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Cranberry seminar to offer tourism officials tips on planning successful events

| Saturday, Oct. 26, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Whether it's a community festival, a PTA fundraiser or a county's signature public event, attracting a crowd — and getting it to return year after year — need not be left to chance, local tourism officials say.

Tourism groups from Armstrong, Butler, Greene, Indiana, Lawrence, Mercer and Washington counties are now teaming up to help one another.

A seminar titled “Strategies for Successful Events” is intended to help organizers in the region develop a strategy for improving their events, said Jack Cohen, president of the Butler County Tourism & Convention Bureau.

“The idea for this seminar came out of a meeting several months ago when people working in tourism bureaus around the region were talking about different events in their county that weren't doing very well because they were not run properly,” Cohen said. “We came up with some ideas about what to do about that and decided to share it with others.”

The seminar on Friday at the Cranberry Highlands Golf Course will cover topics including organizing and operating an event, setting up a budget, getting sponsorships and doing marketing and public relations.

“We want to assist individuals and groups put on successful events because those events can become tourist attractions in their county,” Cohen said. “Whether it's a new event or one that's been held for years but has experienced dwindling attendance, we can offer concrete ideas on how to make it better.”

Sometimes an event organizer can help improve attendance at his or her event by simply understanding available resources and how best to use them, said Elizabeth Menhart, communications and tourism director for “Go Greene,” the tourist promotion agency for Greene County.

“Even when there is money available to promote an event, its success can come down to having the marketing savvy to make sure that it's well spent,” she said. “We want people to come away from this seminar with a better understanding of all the elements that go into making their event work.”

Tony LaRussa is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7987 or tlarussa@tribweb.com.

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