…and the Steps You Can Take to Grab More of the Spotlight!

The role of the Chamber and Visitor and Convention Bureau is to support and refer your business – to residents and the business community but also to visitors, sports tournament directors, film scouts, special event promoters and meeting/convention planners.

To do our job to the best of our ability, we need to know you. We need to know what your business does. We need your help in making sure your listing on our website is accurate, that website links work and that your keywords are as many and varied as possible. Invite us out to your property for a tour – the best referrals come out of having a frame of reference – from experiencing something for one’s self. We receive inquiries for referrals all day – from residents looking for products or services and from visitors as well.  We ONLY refer people to our Chamber members, unless of course, we don’t have a member listed for the service/product they are seeking.

We need newsletter articles, but I think you already got the hint on that J

Business Card Rack: This promotion was discontinued after we started our online newsletter, but in its place, we’ve go the Member Spotlight! Members are invited to submit their logo, photo or business card information in the Member Spotlight portion of the Chamber enewsletter.

To advertise and promote the Santa Maria Valley and all it offers – at consumer travels shows, meeting/event planner conferences, and business expos, we produce and print – free of charge to you – materials that best reflect what a visitor will find here, namely: Free listings in our Santa Maria Valley: California’s Sweet Spot visitor brochure, Santa Maria Community Guide, tablet maps, barbecue booklet, wine tasting booklet, , hand-out sheets for hotels, restaurants, and calendar of events, as well as the welcome bag discount flyer.

Online Promotion:  All our members can be found santamaria.com, but select Visitor and Convention Bureau members can also be found at santamariawines.com and Californiagolfvacation.com, on our blog at www.santamariavalleybbq.com and featured in our enewsletter, Travel News from the Santa Maria Valley.

PLEASE post your special event listings and visitor-related business listings at tourism.visitcalifornia.com – it’s free promotion at the state level – any prospective visitors to the California Travel and Tourism Commission website will also be checking out the Central Coast region, so please make sure you’re visible.

The VCB works with many different types of contacts that have the potential to bring you business. Referrals are made to a myriad of potential clients  24/7 at santamaria.com!  Is your business getting a piece of the pie? Check out the Planning Services sections of our website to see. You’ll discover who we work with and the complimentary services we offer to bring in overnight business.

Free event promotion – If you’re hosting an event of some kind – especially if it’s big enough to draw out-of-town visitors, please be sure it’s posted on our website. Not only do we have the online calendar, but we also use this information for our annual calendar flyer and newly unveiled Travel News from the Santa Maria Valley enewsletter for visitors (but locals can sign up – go to santamariavisitor.com and look for the yellow envelope.

What Can You Do?

Introduce yourself to Chamber staff and let us know what you do. If you can’t get to us, invite us to come to you – for a tour of your company or a chat.

Use Chambermaster.com: This new Chamber of Commerce software allows members to post their own information – allowing for greater accuracy and faster postings/updates. If you don’t have your login codes yet, contact Marcy@santamaria.com.  She is our resident expert on the program and can answer any questions you may have.

Branding and Familiarity: Get out there and network at mixers and luncheons so other members know who you are and what you do too. It’s not always possible to tell from the name of your company.  The more familiar someone is with you and your company, the better your chances that they will call on YOU when they need your services or product. I’ve seen this happen time and time again in the almost 11+ years I’ve worked at the Chamber. All it takes is the investment of a little of your time.

Breakfast Club: Awesome networking opportunity. Bring your business cards, brochures, or flyers and make sure you’ve got your name badge on. This small group of 25-30 meets every Friday at 8 a.m. for self introductions, featured presenter, 2-minute self-promotion of your company and an opportunity (once you’ve attended at least 4 times, not necessarily consecutively) to be a presenter – where you’ll give a presentation or a speech about your company and what you do.

Event Listings: The Chamber is seen as the ‘Eyes and Ears’ of our community – basically we’re a one-stop shop for whatever anybody needs to know about Santa Maria, what we offer and what there is to see and do. Please submit your events to our calendar –  you are sure to fit into one, if both: community calendar and/or members only.

Hot Deals: Increase traffic to your business by offering a special rate or discount on your products or services.

Hot Travel Deals – if your business is more visitor-related,

post discounts and special promotions on the Hot Travel Deals section of our site.

Wedding Planning Guide: We offer a downloadable guide as well as complimentary services to anyone planning a wedding. You’ll find the guide under the Planning Services section of the VCB section of www.santamaria.com.  If your business i

Gina Keough, Visitor and Convention Bureau Manager

sn’t listed, contact me and I’ll add you in.

Got questions? Please feel free to contact me at any time at  Gina@santamaria.com or 925-2403, ext. 814.