Brochures

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08/19/2008

I am working on my brochure and doing it simply ina rack style. What would be the most important info besides the obvious--location--should be included. I want it to be very casual and inviting. Any suggestions are helpful

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06/24/2008

Your State office of  tourism may have certain regulations in order to be placed in your state Welcome centers.  If you plan to provide them to the centers (IMVHO is a must do) then you should check with them 1st. 

Our state requires rates to be listed.  As Gillumhouse pointed out this could cause brochures to become outdated so what we did was place 'starting at $X."  Some of the others placed a price range. 

Other than Pictures which is what catches the eye, we also found that the quality of the paper is very important.  You do not want to spend good money on a brochure that bends over or goes limp in the stand.  Good quality card stock - a must.

gillumhouse's picture
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I was surprised to dscover on the previous forum that State Tourism Welcome Center rules differ. It was pointed out there that at least one State requires a payment to display brochures at EACH Welcome Center - in MY State they do it for free (at all Centers) and the Welcome Centers are begging for brochures and rack cards from B & Bs.

Suggestion for States that require payment - ask them what they are going to display if no one can afford to pay. I know that will never happen but it is a thought...

Morticia's picture
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I'm still not 100% sure, but I think a 'mea culpa' is in order here from me. I'm the one who said I pay to be in the state welcome centers. However, what I thought were welcome centers operated by the state, apparently are not. This is one I doubt I will ever get straight as the state tourism group and this other group have names so similar I am always forgetting who I pay.

I tried to get it straightened out last year (in my head) and I'm still confused.

So, to sort of set the record straight- when I submit info directly the state (.gov) I don't pay. When I have my brochures in the apparenlty not-state run centers, I do pay.

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gillumhouse's picture
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Tweren't you. I do not want to name the State, but a regular here said it was $250 per Welcome Center to have her brochures there.

There are brochure rack filling companies here also that go to places and keep the racks filled with client materials for a fee. And if you put your stuff in a White Star rack (in an empty slot) your materials will quickly find the garbage can.

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05/22/2008

It VA, it costs $750 to put your brochures in all the Welcome Centers. And they are very strict as to what you can display. They have more than they can put out..so obviously people pay it.

egoodell's picture
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That's why we don't have ours in the Welcome Centers. BUT....the VA Conference and Visitor Centers let us put them in for free. They are the same folks who have the great website that promotes travel in VA and gives us free space on their website.

Riki

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Riki Goodell
Arcady Vineyard Bed & Breakfast
Arcady Vineyard Wine Tours
www.arcadyvineyard.com
Come! Let us show you the beautiful Monticello Appellation!

 

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Do you mean Virginia.org??? They are the same who run the Welcome Centers...well sort of...a branch of it anyway.

What is the website of the VAConference and Visitors Center??? I am not sure I know them.

egoodell's picture
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Yes, the Virginia.org people. They just sent me an email that they want me to go to Fredericksburg to do a blitz at the welcome center for the tour business. They are letting us put our rack cards in the center near Monticello and not charging us. I first contacted them when we opened to try and see about getting them in there and they told me I had to pay but not any more. They asked me at one of the monthly meetings we try to go to if I would drop some off and we've been doing so ever since. 

They are very helpful but don't understand how small I am. I work at uva, and Chris and I do the B&B and wine tours by ourselves and we just don't have the time for even one of us to go up there and promote. Right now is the busy season. We could do it in the winter time.

They just came here and did a day long thing where I was able to go and talk with all of the departments. They told me one important thing - that all of us should check the leads for the group/convention sales.

They told me to "stay alive" the big boys that used to just handle the big groups are now even handling bookings for two to keep in business so they are all looking for services and accommodations that are small as well as large.

Riki

 

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05/22/2008

What visitor center near Monticello? I didn't think VTC had one near there, are you sure it isn't one of the regional ones??? 

There are I think only 10 Major Welcome Centers. And as far as I know, you still have to pay to put your brochures in them no matter how small you are.  But the regional ones may not have the same rules.

These are the locations of the OFFICIAL WELCOME CENTERS:

BRACEY
BRISTOL
CLEAR BROOK
COVINGTON
FREDERICKSBURG
LAMBSBURG
MANASSAS
NEW CHURCH
ROCKY GAP
SKIPPERS
RICHMOND / BELL TOWER

egoodell's picture
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I;m referring to the "Virginia is for Lovers" people. The Convention and Visitor's Bureau. You can see they have one downtown Charlottesville and one on the way to Monticello near the two year college.

They first told me a year ago I had to pay but now asked me to put my brochure in the centers.

http://www.pursuecharlottesville.com/pressDir.php

 

Riki

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The Convention & Visitors center in downtown C'ville and near Monticell are NOT a VTC welcome centers.  They are your Local visitor centers. They use the VA FOR LOVERS LOGO because they are affiliated with VTC just say like our Luray Chamber / Visitor Center. They use some of their services so they use their logo.

This is an entirely different thing than the Official VA Welcome Centers.

Virgina Tourism Corporation VTC  are the Virginia is for Lovers people.

egoodell's picture
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So the group that came for the day from Richmond and had all the different departments (advertising, large groups, etc) were local? They are the ones that want me to go to Fredericksburg and run the website...??

RIki

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Hey Riki....have you seen this

egoodell's picture
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Thank you El! We just recently found out about this from our web host Jeremy. I wonder what the readership is? We're excited our package is finally getting noticed.

Interesting when something is "lifted" by a travel writer it's okay !! It is almost word for word from our website and the directories. But hey, it's free press!!

Riki

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This "booklet" is found in just about every visitor center and at tourist spots all over the state. 

It may have been our "president" who "lifted it"  because he or one of the other regional reps is responsible for getting the info to the editor. He is given a topic and I think he does a "search" on specials at the BBAV site and then goes to the website to get info. So another good reason to post specials at our BBAV siteSmiling

They have been wonderful and has been an excellent marketing tool for BBAV which features a different region in each edition. I just didn't realize it was on line as well. The site is one of the top referrers to our www.innvirginia.com web site..so this is a good thing!!!

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No the folks from Richmond travel all around the state to "do their thing." The VTC staff is very helpful with local CHambers and Visitors Centers. That is what they doSmiling We have them here in Luray several times a year to teach 'marketing" and small business classes to the locals..that is part of what they are charged with. So they were doing it for your Local Convention & Visitors Bureau since they....Albermarle / CHarlottesville folks work with VTC...same with most countiesSmiling

Just like BBAV works with VTC on a number of special efforts and marketing projects. If you have seen the "members only page" you have seen the flash movie we are using to promote BBAV and "Live Passionately"

Here are their main staff

Morticia's picture
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egoodell wrote:

They just came here and did a day long thing where I was able to go and talk with all of the departments. They told me one important thing - that all of us should check the leads for the group/convention sales.

They told me to "stay alive" the big boys that used to just handle the big groups are now even handling bookings for two to keep in business so they are all looking for services and accommodations that are small as well as large.

Riki

 

Just an experience, everyone's mileage will vary...my town has been very successful in bringing in 'conventions' of a non-conventional type. We got a 300-room convention moved here from a city close by and they are returning this year. When the venue was announced, the hotel switchboards lit up. All rooms were booked in about 24 hours. That left the B&B's, the folks who had organized the whole thing, left in the cold. No one wanted to book a B&B. Everyone wanted to be 'where the action was' which is the hotels where the convention events were taking place. (Some B&B's also arranged events at their locations to which no one came.)

This year I received a call from a woman wanting to book for next year's convention. She wanted 'the whole place'. Wow. Good for me. I started to explain how we would do the billing and she said, 'how many rooms do you have?' I told her and she sneered, 'I need 300 rooms, not 7.'

OK, I'm sure SHE personally did not need 300 rooms for her group. But that's the attitude we're getting as a 'small' player. At the end of the convention last year, only 1-2 B&B's had gotten any guests at all for that convention. Even tho I am about 100 yds from where the events were held, I was 'too far away'.

Of course, a lot has to do with the promoters. THEY are the ones who control what access the conventioneers have to what lodging is available. The event-goers take their lead knowing they have arranged the pricing. We were offering to rent the whole house for the weekend for $1500 for 20 guests.  Not cheap enough. They crammed 4 to a room at the hotels at $79/room.

Like I said at first, this is my experience. It's good for the town to get these folks in. For me, it means the hotels are full and we'll get the folks who aren't here for the convention but who don't want to be in the hotels with the convention. NOT how we had planned it, but probably works for the best not having convention-goers taking over.

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I think one of the reasons my inn has been successful is that although I am very small, I have tried to play like the "big boys" and have to some degree, told them to "move over, coming through! " There is a difference between being small and acting small. Head up! Elbows out! Coming through!

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gillumhouse wrote:

I think one of the reasons my inn has been successful is that although I am very small, I have tried to play like the "big boys" and have to some degree, told them to "move over, coming through! " There is a difference between being small and acting small. Head up! Elbows out! Coming through!

I have a photo I am going to give you.  I can't take it yet, the other party is not here. 

What you say I concur. I  have a big dog in a small body with my Irish Jack Russel.  What does this mean? It means she is not a yappy horrible small dog, doesn't bark, doesn't act small.  Guests this morning saw her and questioned why she is not acting like other small dogs.  This is why.  Big dog in a small body.  She THINKS she is big.

Wait for the photo - as soon as I can find my sd card reader to get it on here.  My pc is turned upside down right now. 

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Morticia's picture
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gillumhouse wrote:

There are brochure rack filling companies here also that go to places and keep the racks filled with client materials for a fee. And if you put your stuff in a White Star rack (in an empty slot) your materials will quickly find the garbage can.

There is a rack like that in a restaurant near here that we eat at all the time. They had a lot of empty spaces so I used to bring my cards and put them in. They were always gone next time. Oh joy! Guests are taking them!

Go to restaurant with friends and I pull out my cards and stick them in an empty slot. Friends are aghast! What are you doing? You can't do that, you have to pay to be in there. Oops. Take cards back out, realize they were probably removed by owner of display. (Who, if a bright business person would have called me and asked me to sign up!)

swirt's picture
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05/17/2008

WOW  I can't believe a state tourism board would be so stupid as to require rates (I believe you, I am just appalled).  In my opinion, very little good comes from listing rates on a rack card.  If you absolutely must put rates on, then I would at least put an expiration date on the card.  I'd try to get your B&B association's collective clout to try to get the state to change their rule.

There are three reasons I think it is a bad idea to put rates on a card. (I wrote this on another forum so some may have seen this before and the "you" in this represents innkeepers' in general, not Copperhead specifically)

1) Everything about your inn seen on the card/brochure may look great, but a price evokes either of two reactions. Either a potential guest is surprised by it in a good way (probably not) or turned off by it. The card evokes a decision before they have been enticed on to your website or called you on the phone. We have lots more helpful and valuable information on our website than we can ever fit on a rack card or a folded brochure. Let the unknown of your price draw them in a bit. Lets face it, most successful B&B's are not known for being attractively cheap. I don't know of any that are doing great because they are the best deal in town. That's what super-8's are for. So if your rates aren't super attractive, don't list them.

2) One thing that B&B's can do more readily than hotels is change their rates and offer specials that change from week to week, season to season etc. If you are actively changing your rates to attract more business, having a brochure or card out there that has some higher price listed on it does you no good. It actually works against you.

3) We used to have rack cards distributed to ~30 different locations and we are unable to always make sure the most current version is always on display everywhere [we actually stopped putting rack cards out, but that is a choice specific to our B&B and is not something that I would generally recommend]. So if we had a card with prices on it from last year still sitting out some place (with a date on it), potential guests who pick it up, may get turned off because it is out of date, or they get turned off when they call to book a room and we quote them a higher rate. Sure the date is on there and you can tell them to look for it, but that doesn't make them feel any better. If anything, it makes them feel stupid for not noticing the date. Either way they start off disappointed because you are charging more than they had anticipated. Its not the best way to start off.

In these times where the costs of doing business (milk, eggs, gas, heat...) are increasing rapidly it seems like the state tourism board is being silly and antiquated to force all participants to commit prices into print.

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06/24/2008

I agree 100% with you Swirt, just wish the State Tourism site would!  We do hope for possitive changes as there have been a big change in management in the last year.  The associations around are hoping that the fresh ears may be also more open minded.  We can all hope! 

As far as paying to have our rack card in the centers, this state does not.  At least they have that right!  Our state has a tourism tax, that tax feeds the welcome centers - as well as other things.  Who collects that tax ---the businesses that have rack cards in the centers. 

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05/30/2008

I finally got rack cards printed up after being open a few months Smiling  All the contact info, your slogan (or logo or whatever is your "brand"), some great pics, what makes you special in your description, a small map to get to you, and how many rooms is essential.  Don't put your rates on it as they can change and you can do a rate card if you like.  We talked about Vistaprint in another thread about being a good resource for printing them up.  Good luck!

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~ Anton Chekhov

 

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08/19/2008

Thanks for the info--we are probably not that fancy but it gives me some great ideas. Our website is being done right now and our address is www.relaxatriverbend.com

JunieBJones (JBJ)'s picture
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,,,

What are you selling? Is is the location for the fishing? or the room AND the location? I would do both, I WOULD SELL THE LOCATION.  Maybe I am not even looking at your place? YOU DO HAVE the giant Sturgeon on your website right?

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05/22/2008

I have not seen it in person, but it is not a rack card but a brochure. To me it looks like too much is crammed onto it.

gillumhouse's picture
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Your inn name at the top so it will show up in a rack and your contact info and great (good is not good enough) photos. # of rooms, type of breakfast, map inset with directions. I do not put rates in printed materials because rates change and that makes printed rate rack cards obsolete.

IronGate's picture
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08/09/2008

gillumhouse wrote:

Your inn name at the top so it will show up in a rack and your contact info and great (good is not good enough) photos. # of rooms, type of breakfast, map inset with directions. I do not put rates in printed materials because rates change and that makes printed rate rack cards obsolete.

Very good point about placement of your name!  Make a mockup of your brochure, and take it to the racks.  How does it look amongst all the others? 

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JunieBJones (JBJ)'s picture
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PHOTOS

"1000 words" thing.

Website, phone #, and catch phrase - slogan.

IronGate's picture
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Website! 

Phone number. 

Pictures of the place and/or general mood-setting pictures. 

Map of the area.

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