LDS Tourism Services were recently invited to attend Visit Chester and Cheshire's' Workshop on 11th April 2008. Diana and I attended the workshop at the De Vere Carden Park Hotel in Cheshire. These events are very kindly organised by VCC to encourage networking between members. It gives everyone a chance to catch up with the latest news and ideas and put ideas forward.
In the first session, our presentation was 'Marketing and Planning for Your Business' by Tracy Archer. This was a very interesting talk about simple ways to market you own business, with a particular focus on website and e-mail marketing. Although it was mainly aimed at hoteliers and attractions, I found that many points were relevant to us too. We are always keen to keep our website and e-mails up to date with the latest technology, so I found it useful.
After a short break for a cup of tea, we returned to the conference room to see a presentation on 'Victor-e' by Martyn Collins. This focused on a fantastic new online development the tourist board are piloting in Tatton. The idea is to group together clusters of businesses associated with the tourist industry and create an online i-visitor guide for each of them to feature on their website. This way, there would be one point of reference for web users to look up Tatton. Although this may not be something LDS can get involved in directly, anything that boosts tourism in the area is beneficial for all.
I was particularly looking forward to our final session and it did not disappoint. 'Practical Green Solutions - what can you do tomorrow' by Manda Brookman from CoaST was a truely dynamic presentation which enabled all of us to see what a difference we can make to the environment and our business by making small changes. I certainly went away with a few ideas of things we can do at LDS to make us more eco-friendly. It's something we have always been interested in and Paula likes to encourage wildlife by erecting bat boxes on our office building. It was great to see other people become enthusiastic about green issues and also realise that it creates a good image for ones business.
After all the presentations were over we had a lovely lunch and were given the opportunity to talk to others sitting at our table. All in all, I found the day extremely useful. Although we are not hoteliers or owners of an attraction, we are connected to the tourism industry and very much want to improve visitor numbers to our region. It's also important that different types of businesses can work together in order to keep British Tourism and local business thriving.