Rockford's Independent Newspaper

RACVB announces launch of ‘Home with the FAM’ virtual tour

Staff Report

ROCKFORD – As the latest extension to its #StayHomeRFKD campaign, the Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau announced this week, “Home with the FAM,” a live, stay-at-home virtual familiarization tour for national event operators, trade publication partners and media.

The Rockford region is home to a multitude of excellent facilities and operations personnel, many of which RACVB will feature during Home with the FAM at 11 a.m. Friday, April 17, on the bureau’s Zoom Webinar platform.

Regional and national event operators are invited to attend Home with the FAM to hear tourism operations and scheduling updates, and to take virtual tours alongside RACVB and some of the industry’s best multi-purpose facilities in the country.

Partner venues include the BMO Harris Bank Center and Coronado Performing Arts Center, Embassy Suites by Hilton Rockford Riverfront and Rockford Conference Center, Mercyhealth Sportscore Complexes and Indoor Sports Center, and the UW Health Sports Factory.

“These are tough times, no doubt,” RACVB president/CEO John Groh said. “At RACVB, we are mindful of what needs to be done to help flatten the curve, but understand that our work continues in new ways. We have to be ready for recovery and we think taking the opportunity to showcase our region now, when event planners are thinking about the future of their events, is ideal.“Our region is ideally located, the right mid-scale size and full of opportunities for event planners looking to host events in a market ready to welcome them.”

Event operators can register for Home with the FAM at, where registration will be live next Monday RACVB will send an e-newsletter reminder out when registration is live.

Webinar attendees will be automatically entered into a drawing to win $50 gift cards to a local restaurant of their choice in their own hometown. In addition, if, within four weeks of Home with the FAM, any attending event operator contracts new event business with a participating FAM venue, RACVB will pay the event organization the equivalent of $3 per actualized hotel room overnight after the event’s conclusion.

“Tourism will be a part of our region’s recovery and we’re going to keep planning on behalf of the community with the long-term in mind,” said Nick Povalitis, RACVB vice president of marketing and sports development. “Our region’s tourism venues and hoteliers will be well represented next Friday by long-standing and new-to-market partners, including the Rockford Area Venues and Entertainment Authority (RAVE), the Rockford Park District and our downtown Rockford Conference Center at the soon-to-open Embassy Suites by Hilton Rockford Riverfront. Thanks to their support, these efforts will yield results for all of Winnebago County in due time.”

In addition to Home with the FAM, RACVB’s interactive tourism marketing efforts are also highlighted by “Stay Home Songs,” a community songwriting contest that runs through April 24; “What’s Cooking at Home?”, a recipe share and dish demonstration platform showcasing the culinary talents of local restaurants; and “LunchChat,” a free webinar series at noon Tuesdays and Thursdays that brings the community together for best-practice sharing to help navigate COVID-19.

For additional information, visit RACVB’s online resource center.

^ Denotes new event business only. This benefit will not be applicable to postponed events that get rescheduled. Payout will be contingent and based on post-event pick-up reports validated by participating hotel properties.

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