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Discover Prince William & Manassas Web

Discover Prince William & Manassas Web

The Sitaution

In 1861, the Battle of First Manassas/Bull Run served as a pivotal turning point in the Civil War. As the nation looked to commemorate the “moment that changed America” 150 years later, the Prince William and Manassas Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) saw the battle as a potential turning point in its efforts to boost tourism.

With plans underway for a historic, two-day reenactment of the Battle, the CVB needed a website to support and highlight its Sesquicentennial Anniversary events. The website needed to drive visitation not just to the 2011 reenactment event, but also to events to be staged over a five-year commemoration of the Civil War.

Discover Prince William & Manassas Web-situation

The Strategy

A unique URL, ManassasBullRun.com, was utilized to drive awareness to an already well-known battle among Civil War enthusiasts and ensure a high-volume of website searches. In addition to promoting events, the site needed to spotlight and drive traffic to event sponsors and partners.

Discover Prince William & Manassas Web-strategy

The Solution

Features of the new website included event schedules and ticket purchasing, reenactor registration portals, a photo gallery and social sharing.

To encourage repeat visitation and capture tourism consumers after the anniversary was over, the site was designed to transition to an education portal highlighting the historical significance of the destination.

Discover Prince William & Manassas Web-solution

The Results

The website received 186,372 visits within the first six months of launch, with 9,123 visits taking place the day before the reenactment (the highest single-day visitation). The website continues to attract online visitors, receiving more than 201,000 visitors since launch.  

The two-day reenactment at the center of this celebration welcomed more than 27,000 participants from the U.S. and around the world, including 8,700 Civil War reenactors, 18,500 ticketed spectators and more than 300 volunteers.

The county enjoyed an estimated $27.3 million economic boost from historic and event-related tourism. Several area hotels reported maximum capacity leading up to and during the event.

With a focus on Civil War perspectives and events, the site continues to reach history enthusiasts and drive visitation to the many historical sites in the region.

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