Tag Archives: Convention and Visitors Bureau

Northfield’s Convention and Visitors Bureau: What needs to be changed?

In today’s Northfield News – Promoting Northfield’s identity: Convention and Visitors Bureau presents strategic plan

In addition to approving the CVB’s budget at its Feb. 5 meeting, the council said it wants to direct the group to reexamine its bylaws and look at potential options for an increased downtown CVB presence. The council also brought up concerns on how the CVB plans to engage various stakeholders and how to hold the group accountable to those plans.

Visiting Northfield homepageThe article goes on to quote Councilors Jessica Peterson White and Suzie Nakasian, and notes how some councilors question the interconnectedness between the CVB (public website VisitingNorthfield.com) and the Northfield Area Chamber of Commerce (NACC):

For example, the group’s policies and procedures currently state that those allowed to participate on the CVB advisory board must be members of the NACC, unless appointed by the mayor and city council. Some council members said that that strong overlap limits who can be on the CVB board, narrowing the pool of potential stakeholders involved.

See pages 3-28 of last night’s Council packet where the CVB was discussed in the work session.

Convention and Visitors Bureau seeks information on money owed. Is retribution part of the story?

chamberlogoI’ve not kept up on this issue of delinquent payments to the Northfield Convention and Visitors Bureau (a department of the Northfield Area Chamber of Commerce) and their request for information from the City of Northfield. 

I do wonder, though, whether the delinquent payments are related to the angry reaction from local hoteliers to the City’s hiring a Hampton Inn-connected consulting firm for $9,600 which ended up saying that a Hampton Inn and conference center was warranted for Northfield. See my Jan. 2010 blog post and the attached 47 comments: On deciding to spend $9,600 for hotel market study.

Additional background:

Nfld News Dec 23: CVB request fulfilled — sort of

On the advice of city attorney Chris Hood, the city initially declined to release the data, saying it was private and couldn’t legally be distributed. But by the second council discussion, city officials realized that some of what the CVB had asked for could be made public. That information, which includes the total delinquencies of more than $11,000, is enough to help the CVB move forward, said Feldbrugge.

Nfld News letter to the editor Dec 10: Northfield hoteliers must support CVB

Nfld News editorial Dec 7: Info withholding hurts CVB, city

Nfld News Dec 3: Without city data, visitors bureau says its hands are tied

Northfield Visitors Guide, Winter 2010 edition: a well-kept online secret

winter visitors guide sshot I got a tweet in mid-January from NHS ED Hayes Scriven that the Jan-Mar 2010 Northfield Visitors Guide was available. The flash version is embedded on the NHS home page

But I can’t seem to find it on the Northfield Area Chamber of Commerce site nor on their Convention and Visitors Bureau’s Visiting Northfield web site. It’s not linked to or mentioned on the City of Northfield’s visitor page and I couldn’t find it on the Northfield.org or NDDC blogs either.

I know, I know, the print version is the main thing and it’s distributed about town. But why not make it easy for Northfielders to email it, blog it, tweet it, and post to their Facebook Walls about it so that their non-Northfield friends and colleagues take a look at it?  It costs virtually zero to do this. Plus, the thing is full of great photos, BTW. Heh.

So allow me to do my part. Here’s the PDF version, courtesy of LoGroNo. Here’s the Flash version, courtesy of Hayes Scriven and the NHS. Go forth and multiply it, by which I do NOT mean what Brits mean when they say go forth and multiply.

On deciding to spend $9,600 for hotel market study

Highland Group logo It’s not clear from the story in the Sat. Nfld News, New Northfield hotel feasible, market study indicates, how the $9,600 decision was made to hire an Atlanta-based consulting company,  Highland Group Hotel Investment Advisors, to conduct the study.

A search of the phrase “Highland Group” on the City’s website only comes up with the disbursements to the company in October and in December. I can’t find anything that indicates there’s been Council discussion of this. I checked with Jim Gleason, new president of the Northfield Area Chamber of Commerce/Convention and Visitors Bureau, who indicated that he wasn’t aware of the market study being done.

I’m not ready to argue that conducting a study is a bad idea. I’m questioning the process.  It seems like the Council should be involved in a public discussion about an expenditure like this, especially one that’s likely to ruffle the feathers of local business owners. According to the Nfld News, City Administrator Joel Walinski said study was done to facilitate the conversation among local developers and hotel owners. Seems backwards to me.

Videos promoting Northfield are up; no, you can’t promote them

Northfield Video TourBookIn the May 22 Friday Memo, Northfield City Administrator Joel Walinski announced the new CGI Communications videos (Northfield Video TourBook). They’re now viewable, linked from the left sidebar of the City’s home page or via this link on CGI/eLocalLink. Unfortunately, unlike YouTube and every other video service on the planet, they don’t provide the embed code for the videos. (continued)

Continue reading Videos promoting Northfield are up; no, you can’t promote them

CVB launches revamped VisitingNorthfield.com site to mixed reviews

CVB-site-sshot The Northfield Area Chamber of Commerce/Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) has a newly revamped website for VisitingNorthfield.com.  At first glance, there’s a lot to like.  A second glance, however, makes me grumpy.  But I’ll save my critique (mixed reviews) for the comment thread.  What’s your reaction? (Full disclosure: 1) I was asked to bid on the project and I declined; 2) several of my photos were used for the site with my permission.)