in a new marketing partnership with the Oakland African American Chamber of Commerce as well as a resounding endorsement from Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf.
- To keep Oakland top-of-mind with travelers, we partnered with Visit California and San Francisco Travel on their “Calling All Californians” campaign. We queried that if travelers were “Going Somewhere?”, they should consider Oakland and engage our destination through new, physically distanced content to explore our outdoor dining, outdoor spaces and COVID-compliant hotels.
- To reinforce the importance of protecting Oakland’s communities, our Community Travel Pledge set out a guide of expectations to see us through COVID challenges until we are able to come out the other side.
Visit Oakland Press Releases
- Quarterly What’s New Press Releases
- Oakland Restaurant Week 2020
- Black History Month 2020
- Visit Oakland Reaffirms Commitment to Advancing Equity in the Travel Industry
- Oakland Restaurant Week Returns Sept 1
- New Oakland Campaign Promotes Black-owned Businesses, Encourages Residents to Spend Locally
- OAK welcomes Frontier Airlines’ new nonstop service: Denver, Las Vegas and Phoenix
- Visit Oakland and Airbnb partner to support Oakland’s small businesses
- Oakland Convention Center Achieves Global Sanitation Accreditation: GBAC STAR™
- Oakland Restaurant Week Returns With New Name and Vision in 2021
- Cal Travel DEI Task Force
- Leadership Oakland
- Oakland Chamber of Commerce DEI Task Force
- 2x monthly Zoom calls with Bay Area PR DMO
- 2x monthly calls with Oakland Public Information Officers
Attended 11 Tradeshows
- 290 total appointments
- 23 leads generated
- Brought 15 total Oakland hotel partners to 2 events
- Mai Tai Happy Hour Sponsor at Connect Sports, September 2020
- Virtual Build Your Own Mai Tai Happy Hour Activation for 500 planners at Connect Marketplace Orlando, October 2020
- Education Sponsor at Connect Marketplace with introductions and Oakland video presentations before 32 education sessions
- Backpack and breakfast sponsor at Destination West with 3 minute speaking time & video
- Hosted ‘Once in a Leap Year FUM’, February 2020
- 7 new contacts
- 2 leads with 200 total RN
- GBAC Certification for Oakland Convention Center
- Alameda County Variance Task Force: Spearheaded partnership between Visit Berkeley and Visit Tri Valley to establish partnership with Alameda County Health Officer on allowing meetings to resume.