The Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association (HSMAI) will honor Visit Fort Worth tonight at the 62nd Annual Adrian Awards in New York City with a gold in public relations for the SKIFT feature “How Fort Worth Invested Big in SXSW to Show the World It’s Not a Dallas Suburb.”

The Adrian Awards, the largest and most prestigious global travel marketing competition, recognizes hospitality brands and agencies for creativity and innovation in advertising, digital marketing and public relations. Entries from around the world are judged by executives from all sectors of the travel and hospitality industry.

“Receiving an Adrian Award for our SXSW program is a big honor,” said Mitch Whitten, Visit Fort Worth executive vice president for marketing and strategy. “We are being recognized by our peers among the top travel brands, destinations and marketing agencies worldwide. It’s a testament to the talent we have on our team and the intriguing story we have to tell.”

Visit Fort Worth, Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce, the City of Fort Worth, Bell Helicopter, Lockheed Martin, Hillwood Properties, Niles City Sound, Firestone & Robertson Whiskey, Hear Fort Worth and the Fort Worth Film Commission teamed to produce Fort Worth Now at the 2018 SXSW conference and festival.

The goal: “Increase Fort Worth visibility as a city of choice for visitors and a creative, educated workforce at one of the world’s premiere conferences for trendsetters and influencers.”

The Chamber’s Fortify plan was deployed in many ways at SXSW:

  • To increase external visibility among innovators, entrepreneurs and creatives as well as technology and Fortune 500s – a leading priority in light of findings in the City’s strategic plan research that discovered most Americans think we’re the 45th largest city instead of the 16th.
  • Applying Fortify’s Business Recruitment and Expansion pillar, we showcased our legacy aerospace companies and their innovations to attract vertical industry and other high-tech, engineering innovators and manufacturers.
  • Guided by Fortify’s Entrepreneur/Small Business pillar, we spotlighted local entrepreneurs in film, music and venture capital spaces to exemplify Fort Worth’s thriving start-up ecosystem.
  • To rev up the Talent Attraction pillar, we showcased local music and the arts, local craft beer and local spirits to dispel misperceptions about Fort Worth and illustrate quality of place magnets for Gen Y, creatives and recent college grads.