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Thread: Community branding and development of community marketing facilities

  1. #1
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    I am in

    I am particularly interested in community branding activities and the development of mixed use community marketing facilities.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by icatfishman
    I am particularly interested in community branding activities and the development of mixed use community marketing facilities.
    What interests you in particular? Start a new thread and lets git 'r done!
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

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    My Interests

    Quote Originally posted by Cardinal
    What interests you in particular? Start a new thread and lets git 'r done!
    My background is in the design and production of temporary events such as music festivals as well as the development of permanent "visitors and business marketing centers" for neighborhoods and smaller cities.

    I am committed to the importance of each of these as tools to differentiate and promote communities at large and as vehicles for both retaining and bringing new revenue to communities.

    Any discussion in these regards and specifically the components and mechanics of making them happen work for me.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian yesteryear's avatar
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    I read another post of yours asking if anyone was aware of these permanent visitors & business marketing centers... I'm not aware of any in my area, but it is an interesting idea. I'm imagining something like a chamber of commerce that's geared more toward drawing the public in to the office - where they can then give them promotional materials for local businesses/attractions... am I close here? What qualifies a business to be promoted at such a location? Chambers of commerce require membership - do these visitors centers operate the same way?

    How would something like this work in a town where there really AREN'T any attractions? You say you've worked with smaller towns - I'm interested in what your promotional techniques were in those situations.

    I used to work for a chamber and we organized street festivals, wine/food tasting festivals, etc. It's a lot of fun and a great way to expose people to a particular neighborhood/main street... so your line of work sounds great.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    I have seen these kinds of facilities in many cities, even some relatively small ones. One of the pillars of the Main Street approch is to increase activity in downtowns through a regular series of activities. Markets are one approach, as are summer concert series and the like. Our problem as planners is that we often build the venues, but fail to see that there is any organization willing and capable of carrying out desirable programming.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally posted by yesteryear
    I read another post of yours asking if anyone was aware of these permanent visitors & business marketing centers... I'm not aware of any in my area, but it is an interesting idea. I'm imagining something like a chamber of commerce that's geared more toward drawing the public in to the office - where they can then give them promotional materials for local businesses/attractions... am I close here? What qualifies a business to be promoted at such a location? Chambers of commerce require membership - do these visitors centers operate the same way?

    How would something like this work in a town where there really AREN'T any attractions? You say you've worked with smaller towns - I'm interested in what your promotional techniques were in those situations.

    I used to work for a chamber and we organized street festivals, wine/food tasting festivals, etc. It's a lot of fun and a great way to expose people to a particular neighborhood/main street... so your line of work sounds great.

    What they are or can be is a permanent environment that serves as a venue for providing businesses with "one stop shop" services to relocate or expand within a community as well as being a place where "consumers" can learn about lifestyle factors that make a community a desireable place to live.

    In the best of all possible worlds, they are a combination of museum, highway visitors/community/orientation center and welcome wagon all rolled into one. Funding can come from a variety of sources such as "pay to play" for local businesses, economic development dollars or rental of the space for special events.

    To the best of my knowlege, this concept does not exist as an integrated marketeing tool however, the individual components are often included in community tours.

    I have been developing the concept in terms of both design and execution for several years primarily because I was inspired by what I had seen in the past and some excellent business development areas I designed for sponsored sporting events.

    I developed the spaces for one of the major race circuits costs including graphics,structures, staffing and operations were about $2,000,000 for a very expansive program that stretched over close to 20 events. I imagine a 5000 s/f facility would be about $300,000 to create and under $150,000 annually to operate.

    Quote Originally posted by Cardinal
    I have seen these kinds of facilities in many cities, even some relatively small ones. One of the pillars of the Main Street approch is to increase activity in downtowns through a regular series of activities. Markets are one approach, as are summer concert series and the like. Our problem as planners is that we often build the venues, but fail to see that there is any organization willing and capable of carrying out desirable programming.
    I think the major problem is that our communities do not know who they are or if they do, they do not want to let the world know...lol

    I live near Akron, Ohio and a number of our local communities perceive themselves as being very different from what they actually are. For example, Medina, Ohio believes itself to be a quaint Victorian community built around a square with vital activities and excellent shopping. It is in reality a bedroom community where discressionary dollars are not spent. The town is actually a collection of not very interesting large retailers in conflict with a number of tea and gift shops. The population at large could care less about the historic district. Increasingly, entertainment activities are being moved from the Square to the high school auditorium and contiguous grounds.

    Codes relating to signage make the promotion of activities not to mention businesses very difficult.
    Last edited by NHPlanner; 18 May 2006 at 12:26 PM. Reason: double reply. Please consolidate multiple replies in a single post.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian yesteryear's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Cardinal
    I have seen these kinds of facilities in many cities, even some relatively small ones. One of the pillars of the Main Street approch is to increase activity in downtowns through a regular series of activities. Markets are one approach, as are summer concert series and the like. Our problem as planners is that we often build the venues, but fail to see that there is any organization willing and capable of carrying out desirable programming.
    You mean there are communities where these things are being built and no one's taking advantage of them?? I would imagine that a neighborhood assoc., chamber of commerce or BID staff (if there is one) should be the organization willing to step up to the plate and carry out these types of activities. Main Street also suggests forming a committee and designating one person to be in 'charge' - to lead the effort. It seems to me that there are a whole lot of underserved communities/neighborhoods that would be thrilled to have planning energy/city dollars injected into their downtown areas - it's too bad that you're in a position to see some people take these things for granted.

    Quote Originally posted by icatfishman

    ...In the best of all possible worlds, they are a combination of museum, highway visitors/community/orientation center and welcome wagon all rolled into one. Funding can come from a variety of sources such as "pay to play" for local businesses, economic development dollars or rental of the space for special events.

    To the best of my knowlege, this concept does not exist as an integrated marketeing tool however, the individual components are often included in community tours. ...

    This idea is quite fascinating... so it's basically like a 'world's fair' for a city/neighborhood. A showplace where businesses, attractions, community groups, etc. can advertise in real time. Hmm.

    When you say 'pay to play' do you mean per-display/campaign or in a membership sense? Considering the large amount of staffing and time most chambers require for generating and maintaining membership, if what you're talking about is on a per-campaign basis I think chambers would really be given a run for their money!

    On the flip side - with membership comes a community of business people who can come together politically and have one larger voice. However, it doesn't always work out that way!

    One more thought - as you mentioned, there are many towns where all or most of these components already exist (a community center - run by the city, a historical center/museum - run by a community group/non-profit, a chamber of commerce - run by/representing business people, etc.), how could all of these groups come together in one place? In my experience I've seen that these groups can often have very different agendas. Maybe this whole project is 'run' by an outside company?
    Last edited by NHPlanner; 18 May 2006 at 12:27 PM. Reason: double reply. Please consolidate multiple replies in a single post.

  8. #8
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    Bingo!

    Quote Originally posted by yesteryear
    This idea is quite fascinating... so it's basically like a 'world's fair' for a city/neighborhood. A showplace where businesses, attractions, community groups, etc. can advertise in real time. Hmm.

    When you say 'pay to play' do you mean per-display/campaign or in a membership sense? Considering the large amount of staffing and time most chambers require for generating and maintaining membership, if what you're talking about is on a per-campaign basis I think chambers would really be given a run for their money!

    On the flip side - with membership comes a community of business people who can come together politically and have one larger voice. However, it doesn't always work out that way!

    One more thought - as you mentioned, there are many towns where all or most of these components already exist (a community center - run by the city, a historical center/museum - run by a community group/non-profit, a chamber of commerce - run by/representing business people, etc.), how could all of these groups come together in one place? In my experience I've seen that these groups can often have very different agendas. Maybe this whole project is 'run' by an outside company?

    You have got it. It needs to be run by an outside organization either commercial or not-for profit. I will give you an example of what I think would really work out well in terms of financing..

    In my opinion, the group of folks most likely to recognize direct cash benefit from the center are real estate and insurance folks. I would like to see each agency pay for example $100 per licensed agent as "dues" this would entitle the agent/agency to provide a set number of hours of staffing in the facility. This would be in addition to the developer/builder/sales organization cost for pre-formatted displays and the availability of literature.

    Using Akron as an example, there are approx 350 real estate and insurance agents
    operating in the city. That equates to $35,000 in annual dues alone simply for that sector. Now add in hospitals, stores, financial institutions, etc. and you have a pretty good pool of operating income.

    I am not going to post all of the details here but it is an idea that accomplishes quite a number of things. Move the community econ devel offices and the chamber into the facility, and the numbers become very siginificant.

    I would be happy to deal with specific questions through PM.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian yesteryear's avatar
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    an example...???

    One of my hobbies is visiting model homes in new communities and I came across this today in my research of new locales to scout out... it sounds very similar to your idea, or at least it's what would exist in the beginning, as the town/development was growing.

    http://www.mountainhouse.net/info_center/index.php

    Mountain House is a mystery to me... I haven't checked the town out yet, and I'm feeling a little cynical when I read about "Forward thinking planning and community development"...hmm, we'll see. But opinions aside - the info center does seem to be close to what you were discussing here.

  10. #10
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    Somewhat similar

    Big differences are the economic development goals outside of the real estate alone but the idea is more similar than dissimilar.

    Quote Originally posted by yesteryear
    One of my hobbies is visiting model homes in new communities and I came across this today in my research of new locales to scout out... it sounds very similar to your idea, or at least it's what would exist in the beginning, as the town/development was growing.

    http://www.mountainhouse.net/info_center/index.php

    Mountain House is a mystery to me... I haven't checked the town out yet, and I'm feeling a little cynical when I read about "Forward thinking planning and community development"...hmm, we'll see. But opinions aside - the info center does seem to be close to what you were discussing here.

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