Midori Sushi Great Mixer Location
News & Announcements Wrap Up

At all of our Member events we have news and announcements of importance and interest for the local business community. Our most recent Mixer held at Midori Sushi on October 13 and sponsored by Emily Carcamo (Sutton Realty) was no exception. 

We welcomed Mayor Bill Weber, Deputy-Mayor Doug Cook, Tourism Sarnia Lambton's Christine Bregman and our own Sales Representative Barry Johnson.

Here in Summary Form is the most recent buzz on the streets:

Southwestern Ontario Tourism Corporation (SWOTC)

SWOTC is the Regional Tourism Corporation working to assist our Chamber and Tourism Sarnia Lambton to market Lambton Shores as a destination location.

WATERFRONT CAMPAIGN: From June 17 to August 26, SWOTC ran a comprehensive waterfront campaign, built on the success of the 2015 campaign by continuing to promote Ontario's Best Beaches to families in close proximity and to select US markets. 

Calls-To-Action included accommodation and product offers, a contest and opportunity to engage with blog content and trip planning tools.  Campaign included paid digital advertising, a digital board on the Gardner Express Way and e-marketing to SWOTC's email database of 47,000. 

97% of those touched by the campaign said they were likely to visit Southwestern Ontario in the next year. Grand Bend Area highlights during the campaign include:
  • 883,654 Web page views of waterfront content
  • 34,746 views of the Grand Bend Beach Cheat Sheet
  • Lots of new Grand Bend Area content added to the SWOTC website
HOSTING TRAVEL WRITERS/BLOGGERS:  In partnership with Tourism Sarnia Lambton (TSL), SWOTC hosted 7 different media influencers/bloggers in the Grand Bend Area this summer. Just One of the trips generated 6.2 million impressions.

PHOTOGRAPHS FOR MARKETING: Professional photography from 2015 had 80 Grand Bend Area shots and an additional 56 Pinery shots. A SWOTC summer intern took and edited 600 photos from the Grand Bend Area this summer. Many of these photos will be made available to the tourism industry via Barberstock (digital asset management system).

FUNDING OF LOCAL EVENTS/INITIATIVES:  Three local projects that received SWOTC Partnership funds this year:
  • Summer Sunset Sounds
  • Rotary Stage Opening
  • LiveGauge event measurement
HELP WITH CONSUMER SHOW ACCESS:  Helped provide access for local businesses to participate in consumer shows such as the London Food & Wine Show, the London Beer & BBQ Show and the City Fair event in Ontario's South West Pavilion. This saved participating businesses more than 50% on the show's entrance fees -  Smackwater Jack's participated in all three shows. 

TOURISM AWARD: As well, Smackwater Jacks was the first recipient of SWOTC's Innovation Award, given out at their annual tourism conference in March.

Huron Tourism Association & Huron County Tourism
Due to strategic changes at Huron County and the removal of budget and staff support to Huron Tourism Association (HTA), the tourism stakeholder group voted on September 27 to dissolve ( HTA Press Release). HTA was told there would be no Ontario's West Coast for 2017. As a result, we sent out an invitation to all HTA members to buy advertising in our guide and to consider us their "tourism home". 

A few days later (Oct 6), Huron County put out a press release saying they would be doing a visitor guide and will be working with stakeholders. 
Tourism Sarnia Lambton (TSL)
Christine Bregman was on hand to bring updates from TSL:
  • Two major cycling events: Bluewater International Granfondo, The Great Waterfront Trail Adventure Ride
  • Calculating $ Impact: TSL staff attended all Summer Sunset Sounds concerts; conducted postal code surveys; calculated economic impact of $595,000 using the Tourism Region Economic Impact Model (TREIM)
  • Hosted Tourism Social Media Tour: Conducted a tourism asset social media tour; visited 10 businesses and attractions; created blog post and shared it extensively on TSL social media
  • Upcoming Events: working with organizers of the 36-team Provincial Petite Ringette Tournament in Forest, March 2-5, 2017; assisting with sponsorship package development.
2017 Visitor Guide & Fold Out Map
If you have not already been contacted by Chamber Sales Reps Barry and Judy Johnson, you still have time to get into the guide. Advertising rates for members start at just $150. Artwork and payment deadline is December 2. Call Barry or Judy at 519-235-4115.

Fold-Out Map of Lambton Shores:  Our joint grant application with the Lambton Shores Trail Blazers group for $10,000 will be going into the Municipality of Lambton Shores on October 31. Lambton Shores nature trails will be on one-side and commercial attractions/roads on the flip side.

Workshops - Don't Delay Sign Up Today
Both workshops being held Monday, November 7 at Pine Dale Motor Inn. Register for either workshop online at www.grandbendchamber.ca or call 519-238-2001 or email Susan Mills at info@grandbendtourism.com.

Digital Marketing on a Shoestring - 9am to Noon ($45pp):  Spot the latest social media trends, get the most of social media advertising, get featured in newspapers and blogs, learn to use Search Engine Optimization, work with social media influencers and automate your workload.

Trip Advisor - 1pm to 3pm (FREE):  Discover the different levels of participation in Trip Advisor and how to increase your payout and get the most of the "toolbar kit", use specials and photos to make your presence look more professional and learn to find out what's working for your listing. Workshop will also have guest appearance from Expedia representative. Facilitator Kyle Morrison advises those interested in this workshop ensure they have a Trip Advisor account setup and ready to go a week prior to the workshop.

Celebrate the Season Awards Dinner
Thursday, November 17,
Oakwood Resort
$50 per person (taxes & gratuities included)

Tickets now on sale online at www.grandbendchamber.ca/cts or call Susan Mills at 519-238-2001 or email info@grandbendtourism.com

Everyone is welcome to this event - attendees do not have to be Chamber members! 

Call for Award Nominations
Deadline November 1

Know a business, business owner, employee or volunteer who has done a great job this year? Tell us! Click here for an award nomination form & award criteria information. Awards include:
  • Business of the Year
  • Entrepreneur of the Year
  • David Scatcherd Community Spirit Award
  • Phyllis Statchuk Customer Service Excellence Award

Welcome New Members
Since our last Mixer, we're pleased to announce the following businesses have joined our Chamber!
  • Amber Hotel
  • Beaver Tails Grand Bend
  • Blue Line Fishing Charters
  • Cozy Corner Cabin Rentals & Property Management
  • Donnelly Murphy Lawyers P.C. 
  • Gift of Art
  • Grand Bend Riverfront Condo 
  • Kettle & Stony Point Gas & Convenience
  • Paul Gunning Consulting 
  • Paul's Diner
  • Point's Eagle Radio
  • Point's Preference Supermarket
  • Queens Breeze Beach House 
  • Southwind Corporate Development
  • Straight Line Collision
  • The Realty Firm 
  • The Sandbar & Grill 
  • The Swag-Guy 
  • Ultra Panel Systems Inc / Ultra Sunrooms 
  • West Coast SUP 
  • Windmill Lake Wake & Eco Park.
Renew Your Membership by November 1
Membership Decals Coming November 30  
Keep your membership benefits, perks and discounts and renew now while you're thinking about it.

Payments accepted by Cash, Cheque and Credit Card. To pay by credit card, go to www.grandbendchamber.ca/payment  - enter the full amount of your invoice and your transaction is completed on PayPal's secure website.

2017 Membership decals will be mailed to you at the end of November.