Tourism Roundtable Meeting Summary

Gravenhurst Tourism Roundtable 

This morning the Chamber hosted a Spring Tourism Roundtable.  The discussion allowed local tourism operators to hear about local tourism programs and initiatives from the Chamber, Muskoka Tourism & RTO12.  As well, each operator attending shared information on upcoming events, promotions and partnership opportunities.  We’ve have posted notes below that may be of value as you start your spring marketing strategy.

2016-04-08 12.21.08

Summary of Meeting

Contacts

Research & Data

Upcoming Events

  • April 13th, Commercial Airlines in Muskoka Airport, Stakeholder Info Session , 5-7 pm Click Here for Details
  • April 14th, Tourism Marketing Summit Meeting, North Granit Ridge Golf Course, Port Sydney – 9:30am to 2:00pm. Click Here for Details
  • April 21st, OTMPC Strategic Frame Review – Looking for input from stakeholders W Marriott – 5-7pm – chance to come out and speak mind to be funded by a provincial level Click Here for Details

Chamber Initiatives

  • Visitor Information Services
  • Mobile Visitor Information Services
  • Enhanced Map & Partner in Regional Tourism Guide
    • Big change this year – Community Marketing – Only an Enhanced Map this year – Collaborated with Muskoka Tourism to create one Regional Guide with all Chambers in the area. Emphasis on cultural activities.
  • Southern Ontario Tourism Print Distribution Tour – May 8-11th * Nominal Fee for Distribution of Materials*
  • Experiencegravenhurst.com New Website – Volunteers Wanted
  • Experiencegravenhurst.com blog – Volunteers Wanted
    • We ask that guest bloggers provide an outline of recommendations, experiences and expertise.  Important to not be too promotion and focus on the guest’s perspective.  http://www.copyblogger.com/successful-guest-blogging/
    • Click Here to view list of topics 
    • ASK – We’re asking for guest bloggers – 2-3 images to accompany the blog – Experts within the community – 2-300 words on what they know best – we’ll edit, make suggestions – not too promotional – then post the blog – connect blogs to specific websites – volunteer to manage the topics of blogs and content coming in

Muskoka Tourism – Michael Lawley Comments

  • Muskoka Visitor Guide -Thank you to Chamber for help with Muskoka Guide.  New guide is 140,000 copies and distribution with a goal of attracting guests to further explore trip planning online.
  • Tourism Marketing Summit Meeting, North Granit Ridge Golf Course, Port Sydney – April 14th 9:30am to 2:00pm – AGM follows – all invited – brand revitalization project – share with everyone that we’re using the same language to customers – leverage opportunity to share what we have working for us that other regions don’t – same messaging for all of us – ontariotravel.net – digital world very important these days – how to do analytics – later in the afternoon – AGM – great conversation in the afternoon as well.
  • Discovermuskoka.com – Looking at the digital world as the path forward to reaching potential customers. 7000 visitors to website – 1.8 million page views – 336,000 outbound links – brand awareness – show consumer choice options between websites – 39% increase from previous year – consumers are using digital tours to make a buying decision – encouraging everyone to enter that world and if you are, amp them up – direct link between investment and return  Focus: Romance, Health and wellness, Getaways, Entertainment, Meetings, Cycle Tourism
  • Discovermuskoka.com Community Landing Pages – Gravenhurst Centric Information – Showcase accommodation, things to see and do, shopping etc.  Convert interest to point back to other websites and hopefully close the sale.
  • Specialty Retail Shopping – Small businesses, antiques, repurposed furniture, arts/culture community – dedicated pages presenting a different side of Muskoka – introduce them to a wonderful range of things throughout Muskoka – digital platform and introducing Muskoka Brand – Path forward

Explorers’ Edge – James Murphy Comments

  • Strategic Plan – 45 pages on where money goes and priorities
  • Encourage everyone to work with Muskoka Tourism and Chamber
  • 1700 Partners – rely on MT and Chambers
  • Consumer-centric philosophy Marketing – make it easier for consumer to choose our area over any other area in the world
  • Content strategy – push over through social media feeds – FB and google ad words – tell stories in a new way – shows analytics – search for the word Muskoka has doubled over the past couple years – Muskoka in your business name, more organic traffic. How to create loyalty, new customers and new markets
  • Fuel and Fun Program – 2 nights in the region – get gas card and two vouchers.  Get new travelers to the region – Can use it at any tourism operator they want – sign up with RT012 to be a part of it – redeem for services -Idea to get them out of the hotels and in the area spending money
  • New products and services – Ride the Edge – Motorcycle Touring – Group of Seven – Bike Cottage Country – Paddling – Craft/Beer etc. – Self guided tours getting people out in the region to get them out and about
  • New markets South and GTA and this year to the US markets – Canada’s birthday is coming up – opportunity to go into the US to target expats – come here to celebrate this birthday – wilderness experience just south of Toronto
  • Packages and Itineraries – Different conversations between locations – CEO’s etc. to help us articulate packages
  • Commercial Airlines into Muskoka Airport– bring consumers up to airport rather than coming through border in a car – everything in our power to make it easier to choose our destination over any other. 12 week pilot project over next couple years to bring consumers in from destinations from the US and the UK.  Flights out of Gatwick, opened up into Pittsburg – big thing is security screening – options to leave the least footprint on the region and most cost effective option – July and August pilot project  -Work with MT and Gravenhurst Chamber – Bethune House – Marriott – Gravenhurst flavor with board and organization.  -What drives us with first resorts were steamships – now new markets with airport.  -Bigger scope of airline industry – let’s get into the game.  Danielle – Come and express your opinions – there will be people thinking this is a negative impact – but as a Tourism Operator please respond.  Trade? – Any option for trade services – loss of rail service – uphill battle of what it would take – businesses in South River who relied on the rail service – few conversations – turned to airport to try and do that – cost difference between airport and train.  April 13th Wed night from 5-7 – airport dinner
  • OTMPC Strategic Frame Review – Looking for input from stakeholders – April 21st – JW Marriott – 5-7pm – chance to come out and speak mind to be funded by a provincial level – co-marketing with MT etc. A lot goes on behind the scenes with this money and how it impacts the community – this region 14% on tax base – tourism spending impacts us the most – now is not the time to cut, we need more investment. Michael Lawley – strategy point of view – 150 years of equity as the premiere destination in Ontario – If not there, more option for Toronto, Ottawa, Niagara Falls etc.  We need you there to prove Muskoka – Muskoka as the premiere Resort Destination.  Also a -Webinar with opportunity to give feedback – strong opinion, send email to Danielle, James, Michael etc. Message needs to be consistent – need to be part of the group
    • -David Rose suggested that getting the dignitaries here – on a plane – sawdust city bus – reach out to the press – why aren’t we bringing up writers, bloggers etc. take them through Muskoka – bring people here who are influencers – big tour, big story.

Gypsy Market Mews– Try to find ways to collaboratively market with other people – Glenn with Ice Cream Ice Cream – Split ads – competition means this Town is vibrant and exciting – opportunities to link our business with other businesses – Muskoka as a linked region

Historic Downtown Gravenhurst BIA – New approach – integrate itself with all initiatives – new relationships – Wharf Association – more business with the downtown whether with the BIA or not – Fashion Show May 4th – silent auction etc.

Gravenhurst Opera House – Presenting 2nd full season of professional summer theatre – last year a great success in relaunched – doubled sales compared to four year average before that – new staff team which is incredible – Krista trying to get out there on a larger scale – packaging again this year – no funding from the DTR this year though – same marketing budget for several years – sponsorship opportunities within local business community – try to bring more people to the region – bring people into Gravenhurst midweek – looking for those who want to package with us – hotel etc. can be in Muskoka as a whole – 100 + shows this season – increased rentals – great musical acts – working with local play writes – Film Festival – to impact other facilities at other places – expand programming into the fall – join Opera House mailing list

Investors Group – Isabelle Frati – Business or personal services – offer lunch and learns to local businesses as a tool for recruitment and retention strategies for topics such as, investments, retirement, goal planning, risk management, insurance, group benefits, RRSP programs etc. – free no obligation personal financial reviews – offer packages for RRSP for succession planning as well.

Joanne Lake – Forest Hill Realtor – buyers in Toronto to come here to Muskoka – Get to know businesses, to tell customers about who we are – Walker’s Point Community Centre pot luck once a month – encourage people to come into Town to come off the islands – focus on the off season – marketing for coming winters etc.

Sawdust City Brewing Company– Tourism tastings – free tours – two big events this summer – July 2nd Funk Festival – 16 diff Brewery’s, taps to Gravenhurst, Food trucks, live music.  Oktoberfest Sept 30th and Oct 1st – 3 sessions – still finalizing details – Accommodation please reach out to us because we’ll list you on our site – opening up our patio every long weekend, not May 24, 6 taps out there.  Trivia night, every second Tuesday, and country night is the next one April 29th – subscribe to newsletter

Frosty Pint Pub – Bob Obrien – Next Saturday pub crawl, poker run, two pubs in bb and Huntsville – May 28th partnered with Graeme Murry golf tourney at Taboo – 2nd tournament – Music Fest same day as Car Show, fundraiser for Graeme again – Sean Cotton – another event after labour day – and Bob is a grandpa!!!  Graeme Murry THANK YOU to Bob for golf tourney, not for profit organization – same opportunities he has a youth to get into sports – be successful in whatever they choose to be.

Rustix Furniture – Stanley Marshall – Promote business, no real events – store is mainly to promote myself and what I do – have other artists that contribute to the store – multiple artists– summer retail, looking forward to it

Muskoka Steamships & Discovery Centre – Jordan – Rebranded! – Exciting year for us – signage changes around Town etc. 150 years of Wanonah 1 – 100 mile cruise – antique boats, crazy day, port carling spring bridge etc. Grace and Speed 10 year anniversary – family friendly exibit theme, science theme, life in and around the water – relates to everyone in Muskoka – two fam tours everyone is welcome to attend May 27th 11:30-12:30, June 4th 12-1pm – pirates, star wars, frozen cruises for kids

Economic Development Renato Romanin – TOG – Thank you to Danielle – DTR concluded, revitalization does not stop, never ending, taking that and carrying on.  Rebranding in place, banners, wayfinding signage etc. Great celebration last Friday with clock tower, awakening of our downtown is happening – community improvement program still continuing – last intake concluded – applications being review – $55,000+ to give – encourage you to think about partnerships and marketing programs – from a downtown perspective – these ideas to bring people downtown shopping

 Sunshine 89.1 –Martha Gillan – Bayshore Broadcasing – work collaboratively with everyone to create promotions – both online and on the air – May 8th fundraiser, country western theme.

Gauthier Development Group – Mary Gauthier –  Passionate of Muskoka and Gravenhurst – share with each other – Town councilors out to see what happens behind the scenes – big commercial opportunities down at the Wharf – based on airport opportunity – in business, how do we get them to see what’s all around Town – transportation, coming from Airport – fly in then get them somewhere – Boats, Planes and Automobiles – lots happening – happy to be at this meeting – have to get back to the Government and let them know we need more money towards us

Residence Inn by Marriott Gravenhurst Muskoka – Jon Massey –  He wears many hats – summer ahead – things good on our end – exchange rate – more US visitors – hotel pace is up year after year – going along with is –in partnership with Chamber, during Car Show will be doing a Car Wash as a part of Father’s Day weekend – Children’s Miracle Network

Snowcrest Riders – John Massey thank you to the members and business partners – trying winter – appreciate partnership – AGM first Sat in June at the Marriott – Golf tourney as well at Taboo – June 9th – attending the snowmobile show this October, more involvement with Chamber businesses

Muskoka Wharf Association –Jon Massey –   – Ontario Tourism – suggest as a Team we sit down and talk about what we want to do as a Tourism Destination 150th birthday– work with whoever we can – Gravenhurst event – 7th year

Bethune House – Scott Davidson– Would like to work together as well for 150 birthday next year – work at the birthplace of a hero – Canadian that made its reputation with a social conscience – 40th Anniversary of the Bethune House – last year was a huge year for them over 13,000 visitors – all parks Canada sites will have Free Admission in 2017 for birthday – big year – new exhibits – outdoor play area for kids – biggest market is GTA, Chinese decent, 30-40 somethings above average families – Fall is crazy time for them – delegations that come with Government, wealthy Chinese families staying for months driving around Canada etc. – Visiting friends and relatives, students etc.  Canadian’s working on health care are new market – rent space for meetings and that kind of things too.  Offering private guided tours – staff fluent in Mandarin – Book fam tour open house.

KOA – Paul Cook –  20,000 adults who come to KOA camping each season – also has a great Golf Course – Par 3

Peter’s Players – Peter Swanek-  Starting 9th season – Summer line up ready to go – big names coming – two cruises in the year, spring and fall, purchasing parking across the road – airport market is perfect for him – potential to fly in to Muskoka then send back out – work on the edge, creates exciting business

Rosseau Arts and Culture Project – Vince Gritani – Muskoka Theatre Project – Incredible Film Festival – couldn’t book anything, no accommodation, Rosseau was just too far to come up for a day – made decision to get the hell out of Rosseau, wanted to come to Gravenhurst, has accommodations and businesses etc. – moving into the fall, Fall for Muskoka initiative – Destination Rosseau through Celebrate Ontario – focus on bus tours – want to get back into the bus tours, can’t do it in Rosseau, Film Festival at Opera House – has potential to be something huge with the word ‘Muskoka’, giving up Muskoka Theatre Project, wants Opera House to take it over – don’t know about Celebrate Grants yet, puts hold on everything – Put Muskoka back on Northern Ontario status Petition – benefits on all levels for this

Muskoka Wharf Marine – Muskoka Wharf Association – Greg DeMarco – Boat rentals, adventure tours, expanding into electric scooters, atv and side by side tours, start collaborating with other businesses, controls all docks at the Wharf – Muskoka Wharf Association – not just about creating a better wharf, but collaborating with other organizations to become more of a community together for Gravenhurst – important we don’t run our businesses separately

Muskoka Rose B&B – Elaine Rodaro & David Rose –  first year of operation, next to no reservations, now almost a third full, Town’s been helpful to us, different than regular B&B, separate house, space for meetings, yoga, cooking demonstrations, waterside events etc.  Marketing person, brought business here, first year has been really important in learning about Muskoka – most of the time, extremely excited to be here and partnering with the group, drop in and say hello to them, wants to create pacakges

Hutchings Marine Products/Boating Ontario – Judy Semple – distributor, not tourism oriented, but offer in the background, keeping that boater on the water – Boating Ontario Association, jumped on board with what’s happening with Tourism, want to ensure we supply boaters to access to water, hoping to get tourism to know how much the boating industry applies to the economy .  Recently attended the GTA of the Strategic Framework in Tourism Discussion.  Recommends that people attend April 21st event.  Janet Bauer Chief Executive Officer of Boating Ontario Association will be present at this meeting on the 21st as well.To learn more about what Boating Ontario is all about, please visit their website. Boating Ontario is the largest recreational marine trade association in Canada.  It’s members are provided with critical and regulatory support, information, advice and direction; and practical, money saving programs for all aspects of their business

Muskoka Information Radio –Gord Kidder-  Been in business for 4 years now, designed to inform people here about tourism, events, weather etc. Reach about 35,000 people in Muskoka – open to helping promote your businesses or events, please contact them – 102.3FM – Community and tourism information

Oar & Paddle, Carey’s, North Catering –Robbie Irvine –  Gravenhurst is so awesome – been in business for 10 years – just doing such a great job, and are the envy to other Towns – personal clap for each other – work in partnership with the Steamships, Marriott and private jets at the airports – exposure to client base in Muskoka – Catering is huge and business is up – value of our dollar is a good thing for Muskoka – already booked into 2017.  More and more film crews coming in, word is out about Muskoka that we can provide all services we need to.  Already established contracts with Peter’s Players for free food for bands etc. mention on website, work with Opera house and extended that same offer to any groups that come in for Free, need to keep complimenting the businesses who work really hard to do the same thing – LIVE music three nights a week at both restaurants – has not gone unnoticed – slipping some $ to help them get through the winter, partnerships are really working – airport expansion is very interesting and will support that going ahead.  Always looking for more partnerships – working with B&B’s to recommend them as a restaurant.

Social Media Consultant – Bryan White – Opera House, Megan’s Walk, Friday May 27th, RAC department Music on the Barge Sunday nights, BIA Fashion Show, dinner theatre at Opera House, dinner by Riverwalk, Vacation Time Real Estate, monthly promotions, looking to partnering, like and share promotion, Muskoka Concert Association at Opera House, Get onto social media? Live on FB – please contact me for help.

Blue Willow Tea Shop – Best High Tea Service recognized in UK Magazine – Muskoka Wharf Association integral part.  Hosting annual Mother’s Day Brunch reserve today.

Meeting Follow Up’s – 

  • Begin Canada 150th Planning ASAP
  • Share, attend and comment regarding airport expansion
  • Review upcoming Tourism meetings
  • Gravenhurst Arts and Culture Page on FB – go and post and share details on cultural events
  • Consider committee to coordinate Winter Tourism Marketing Campaign

 

From the Ground Up Chamber Newsletter – April 5th 2016

FTGU

Good Afternoon Chamber Members –
What a week we had last week – on the short list was our AGM, hosting Tony Clement’s Women in Business Roundtable, Hot Off the Press is the Muskoka Visitor Guide, celebrating the Heritage Designation of the Post Office while sending our Gravenhurst Enhanced Map to press.  We have included some pictures below of the various activities.

This week we are looking forward to connecting with members at the Spring Tourism Roundtable Friday, April 8th from 10am – 12 pm at Sawdusty City Brewing Company.  The session will begin with an overview of programs and opportunities from the Chamber, Muskoka Tourism and Explorer’s Edge – the second half of the meeting we will ask operators to share their upcoming promotions, plans and summer activities.  The information poster is included below but in case you are too excited to wait, you can Click Here for more information and to RSVP.  

Have you updated your business listing for the gravenhurstchamber.com directory? How does winning tickets to the CJ Chenier Live at Peter’s Players this Friday sound?  Check out the details on the contest and your step-by-step instructions below.

And finally, don’t forget to RSVP for our next After Hours hosted by Muskoka Retro and co-hosted by The Creative Plate Eatery on April 14th, 2016 from 5:30pm to 7:30pm – Poster below.

Have a great week-
Danielle

Click Here to Read Full Newsletter

Gravenhurst Chamber Members Meet for AGM

Gravenhurst Chamber Members Meet for AGM
Business organization AGM reports on 2015 fiscal year while planning for the future

April 4/2016- On Thursday, March 31st, the Gravenhurst Chamber of Commerce hosted their AGM at the Muskoka Boat & Heritage Centre. At the meeting, members received an overview of the priority services provided by the Chamber, reviewed the 2015 financials and elected an incoming Board of Directors.  

Over 60 guests attended the AGM which was followed by an After Hours Social.  After the meeting, the newly passed board elected the executive for the coming term.  

Bob Collins was elected to continue serving as president, a position he has held since 2013.  Robbie Irvine has served on the Chamber Board since 2014 and was elected to the Vice President Seat.  Continuing the role as Secretary/Treasurer is John Gordon who stepped into the role last year.   

The 2016 Gravenhurst Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors is comprised of:

  • Bob Collins, Home Building Centre Gravenhurst elected President
  • Robbie Irvine, The Oar & Paddle elected Vice President
  • John Gordon, Gravenhurst Curling Club elected Secretary/Treasurer
  • Sandi D. Allan, Sandi D. Allan Planning Consultant
  • Rob Engman, Sawdust City Brewing Co.
  • Mary Gauthier, Gauthier Development Group
  • Peter Hayle, Giant Tiger
  • Paul Kelly, Town of Gravenhurst Council Representative
  • Jon Massey, Residence Inn by Marriott Gravenhurst Muskoka Wharf
  • Marv McCabe, Individual Member
  • Bob O’Brien, Frosty Pint Pub
  • Tim Webb, Gypsy Market Mews

2016 Gravenhurst Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors

“The business of Chambers of Commerce is changing, significant time and resources was invested last year to develop a strategic plan that would best serve the community,” commented Chamber President Bob Collins.  “As a Not for Profit, we will continue serving the community while ensuring the organization’s stability and financial sustainability.”

The Gravenhurst Chamber of Commerce recently completed a strategic plan, launched a new website and updated its logo.  Currently over 60% of the local business community are members of the Gravenhurst Chamber of Commerce, an increase from 2011 when 46% were members.   

“Moving forward, we are looking to increase our member engagement and assist our important, but sometimes less visible, service-based businesses increase their exposure,” says Collins.  “We’ve experienced significant growth over the past few years, and will continue to pursue opportunities.”

The Chamber operates with six service areas and the organization’s strategic plan was built with the members priorities in mind.  Members elected that future operations are prioritized in the following order, Tourism Marketing & Visitor Information Services, Community Business Development, Membership Services, Community Engagement and Special Event Coordination.  

“We conducted an extensive service review last year which was integral to developing our strategic plan,”says Collins.  “The survey showed that Chamber members prioritize the organization’s contributions to building the community as a whole, over the specific benefits to their individual businesses.”

Information on The Gravenhurst Chamber of Commerce, the AGM, Strategic Plan and Service Review Survey can be found at gravenhurstchamber.com.  As Gravenhurst’s leading representative of local business owners and employers, The Gravenhurst Chamber of Commerce strongly believes that supporting the business community ensures Gravenhurst’s continued growth and vitality.

-30-

For additional information or to coordinate an interview with Bob Collins, please contact:

Danielle Millar

Executive Director

Gravenhurst Chamber of Commerce

705-687-4432 ext.105

manager@gravenhurstchamber.com

 

Click Here for the AGM Report

Click Here for 2015 Financial Statements

~WANTED~ Title Sponsor for Dockside Festival of the Arts!

Dockside Festival WANTED!

~Aim at Targeting Your Exact Audience~

Dockside Festival of the Arts offers a unique and targeted marketing opportunity that your business may be searching for.  Dockside Festival targets seasonal residents, cottagers and their visitors with a household income of $125,000+.  Dockside customers are proven return and dedicated festival goers who have been coming for years, making it a family tradition.  These customers are the perfect target for any business who aims to reach seasonal residents, cottagers, their visitors etc. many with a higher than average household income.  These are the people building or buying cottages, who need contractors, designers, architects, building supplies, year-round landscaping, require second home services such as cottage watch, cleaning, catering etc. and are those who have at least one boat, and need docking/storage services etc.  

Dockside Attendees value and invest in art, gourmet food and home decor with a distinct Muskoka feel.  Dockside is more than an arts and crafts show,  Dockside Festival offers guests an opportunity to enjoy art, LIVE music, craft beer and culinary specialties, while providing unique interactive activities for guests from artisan tutorials and demonstrations, to helicopter rides and attractions.  

If your business falls into any of these categories, then this is the perfect marketing strategy for your company.
If you are a contractor, home designer, architect, building materials supplier, renovation specialist, landscaper, marina owner, real estate agent or broker,  financial adviser, insurance broker, lawyer, home decor/specialty retail outlet, boat/activity rental facility, tree removal service etc.
then you’ll want to take advantage of this advertising opportunity, because you can promote your brand to the exact audience you’ve been wanting to reach.  

Dockside Marketing Sheet Together

‘CREATIVE CRAFT’ TITLE SPONSORSHIP
As a title sponsor your business will be recognized on ALL pieces of marketing material, meaning your logo will be seen EVERYWHERE!  More specifically…

  • Co-exclusive radio spots for all Dockside Festival advertisements, including LIVE on the morning show, contests, promotions, etc. on two local mainstream radio stations
  • Large, front and center logo on print & promotional material, including Cottage Country Hideaways Magazine, Muskoka Arts & Crafts Program, posters, rack cards, road signs, flags etc.
  • Business recognition in ALL social media relating to Dockside Festival of the Arts, including Facebook, Twitter, Google Ad Words etc.
  • Free booth and prime location/event exposure, including signage throughout park
  • Business recognition in all press releases – 2-3 to be completed
  • Full page sponsor bio in Festival Program and www.docksidefestival.com
  • Logo in all email blasts relating to Dockside Festival
  • Front and center logo on Dockside Festival Program
  • Exclusive right to say “Dockside Festival of the Arts – Sponsored by … – Priceless

To take advantage of this unique and targeted opportunity contact Tara Doyle atmarketing@gravenhurstchamber.com or call 705-687-4432.   To connect with Tara after hours, call her cell at 705-644-1741.

Gravenhurst Chamber – Board Member Nominations

Good Afternoon – Our AGM is fast approaching included below is the information, click on the poster and you can RSVP online.  As part of the AGM Agenda, a Board of Directors Slate will be presented bringing forward an outline of nominated new members of the board, board members eligible for reelection as well as Board members continuing their terms.

If you wish to become more involved with the Gravenhurst Business Community and support the role of the Gravenhurst Chamber, we ask you to consider a role on the Board of Directors.  For more information on joining the board, Click Here. Information requests and nominations can be directed to manager@gravenhurstchamber.com.

 

AGM & After Hours (5)

 

 

 

 

 

 

From The Ground Up – March 17th

Good Afternoon Chamber Members –

We need your help.  Have you had a chance to look atGravenhurstchamber.com?  We recently relaunched our website with a goal of increasing our membership directory and online presence.

We have taken this opportunity to find images and develop descriptions for each member’s business.   We now ask that our members review their listing and let us know what corrections and revisions are required.  We are happy to update the information and/or images to represent your company as you wish.

We have outlined the steps below to review and request updates:
1. Visit gravenhurstchamber.com/directory
2. Search for your business listing
3. Review listing for accuracy, content and image
4. Review the Business Catagory and tags associated with your businesses*Each business member can request up to three categories and tags are unlimited*
5. Request updates and corrections by clicking the link at the bottom of the listing and completing the following form

Once we receive feedback we will then work on developing a downloadable directory featuring our members by membership categories.

We appreciate your feedback and consideration as we aim to expand and ensure the proper representation of our members.

Many Thanks,
Danielle

Save the Date!
We have included information below on our March 31st AGM and After Hours Social as well as a Tourism Round Table on April 8th, allowing partners to connect and discuss the upcoming season’s plans and promotions.

 

Click Here to view the full newsletter

From The Ground Up – Feb 4th 2016

*|MC:SUBJECT|*

Good Afternoon Chamber Members –
Many thanks to all who attended our Strategic Planning meeting last week.  We were very happy with the questions and feedback from the meeting and the support for the presented fee increase.  We appreciate the unanimous support to move forward with the fee increase, both at the meeting and through online voting.  We have lots of new information to share with our members and you will see additional information in the coming weeks.  We look forward to discussing the changes and priorities with you.   Some updates include: Volunteers Needed – The success of our strategic plan is based on our ability to work with committed volunteers who wish to contribute to the Chamber’s goals.  Click Here to find out more about the volunteer opportunities at the Chamber.

Gravenhurstchamber.com – Visit our new website and let us know what you think.  Launching a new website is a big project, one area that we cannot afford to discount is our membership directory.  We hope to have our enhanced directory launched by early next week allowing visitors to search by categories, keywords, business and owner information.

Logo – To accompany our fresh new online presence, we have updated our logo to represent the progressive focus of our organization.

Online Marketing – Emphasis will be placed on increasing our online presence ensuring content is originated from our websites gravenhurstchamber.com and experiencegravenhurst.com.  Social media, mail chimp and third party websites will be used to share the information that will start from our home sites.

You will notice that From The Ground Up will be transforming over the next couple of editions, with highlights being featured in the newsletter but gradually encouraging newsletter subscribers to visit gravenhurstchamber.com and experiencegravenhurst.com for your up-to-date source for information. As with most business owners, we are committed to ensuring we have a more robust online appearance but understand the learning curve involved.  Is increasing online presence a priority or goal for your business this year?  We would love to discuss with you and share ideas, resources and options for improvement.  I have learned that growth is gradual and setting up a series of smaller goals and a timeline is often the best way to start a large project.

We look forward to seeing you at all the upcoming Winter Carnival Activities.

Have a great week –
– Danielle

Read This Week’s From The Ground Up Click Here

 

NEW Muskoka Maple Festival + Trail Coming this Spring! – Opportunity for MTMA Members

Muskoka Tourism is partnering with the Huntsville / Lake of Bays Chamber of Commerce to create a brand new attraction and festival. The Muskoka Maple Festival and Trail will encourage tourism to Muskoka during the shoulder season, and raise receipts for local businesses. The partnership consists of two components:

Muskoka Maple Trail – (Mid March to April 23) – Use the maple harvest to encourage visitation to Muskoka. This is a pan-Muskoka initiative.

Muskoka Maple Festival – (April 23) – Weekend event in Huntsville encouraging visitation and shop local initiatives.

Muskoka Maple Trail – Opportunity for MTMA Members

Muskoka Tourism will be developing a ‘Muskoka Maple Trail’ that will run from mid March to April 23. The purpose of the trail is to utilize Maple, a great asset in Muskoka, to attract visitation to your place of business. The trail will feature maple experiences that tourists can select, building a ‘maple itinerary’ for a weekend getaway. Here is an example of itinerary that might be built:

  • Stay at a local accommodation under their ‘Maple Package’ – package includes overnight accommodation and a maple gift basket (a bottle of maple syrup, maple beer from local brewery, and a package of maple coffee from Muskoka Roastery). If you have a restaurant on site, perhaps your package includes a pancake breakfast for two. These are just suggestions, but you have the ability to get creative! The opportunities are endless!
  • Stop in at the Muskoka Roastery to sample their Muskoka Maple coffee, with a splash of Muskoka maple syrup in it!
  • Visit a local sugar shack to meet the producer and get a tour
  • Eat dinner at a local restaurant that has a maple inspired dinner menu – Maple glazed salmon with maple cheesecake sound delicious!
  • Purchase maple butter tarts from a local bakery before heading back to the city

If you are interested in being featured on the trail, please let Muskoka Tourism know ASAP. The cost to participate is $150. This is an excellent marketing opportunity for you to increase business during the shoulder season. They expect the trail to have 10,000 views over the course of the campaign.

Muskoka Maple Festival – Opportunity for MTMA Members

The Muskoka Maple Festival will be held in Huntsville on April 23. The grand finale of the harvest, the festival will feature a pancake breakfast, maple product vendors, craft vendors, antique vendors, food vendors, live fiddling music, as well as other heritage themed programming.

There are so many ways for you to get involved in the Maple Festival. If you have an idea that is not featured in our Get Involved Guide, let us know. We can work with you to create your vision.

Some of the opportunities to get involved in the Festival are:

  • Maple Vendor and Craft Fair
  • Antique Market
  • Create a Maple-Themed Meal
  • Create a Maple-themed Event
  • Pancake Breakfast

 If you are interested in getting involved in any way, please let us know ASAP. This will be a great community event, and we need the community to make it a success!

Click here to see the Get Involved Guide

Experience Gravenhurst Map ‘Media Kit’ is Ready!

The Experience Gravenhurst Map Media Kit is ready for distribution!  We are thrilled to be offering a new and innovative publication this year, connecting a handbook & map together as one complete guide to all Gravenhurst has to offer.  The Experience Gravenhurst Map will showcase the Gravenhurst Municipality as a whole, and will allow it’s readers to search through a handbook connected to the front, to delve into things to do and see, where to stay and eat, local services etc.

The reason for this change is that, for the first time ever, Muskoka Chambers of Commerce and Muskoka Tourism have partnered to create one collaborative and progressive Muskoka Visitor Guide, combining existing individual Town Guides, and creating a new perception of how Muskoka is presented to the world.  This Muskoka Visitor Guide will feature Gravenhurst alongside other Towns, and will act as a tourism economic driver, encouraging visitors to our area.  From there, we will ensure guests have what they need with the Experience Gravenhurst Map to have the best experience they can while they’re here in our beautiful and exuberant Town.

The Experience Gravenhurst Map will continue to be distributed throughout Ontario, including Ontario Tourism, Travel Information Centres, CAA and AAA Travel Centres etc, with a local distribution every other week.  And NEW this year is the option to have an Online presence!  Our brand new www.experiencegravenhurst.com website will be the driving force behind this publication and for the first time ever, we’re offing FREE online advertisements with every 1/2 page or bigger booked, with FREE ad creation – you can’t beat that!  In fact, ALL ad creation continues to be FREE with your booked ad space, regardless of size.

Our pricing structure has also changed to make things much more streamlined.  We’re offering one price for each size of advertisement, and it’s your choice which part of the Experience Gravenhurst Map you’d like to be in.  It’s as simple as that!

We are everywhere your best prospects are…and as an advertiser in The Experience Gravenhurst Map, you can rest easy knowing that your business is in front of Gravenhurst’s visitors, seasonal & local residents, and guests.

To book your space today, email or call Tara Doyle at marketing@gravenhurstchamber.com or 705-687-4432.

For the complete Media Kit with pricing and sizes click below!
Capture

Members Meeting

Members Meeting

Join us for a Members meeting taking place January 27th from 5:00pm – 6:30pm at the Gravenhurst Opera House, Trillium Court.

The meeting will present the Chamber’s Strategic Plan, outline the organization’s priorities and present the financial forecast to support the plan. In support of the Strategic Plan, the Gravenhurst Chamber Board of Directors will present a motion to increase membership fees aligning the Chamber’s fees with other regional Chambers and supporting the growth outlined in the Strategic Plan.

Agenda
5:00 pm – 5:05 pm Welcome and Introductions
5:05 pm – 5:25 pm Strategic Plan Overview
5:25 pm – 5:35 pm Membership Fee Increase Presentation
5:35 pm – 5:50 pm Questions
5:50 pm – 6:00 pm Vote on Membership Fee Increase
6:00 pm – 6:30 pm Social Reception

Details & Resources
In Spring 2015, the Chamber surveyed members and stakeholders, over 70 guests took part in a Chamber Service Review at the AGM, 120 responses were collected from an online survey and over 20 individual interviews were conducted to obtain information on member priorities.  Click Here to view the Chamber Service Review Survey Results.

Through the summer the Chamber staff, drafted a Strategic Plan which was discussed and reviewed by the Chamber Board of Directors at three planning sessions.  In November, the Chamber of Commerce’s Strategic Plan was approved by the board and outlines the priorities, goals and initiatives for the next five years.  Click Here to view the Strategic Plan.

Proposed Fee Increase
The Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors voted to present a motion to increase Chamber Membership fees in 2016.  The support for the fee increase will allow the Chamber to secure funds to support the expanded location, implement the strategic plan and align the membership rates with neighbouring communities.

The Proposed 2016 Membership Rates:
– $100 Independent Citizen Member
– $130 Not for Profit Member
– $180 Sole Proprietorship Member
– $230 3+ Employees Business Member
– $100 Secondary Business, Same Owner Member

Voting: Each business will receive one vote.  Organizations will need to designate a voting representative.

For members unable to attend the meeting, proxy voting will be accepted.  The Proposed Fee Increase presentation will be distributed by email to members at least 24 Hours prior to the meeting.  Proxy voting will be available via online form from January 27th at 9:00am to January 28th at 5:00pm.

For questions or comments, please contact Executive Director Danielle Millar,705-687-4432 x105 or manager@gravenhurstchamber.com.