Friday, February 22, 2013

Heartland Travel Showcase was Great!

Heartland Showcase was a success.  We made some great contacts with tour group planners.  We also walked away with many ideas for creating an unforgettable experience for the traveler visiting Kankakee County.  To all our attraction owners, directors, etc., the one thing that most planners are looking for are unique experiences.  Example: Baby boomers are looking for hands on experiences.  Some of the requests were, do we have candle making classes, cooking demonstrations, quilting activities, mystery dinners and garden tours. (We had lots of inquiries regarding The Bennett Curtis House and Sunrise Farms).  Museums are still popular but they are looking for something interactive the visitor can experience. They like to take home something that they created.      

Here are a few ideas:
  • Art classes with take away creations like Clay and Cocktails could be a great event for tour groups.
  • At an event like BBQ Fest – visitors get to participate with vendors in creating a special recipe. An event like Klash on the Kankakee could allow participants to actually try their hand at some of the historic activities, for a real hands-on experience.
  • Unique eateries could conduct behind the scenes food preparation at your restaurant for small groups.
  • Museums could offer interactive tours similar to the Cemetery Walk. We already have Warren Brown performing his Mark Twain re-enactment.
  • Existing attractions could offer special deals on things like ice skating, scuba diving, “how things are made” tours at farms and factories or any kind of “behind the scenes” tour.

These are just a few items we should be thinking about for 2014 and beyond.  Most of the planners are looking for sample itineraries for 2014.  So if you have any ideas please let us know.  We ask that if you are interested in promoting your attraction or event, please be ready to coordinate any activity before our visitors arrive.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Creating a Professional Proposal

A proposal is often the first documented impression that you serve up to your client representative of your property. SCENARIO: Your client wants the proposal “yesterday.” You want to give the client the proposal in the requested time frame so you rush through using a proposal you have used before. You forgot to remove references to the past client, the formatting isn’t neat and words are misspelled. If you had used a template, you would be in a better position with your client!

Yes, creating a proposal template that creates a “Wow!” from every client will take hours but they will be hours well spent. Putting together the template at a time when you are not under a tight deadline ensures a better product. After you complete the template you will have time to put it away, let it rest, and review again with a fresh set of eyes or even a new set of eyes of a trusted coworker or editor for fine tuning. When you receive a new request, just tweak your effective proposal template with specific, unique client information that is “dressed to impress!”
Creating a professional proposal template is sure way to give your location the best impression possible to potential clients. The Kankakee County CVB even has a sample template available to style your own. Additionally there are numerous examples available on the Internet by searching "professional proposals". Here is a link to a website with some great examples and ideas.