Oshkosh, while well-known for Oshkosh B’Gosh had an unclear image and no definitive positioning as a tourism destination. The Convention & Visitors Bureau had been using the tagline “Oshkosh on the Water” for fifteen years. But this tagline no longer reflected what was attracting the majority of visitors to the city or the best prospects for economic development. Research revealed that residents did not have a positive image of their own city.
Following extensive research which engaged hundreds of residents and sought the opinions and perceptions of prospective visitors outside of the city, it quickly became apparent that Oshkosh’s extraordinary calendar of events was critical to defining the city’s brand. The competitive positioning for Oshkosh was defined as “Wisconsin’s Event City” and this was also adopted as the city tagline.
The strategy is grounded in the fact that Oshkosh hosts hundreds of events each year, including one of the largest in the world, EAA AirVenture. They have international, state and regional influence. The brand is designed to attract even more than the 1.2 million who are already attracted to major events each year. The strategy calls for community-wide engagement to ensure that organizations, residents and prospective partners are involved in expanding Oshkosh’s role as Wisconsin’s event city.
The CVB has also convened a community-wide committee to ensure that key organizations, residents and prospective partners are engaged in consolidating and expanding Oshkosh’s role as Wisconsin’s event city. During the first two years, local lodging receipts increased by 11% and Oshkosh went from 17th to 11th in Wisconsin-wide lodging receipts.