By: Tina Morrison
Every January, when I get a new calendar, all the crisp white blank pages remind me that each new year, new month, and even each new day is a chance for a clean slate. As I thumb through the empty unfilled days, I am grateful for all the new possibilities that lay before me and grateful for the fun events that will soon be added. I take the time to sit down and look through my previous year’s calendar before it is archived, and I safely transplant important birthdates and anniversary dates to their annual spot on the brand-new calendar’s pages. I reflect on how those prior year’s events were celebrated, and I ponder briefly what in the world will be different when it’s time to move this year’s calendar in the archives.
The fact that I get so much joy from filling the pages of my new calendar is one of the reasons I love tourism so much. A very important part of any town’s tourism plan is events. Whether we are planning and hosting the events ourselves or marketing and promoting others’ events, a major portion of our job in tourism is managing a full, trustworthy, and up-to-date Calendar of Events.
Sure, on the surface, events seem like fun for your tourists, residents, and clients. But let’s take a moment to look a little deeper into what those fun events actually do and why your business should include events.
- Build brand recognition. Increase the hype around your business. Hosting events promotes
your name and helps people connect with your brand. In addition, people generally travel with
others in tow, so your reach will extend as event attendees bring their friends.
- Showcase your venue. Planning your own events to showcase the beauty, utility, and overall
serenity of your business brings people into the space and gets their minds working. Pictures of
your venue just never do it justice. Let’s bring people in!
- Make face-to-face connections. Really connecting with your customers on a personal level
has a big impact on their engagement. These important face-to-face connections are rare in the
virtual world and can really solidify someone’s interest in your company.
- Strengthen your community. In addition to developing a connection with your business,
people attending your events can build relationships with each other and strengthen the
community. There’s power in attending an event and seeing other people who support the same
cause. Meeting like-minded individuals in person will also encourage more active engagement
- Build trust. This is an often overlooked benefit, but hosting events shows that you’re the
real deal. Not only do you exist, but you have the means to throw events! It doesn’t matter how
big or small the event is. All that matters is that folks are able to connect with your brand and
your mission and see that you are here to stay.
- Generate revenue. Hosting quality events generates revenue from vendors and sponsors and
admission to your events. Gearing events towards tangible things that attendees can purchase also increases the event’s bottom line. Offering the option for visitors to buy tickets online helps visitors be converted to paying attendees in no time.
- Fundraise. Nonprofits know how to throw great fundraising events, but businesses can also
join in and organize an event to fundraise for a charity. Giving back to the community is a great
way to raise awareness about an important cause, and gain some recognition for your business
- Establish thought leadership. Holding a seminar or teambuilding workshop for industry
leaders establishes you as a driver of new ideas and collaboration. This provides value to your
community and helps to establish your business as a valued resource.
- Have fun. What could be better than seeing everyone have a great time in a beautiful
environment that you are excited to share? Even your staff, neighbors, and regular customers
will be excited to have something out of the norm going on, and that excitement is contagious.
When people enjoy themselves at your events, they’ll be back for more.
Calendar submissions are flowing into our office right now as everyone is busy planning their 2023 Calendar of Events. Athens-Limestone Tourism Association takes the responsibility as keeper of the Official Calendar of Events for Athens and Limestone County very seriously. We know that businesses, residents, and visitors can count on us to be the trusted source for all the area events both large and small. Whether it is an event that is turning 56 years old this year like the Tennessee Old Time Fiddlers Convention or a brand new pickleball tournament, we are constantly working to keep all the events in the Athens and Limestone County area on your radar and in front of those planning their 2023 vacation with us.
Let’s work together! Please help us by a) submitting all your events large or small to us to be included; b) saving the link to the Calendar of Events so you can check available dates before planning your next event; and c) sharing it with others throughout the year so they can enjoy the many wonderful events Limestone County businesses work so hard to host: www.VisitAthensAL.com Here’s to a fun, prosperous, and eventful 2023!
Tina Morrison, Event Coordinator Extraordinaire