I represented the Comfort Inn Middletown at the Jersey Shore Convention and Visitors Bureau meeting this morning held at the Hilton Garden Inn in Lakewood. It was a gathering of various tourism related businesses from Monmouth and Ocean Counties. Those in attendance share a common desire to create a viable tourism market at the Jersey Shore all year-round. Attractions, hotels, restaurants, non-profit organizations, tourism related businesses intermingled with networking opportunities before and after the event.
Newly instated Executive Director, Bob Hilton lead the forum. He discussed the value in membership of the Jersey Shore Convention and Visitors Bureau, be it as a member or a sponsor. The Jersey Shore CVB is an example of the phrase “there is strength in numbers”. The CVB is partly funded by a New Jersey State grant. The cost of membership is only $100. The value is easily 10 times that amount. There are trade show and advertising opportunities (just to name a few) that the CVB will represent you that simply are not feasible for a single entity to take on. Other types of businesses would find it more beneficial to become a sponsor. There are two levels of sponsorship available depending on your needs.
Barbara Steele, Ocean County Tourism asked Steve Steiner from the Surflight Theatre to tell the group how he has successfully been able to engage the local community to build business not only for the theatre but also the local restaurants. These efforts have not increased the number of groups to the theatre accommodates annually but it also creates a great guest experience. Steve solicited the local restaurants for a set price menu of their choosing for his group sales department to sell to groups. The group can then pick a menu by restaurant and it is all arranged through the theatre. A group is considered 15 or more people and packages are available for both lunch and dinner.
Jeanne De Young from Monmouth County Tourism spoke about all the great things to come in Monmouth County. The Visit Monmouth 2010 Travel Guide produced by Spark marketing has been released and she will be bringing them to all the travel & tourism shows she will be attending this spring. You can access the Visit Monmouth County 2010 Travel Guide on-line here.
The floor was then open and there was a lively question and answer session. Many people were able to share ideas and connect at this event. If you are interested in becoming a member call 732-303-5984 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.