By Portia Williams
The Portsmouth-Scioto County Visitors Bureau recently had the opportunity get more exposure of what the local area has to offer to the public. Working in conjunction with Ohio Travel Pavilion, The Bureau had a display table at the 2015 Ohio State Fair in Columbus.
Kim Bauer, Executive Director of the Portsmouth-Scioto County Visitors Bureau, said the effort with Ohio Travel Pavilion is a great opportunity for advertising.
“There is a company that I worked with, it is called Ohio Travel Pavilion, and this company is a wonderful resource for Visitors Bureaus, like my office, and chains like Tecumseh, or The Living Word which is sort of like the biblical version of Tecumseh,” Bauer said. “This company offers an outstanding service. The owner, Lisa Underwood I have gotten to know over the last eight years, and she is just a wonderful person, and goes to a lot of these travel shows in Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Charleston, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, and a couple of more places.
Securing a spot with the Ohio Travel Pavilion at the Ohio State Fair provides multiple ways to promote the Portsmouth area.
“I have what is called a regional table. The sides of the sign is two feet by two feet, and they man the table the entire 10 days of the fair,” she said. “One day during the 10 days, they actually wear your t-shirt from your area. On the shirts, I got the ones from the Chamber of Commerce Gift Shop. I put the murals on the back of the shirts, and they read, ‘Several murals in Scioto County.’ On the back I did the Roy Rogers theme, I did the Chillicothe Street, the motorcycles, and the Mound Builders, so that is another way of advertising our area, even if they don’t see our table they will see our shirts that say Portsmouth.”
She said this year that staff has really gotten into the spirit.
“They stand in front of your table and have their pictures taken with you, which again, I shared on my personal Facebook and office Facebook page, which provides more advertising for us,” she said.
She said the Portsmouth-Scioto Visitors Bureau is currently in their busy season.
“I always go up at least one time during the entire State Fair, and I check in with them to see how much information I have left over,” she said. “A week after Labor Day our season starts, so right now I am in the process of sending out emails, making hotel reservations, contracts for travels, and fishing expos and those types of things, so this kind of starts of our busy season now. I took up 5,000 visitors guides, and more than half of them are gone, and then I took up a couple of 2,000 walking maps that I use here, and copies of the restaurant menus, and almost all of those are gone.”
The Bureau saves thousands of dollars by partnering with Ohio Travel Pavilion.
“For me to go up there, and spend 10 solid days with hotel, and meals would be extremely expensive, even with a cheap hotel, with gas, and mileage back and forth to the fairgrounds, you are probably looking at approximately $3,000,” she said. “So, I just like to go up, check the table and see how much information is left, restock it and I wore my shirt so that I could blend in with them and stand in front of the Scioto County table, and mainly thank the staff for the great job that they do.”
Reach Portia Williams at 740-353-3101, ext. 1929, or on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.