Visit Quad Cities, the region’s official destination management and marketing organization, was honored with two awards on Wednesday during the 2021 Iowa Tourism Conference in Des Moines.

Visit Quad Cities Wins Two Iowa Tourism Awards at Conference

The home page of features rotating video clips of the area.

One was for Outstanding Website (Metro) and the other for Outstanding Niche Market Initiative for the Visit Quad Cities Stir Crazy campaign.

According to the Iowa Tourism Office, this year’s awards recognize the amazing work and innovation by Iowa’s outstanding tourism organizations during a year filled with challenges and change.

“On behalf of the Visit Quad Cities Board of Directors, our team, and the many partners we work with to drive our mission and brand forward, we are humbled to receive this recognition,” said Dave Herrell, president/CEO of Visit Quad Cities.

Visit Quad Cities Wins Two Iowa Tourism Awards at Conference

Dave Herrell is president/CEO of Visit Quad Cities.

“The Iowa Tourism Office, Iowa Economic Development Authority, and our peers and industry colleagues from across the state are important to our organization,” he said. “We share a common goal to position Iowa for economic growth and create tourism opportunities for the many communities and sectors we represent.”

Herrell also thanked the Q-C companies TAG and MindFire Communications for their “partnership and expertise in the development of our new website platform and the creative direction and execution of the Stir Crazy campaign,” he said.

“Their collaborative approach, teamwork, and understanding of our core values continues to benefit Visit Quad Cities and we are incredibly appreciative of their efforts.”

Visit Quad Cities launched its new website at almost one year ago on May 4, 2020. The site is one of the primary destination marketing tools used to promote the bi-state region and to provide information and experiences for visitors and Quad Citizens.


The new site features a bold new design with artistic touches reflecting the area’s creative energy and Midwestern spirit, according to a Visit Quad Cities release. Seamless navigation helps consumers learn about the region, and vibrant images and new video content gives a positive first impression of our family of communities, the release says.

Visit Quad Cities Wins Two Iowa Tourism Awards at Conference

Mike Vondran is CEO of TAG, a local design and marketing agency.

This important marketing, promotional, and sales platform for the Quad-Cities is a broad content resource for Quad Citizens, visitors, meeting planners, event owners and potential customers interested in our unique destination.

Updates in content including videos, information, and new technology continue to be added.  Along with its new look and feel, has improved functionality, the newest technology, an upgraded Content Management System for the Visit Quad Cities team.

Visit Quad Cities partnered with TAG, a local design and marketing agency, to build this large website with hundreds of pages from the ground up.

“On behalf of the entire TAG team, I would like to say thank you to our client partner Visit Quad Cities for allowing us to serve and join them in designing and development their new website, a collaborative effort based on a VQC vision of an excellent experience for the end user,” said TAG CEO Mike Vondran. “We are thrilled by this recognition and very appreciative of our client partnership.”

The Outstanding Niche Market Initiative Award honors excellence in a tourism initiative targeted to any niche audience. Visit Quad Cities was recognized for their Stir Crazy campaign, created in summer 2020 as a way to reach meeting planners who had had their professional careers upended by the pandemic.

Visit Quad Cities worked with MindFire Communications, a local full-service advertising agency, on the QC Stir Crazy Challenge project as a way to keep meeting planners connected to the Q-C and engage them with the Visit Quad Cities’ new website.

“When we created the ‘QC Stir Crazy Challenge’ direct mail piece for our friends at Visit Quad Cities, we were focused on creating a unique, dynamic way to encourage event planners and tourism promoters to explore all the Quad Cities has to offer,” said Amy Behning, co-owner and brand arsonist at MindFire Communications.


“The power of Visit Quad Cities’ brand coupled with the stopping power of standout creative made for a fun and differentiating approach. We’re thrilled to see Visit Quad Cities receive recognition, and we’re honored to be their partner. We love lighting creative fires that help our community prosper through tourism.”

Over 100 meeting planners received an online invitation which was followed by a direct mail piece inviting them to participate in three-week online contest for prizes. The direct mail piece included a locally hand-carved spoon made by the Wild Cherry Spoon Co. in Rock Island.

Each week, these planners were emailed a video from the Visit Quad Cities team with QC-related trivia questions, and they could find the answers at There were three weekly winners and one grand prize winner at the end of the campaign.

Several planners responded to the contest with testimonials of how much fun they had and how much they learned about the Q-C, according to Visit Quad Cities.

The Iowa Tourism Office and the Travel Federation of Iowa presented awards recognizing excellence in the tourism & travel industry to both metro and rural areas in 13 award categories.

Visit Quad Cities Wins Two Iowa Tourism Awards at Conference
Jonathan Turner has been covering the Quad-Cities arts scene for 25 years, first as a reporter with the Dispatch and Rock Island Argus, and then as a reporter with the Quad City Times. Jonathan is also an accomplished actor and musician who has been seen frequently on local theater stages, including the Bucktown Revue and Black Box Theatre.
Visit Quad Cities Wins Two Iowa Tourism Awards at Conference

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