in states tourism development program
consultant Brooks to evaluate town in mid-April
(February 2008) Madison, Ind., is among 11
cities whose tourism bureaus have been selected to participate in a
unique consulting program, featuring Seattle-based tourism consultant
Indiana Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman announced that 11 Indiana
communities will participate in a community assessment program, designed
to help improve tourism and economic development. The assessments are
scheduled to take place between April and November and will be led by
Brooks, founding member of the Destination Development group. Each community
will receive $5,000 toward the cost of participating in the program,
provided by the Indiana Office of Tourism Development. The balance of
$7,500 must be provided by the participating community.
Roger Brooks will provide a wealth of knowledge and ideas on how
Indiana can create new avenues for tourism, said Skillman. This
program offers a unique opportunity for communities to learn ways to
increase tourism marketing and achieve future economic success.
Brooks visit to Madison is scheduled for April 13-15, with a public
forum being planned for April 15 during which people may hear Brooks
report and ask questions. He will conduct a tourism assessment and provide
a report full of recommendations, according to Madisons tourism
director, Linda Lytle.
She and newly appointed Madison Special Projects Administrator Andy
Lytle attended a planning session Jan. 25 in Indianapolis with Brooks
and representatives of Indiana tourism and the other 10 cities participating
in the program. Lytle said she was impressed with Brooks caliber
and knowledge of tourism branding and marketing.
Hes just phenomenal, Lytle said. His central
message is that branding is not simply a logo or slogan or motto, but
its the image of what the outside world thinks about you.
Brooks has conducted tourism assessments for more than 400 communities
nationwide since 1981. He served as the keynote speaker at last years
Hoosier Hospitality Conference in Indianapolis. State tourism leaders
then decided to offer the grant program for Brooks to visit some of
its towns in 2008.
Lytle said Brooks recommendations will be considered as part of
Madisons upcoming branding campaign, for which $20,000 was recently
awarded to Madison Main Street Program as part of a state enhancement
grant. Lytle added that Madison will likely hire Brooks to return later
to help create that branding campaign. It will involve such things as
signage and streetscape, she said.
Initial meetings on Madisons tourism branding were put on hold
last year because of the ongoing planning of the 2009 Madison Bicentennial
Celebration. Local officials wanted to coordinate any future branding
initiative with the celebration, and also take advantage of Brooks
recommendations, Lytle said.
Eleven local convention and visitors bureaus applied for and were accepted
to participate in the program and receive funding. The Association of
Indiana Convention and Visitors Bureaus (AICVB) facilitated the grants.
Those participating include: Hendricks County CVB, Kosciusko County
CVB, Lafayette-West Lafayette CVB, Madison Area CVB, Marion-Grant County
CVB, Orange County CVB, Perry County CVB, Porter County CVB, Shipshewana-LaGrange
County CVB, Switzerland County Tourism, Vincennes-Knox County CVB.
Brooks has worked in the tourism and resort development industry for
more than 20 years. His expertise in the industry has led to hundreds
of success stories. Brooks is well-known for his step-by-step instructions
in helping communities build tourism development programs.
CVBs understand the important role of smart community development,
said Marilee Fowler, president of the Association of Indiana Conven-tion
and Visitors Bureau and Executive Director of the Evansville CVB. Developing
tourism is an economic driver and also improves quality of life.
As part of the assessment program, Brooks will visit each community
and review their marketing materials. His findings and suggestions will
be presented in a workshop format, as well as in a report which will
include photos, examples, suggestions, and other information intended
to create discussion within the community.
n To learn more about Roger Brooks, visit his companys website:
New Madison promotional video completed
A new 10-minute video promoting Madison is now available. This
was a yearlong project to reflect Madison through the seasons. The
project is a joint effort of Madison Area Convention & Visitors
Bureau, Kings Daughters Hospital & Health Services,
the Madison-Jefferson County Industrial Development Corp and the Madison
Area Chamber of Commerce. The new video replaces one filmed more than
20 years ago.
Each organization contributed ideas, wants and needs for a promotional
Madison video, said Linda Lytle, executive director for Madison
Area Convention & Visitors Bureau. Kings Daughters needed
to show the quality of life here in Madison for recruitment of new personnel.
MIDCOR and the chamber focused on business development, training, and
job opportunities and the CVB needed a product to appeal to potential
visitors. We think that we now have a video that shows all of Madisons
The public can watch the video at the Lanier-Madison Visitors Center,
601 W. First St., during business hours. The video will debut at the
chambers Annual Dinner on Jan. 30 at Hanover College. It features
vignette interviews with several local residents, including Sue Livers
of Kings Daughters, Dan Baughman of Arvin Sango Inc., Bill Grote
of Grote Industries, Joe Carr, executive director of the Jefferson County
Historical Society, and local resident Ann Grahn.
Auto to sponsor Folk Festival
The Ohio River Valley Folk Festival was essentially saved from extinction
in January when Cruisin Auto owner Mark Grey agreed to become
the events title sponsor of this years May 16-17 event.
Other sponsors also have stepped forward to sponsor the music stage
and other aspect of the event, according to tourism director Linda Lytle.
John Walburn, the festivals chairman, led a meeting in early January
during which committee members considered canceling the event should
sponsors not be found in time. They discussed offered smaller sponsorships
of $500 each to more easily attract businesses. But an intense campaign
to solicit sponsors proved successful in rounding up enough sponsors
to move ahead with the event for a third year.
The first year, the festival lost about $4,000, even after a $5,000
contribution from the Jefferson County Board of Tourism. Last year,
the event broke even and even covered the previous years loss,
operating without any money up front from the tourism board.
Walburn is optimistic that with another great lineup of talent,
this years festival will bring out a good crowd. We have
never had a problem getting a crowd; the challenge has been getting
sponsorship money early in the year so we can hire the bands.
He estimates that the committee needs $18,000 to hold the event.
Advanced wristband prices have been increased for this years event
from $15 to $20, but the price includes $10 in food and beverage tickets.
The committee also plans to sell VIP tent spaces for $500 each for the
Back to February 2008