The South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority Board of Directors launched a new program to streamline access to board information from personal computers as well as during the monthly meetings.

Paroon Chadha, co-founder and CEO of Passageways, welcomed the board and expressed the company's excitement in having the first convention and visitors bureau join the Passageways family during its September monthly board meeting.

Over the last year, the South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority has redesigned their website and mobile site, installed a state-of-the-art video wall in the Indiana Welcome Center, implemented the use of Passageways Board Portal, and has made technological upgrades in their board room and theater. Upgrades to the W.F. Wellman Exhibit Hall will also be completed in the coming weeks.

"We have been able to streamline a lot of what we do because we have a forward -thinking CEO. We are constantly looking for ways to better utilize the talents of our organization and make technological advancements work for us and our visitors," said Luke Weinman IV, chief technology officer with the South Shore CVA.

According to Speros A. Batistatos, president and CEO of the South Shore CVA, the CVA's Board of Directors voted unanimously last month to implement Passageways Board Portal because of the clear benefits it offers.

"Passageways Board Portal allows our board members easy access to important documents, agendas and a calendar of events before and during meetings, our board members were able to see the benefit in transitioning to a completely paperless board packet," said Batistatos.

According to Stephanie Scott, customer relationship manager with Passageways, Board Portal serves a range of industries including financial institutions, universities, marketing firms and energy co-ops. The South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority is the first CVB in the state to utilize the technology.

"First and foremost, the primary benefits are efficiency and secure access to information," stated Scott. The monthly board packets will be able to be prepared more efficiently, resulting in cost savings for the organization. Cost savings will be seen in the time and resources that were previously spent compiling and preparing the traditional paper board packets.

"Immediately, a benefit the board can expect is the ability to access up-to-date information," said Scott.

"Our organization went with Passageways because it's an Indiana-based company that offered a product that will meet our needs. It was the right fit to take us paperless," said Batistatos. "This tool is expandable, it can migrate to a newer version and it offered a user-friendly application that fit the board."

Scott noted that Passageways will be looking at how a CVB Board of Directors may be different or how the board may share similar needs with other industry boards.

"It's always exciting when we can welcome a new industry; it helps us understand their needs. We are excited to learn what the convention and visitors bureau industry needs," said Scott.

In addition to the launch of Passageways Board Portal, the Board of Directors learned the current SEM statistics of the CVA's mobile site.

"Comparing August 2012 to August 2013, the South Shore CVA's mobile site saw a 2,629 percent increase in visitation," said Weinman IV. The mobile site saw 389 visits in August 2012 and 10,616 visits during August 2013. Weinman IV explained that the mobile site has experienced exponential growth in visitation from smart phones and tablets in Florida, Illinois, Georgia, Indiana and Texas.

"The South Shore CVA continues to be on top of the trend in mobile marketing and mobile web," Weinman IV said.