ALTON — The Alton Area Business Development Association, Alton Regional Convention and Visitors Bureau, and River Bend Growth Association are collaborating to host a hospitality workshop Tuesday, Oct. 28, at Alton Little Theater.
From 7:45 a.m. to noon, businesses, nonprofit organizations, government staff, and civic leaders are invited to learn from experts how to “Raise the Bar: Build an Exceptional Brand.” Reservations and a $10 donation (at the door) are required. Participants can reserve seats by going to www.MarketFreshNetwork.org.
“Successful economic development is not an accident,” said Ron Tanner, event organizer, entrepreneur, business consultant, and AABDA Board member. “Sure, community and/or economic fluctuations are the result of many factors, but sustained growth is a planned series of events strategically executed for the greater good. This event is an important first step toward that plan.”
For a $10 donation to cover venue expenses and refreshments, the local organizations, all of whom promote economic prosperity, have combined their resources to deliver an important message to the community: “If you deliver a memorable positive experience, the community prospers.”
The event features a lineup of business professionals who will lay out the fundamentals for delivering that memorable experience. John and Tracy Sullivan of Buffalo Jump Design in Alton will begin the program at 8 a.m. by describing the essence of a brand — a personal brand, company brand, or a community brand. They will be followed at 9 a.m. by author, entrepreneur, and hospitality expert Ralph Pfremmer discussing hospitality as an industry and as a way of delivering an experience. After a networking break, Brett Stawar, president of the Alton CVB, will talk about the market opportunity and how many people we have an opportunity to serve. To wrap it all up at 11 a.m., marketing expert Ron Tanner will talk about how to apply the knowledge.
“I hear it every day, and have heard it for 30 years,” Tanner said. “Why aren’t we growing? There are many reasons, but from my perspective, it boils down to coordinated leadership and a plan. Until we develop a plan, these organizations will provide the leadership and education toward building a community brand that attracts visitors, builds successful businesses, and yields a better quality of life.”
Reservations are made online at www.MarketFreshNetwork.org. Doors open at Alton Little Theater at 7:15 a.m.; payment is made at that time using cash, check (made payable to AABDA), or credit card.
The collaborating organizations are: Alton Area Business Development Association (AABDA), Alton Regional Convention and Visitors Bureau (ARCVB), and River Bend Growth Association (RBGA).
AABDA is the youngest non-profit organization recently founded to create and run a small business incubator and local food hub called the Great Rivers Market Fresh Network. It is a collaborator with the Southwestern Illinois and St. Louis Regional entrepreneurship ecosystem.
The ARCVB is a destination marketing organization serving northern Madison, Jersey and Calhoun counties. The bureau was established to educate visitors about the many attractions the region has to offer by providing information regarding the area’s history, landmarks, recreational opportunities, leisure attractions, special events and scenic marvels.
The RBGA is the chamber of commerce and the economic development organization for the communities of the Riverbend. As a chamber of commerce, it actively promotes activities among member businesses. As an economic development organization, it works closely with state, regional, county and local officials to develop new employment opportunities. The growth association serves Alton, Bethalto, East Alton, Elsah, Foster Township, Godfrey, Grafton, Hartford, Roxana, South Roxana, Wood River and Wood River Township.
For information, contact Ron Tanner at firstname.lastname@example.org or (618) 570-9125.