Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Live blogging from Red Carpet Country

Red Carpet Country is a tourism association in Northwest and North Central Oklahoma. I'm compiling notes here, to publish the best of them at Small Biz Survival.

Melyn Johnson, Oklahoma Tourism Department.


It's up to you to do tourism in your area. If you put it together, we'll help you put it together, and we'll help you connect to people.

Group tours require you to connect with what the group wants, not impose your desire on the group.

Oklahoma Tourism is promoting Chick trips.
  • Girlfriend trips. 
  • Short trips. 
  • Geared toward females.
What activities work?
  • Shopping. 
  • Antiquing. 
  • Wineries. 
  • Good food. 
  • Interesting, education. (Old museum with b/w photos doesn't count.) 
  • Spa treatments. 
  • Quilting. 
  • Scrapbooking. 
  • Compfortable place to stay. 
  • Entertainment. Especially plays.
You can offer any type of activity, you don't know what they'll love. But those are common themes.

What's a good price for a package? Melyn saw some up to $55,000! Yikes! For some people $129 a night is high, others think it's great. Throw in some extras, bonuses. If the package is just tickets to the play, then that isn't a package.

Guymon did a shopping poker walk. Prize was Chamber bucks. Gotta spend it before you leave!

If you do a performance for a group, keep it short. Like two songs. Not a long deal. 

Motels need websites, wireless internet. (Band B can get away with no wireless.)

Mary Beth - groups are looking for the experience. Connect to what they want to come and do. A homey, welcoming experience.

Smaller towns - put together tours that FINISH at the bigger city theatre. Partner up.

Rent a limo. Girls like to pretend to be rich.

Plan stops along the long drives.

What do women always remember? Whether the bathroom was clean, and whether the food was good.

When you use photos, be sure you are using pics of the people that you want. (don't advertise your chick trips with photos of guys.)

Set ONE point of contact to plan the whole tour.

Bring your tourism and visitor center folks on a Fam (familiarization) Tour. (Very short, speed tour, targeted to the pros.) Feed them. Pay for their rooms.

Oklahoma has a tourism 800 number, staffed by real live Okies. They are super helpful. Bring them out, and meet with them so they know your stuff. 1-800-652-6552 M-F 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. C.S.T.

How did Guymon start the Folklorico dancers? Melyn just wanted a group for one event in Alabama. She approached the high school and asked a teacher to have a group that could dance one year later. They sold enchiladas to buy costumes. People applaud the efforts of kids, and tolerate errors.

Next up, the Agritourism panel

1 comment:

  1. Hi Becky

    Great suggestions for the Hotels: One of my thing is I love B&B but they never have internet. May be this will help the B&B to add wireless internet, that would really help. Cause then I can love for things to do online, write my blog etc.. while I am there.

    Giovanna Garcia