Monday, March 17, 2014

Reclaiming Durham’s Sense of Place

In just about a month, on April 23, the Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau (DCVB) will host Durham’s Annual Tribute Luncheon. This year’s celebration is a special one because it marks DCVB’s 25th anniversary.

DCVB, staffed by 21 dedicated and passionate professionals, is an internationally accredited destination marketing organization that was chartered by state and local governments to increase visitation to Durham, broaden the tax base, fuel local businesses and provide jobs. It is known as the heart, soul, and energy of Durham as a destination and the defender of Durham’s image.

Over the course of the past 25 years, DCVB has worked to articulate Durham’s story, capturing its uniqueness and sense of place in a way that helped attract visitors.  

The path to success was sometimes rocky.

Community marketing was new to people living and working in Durham. They weren’t used to having an organization sticking up for Durham, providing comprehensive data and clarifying misinformation. Back then, some said Durham had all but surrendered its identity and allowed its stories to be erased or distorted.

But at its core, the people of Durham loved Durham and wanted DCVB to uncover and document these stories. This included asserting Durham’s role in the Civil Rights movement, correctly identifying the location of Research Triangle Park, reshaping the conversation about Durham’s role in the Civil War, and turning around Durham’s image in surrounding communities, to name a few.   

Storytelling is at the heart of DCVB’s mission. On April 23, join 400 civic, business and education leaders from Durham in a revealing—yet humorous—look back at the pioneers who made this possible. To register or find out more, visit  

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