Serving hospitality Very Surry style

First Posted: 7/14/2009

ROCKFORD The stage for presenting a hospitality training road show is nearly set as local tourism officials now have the script necessary to help pull it together.
Last month, the Tourism Partnership of Surry County agreed it wanted to use MadCat Groups assistance for a public relations program to build a Very Surry road show presentation which would be used by the TPSC to sell the partnerships objectives and the Very Surry campaign to civic groups, community organizations and other key stakeholders.
Valerie Oberle, the chair of the partnership, revealed the script yesterday at a meeting at Rockford Inn Bed and Breakfast.
She said the script will explain the concept of Very Surry and the research behind it as well as act as a guide to delivering a southern brand of hospitality or country polite.
The script also includes tourisms impact on Surry County, which has an $83 million direct impact in the area and the progression of branding the campaign.
There will also be a short video showcasing the area as part of the presentation, which Oberle said she would like to shorten from Madcats original hour presentation to about 40 minutes.
The boards goal is to adjust the script to its liking, and prepare it for a countywide tourism summit on Aug. 27 and Sept. 1, which board members said will hopefully include the help of Surry Community College through its hospitality classes.
The tourism summit will be split into two sessions on each of those days for one half of the county, and another for the other half of the county.
The partnership represents Surry Countys four municipalities Mount Airy, Dobson, Pilot Mountain and Elkin and the county itself. Representatives for each of those locations who serve on the board will contact community organizations, businesses and other key members of the community to RSVP for the summit.
Oberle said doing the presentation in the form of a summit will show the collaborative nature of the boards efforts.
The event will most likely be after business hours and include both a session for the presentation, questions and a social hour.
Another point addressed at the meeting included some tweaks to the Very Surry campaign, such as using digitally enhanced photography for ads instead of illustrations. Oberle said it would be more cost effective to the group and present a more vintage, down to earth and edgy look for the ad images.
The board discussed holding a local photography contest, in which citizens could submit photos of Surry County that represent the area, which would be used in the ads. The photos would be digitally retouched by marketing officials hired by TPSC.
Using real photos of Surry County is a way to maintain the areas authenticity, board members said.
The next meeting for the group is Aug. 11 in Mount Airy, with a time and location to be announced.
Contact Erin C. Perkins at [email protected] or 719-1952.

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