In small town tourism, play to your strength; use what you’ve got.
Avard, Oklahoma, is celebrating their centennial at their annual Folk Festival. They are a tiny town, practically a ghost town. They play up their cowboy heritage at this event with a dutch oven cook off, a quilt show, western musicians and much more. Did I mention they only have 12 people in the town of Avard? Twelve! And they do this every year. I’ve helped them a couple of times to apply for Oklahoma Arts Council Grants as they grew the event. This year, they’ve added that website.
How could we reach more potential visitors for Avard? How about:
- Use the Google AdWords grant program to place some pay-per-click ads at no cost.
- Spend some advertising funds on Facebook local ads. These can be amazingly affordable.
- Call a few people from previous years. See if you can find some photos to use on your own site or upload to Flickr, especially to the Oklahoma Travel groups.
- Send a personal invitation to the local Oklahoma bloggers, like Blog Oklahoma and Okie Legacy to attend this year.
- Take a ton of video and photos at this year’s event, and get it posted all over online.
(I love brainstorming this stuff.)
So here’s the discussion question:
What is your favorite home town event?
This can be your own, or the Eufaula Okra Fest, as long as it builds on a home town strength. Tell us what makes it great and how you’d bring in more people.
Special Note for Woods County Locals:
Don’t miss the archeology and western art event in Freedom this Sunday, Aug. 30, 2009, 2-4 pm.
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Becky started Small Biz Survival in 2006 to share rural business and community building stories and ideas with other small town business people. She and her husband have a small cattle ranch and are lifelong entrepreneurs. Becky is an international speaker on small business and rural topics.