BY DAVE BLANK
What does Real Racine do? I hear that quite often. Many people think that all we do is events. Au contraire. On any given day the six person staff is busy on a varied list of projects. Let’s take Thursday, June 14 for an example.
Cari Greving, our events director is very busy, with as you might expect, events. It’s EVP Pro Beach Volleyball weekend (one of our long standing premiere events) and the inaugural Rock the Harbor event (which we sponsored). Even with those events going on she appeared before the Racine Parks Recreational and Cultural Services Committee to get approval of the ProAm Beach Soccer Regional event on July 21-22 and the National Championship event on Aug. 17-19 at North Beach.
Paul Holley, the marketing director wrote up and distributed the weekly email newsletter on what’s happening this week in Racine County events to 9,400 opt-in recipients who want to be kept abreast of what’s happening in the area. Would you like to get the newsletter? Just go on to our website, realracine.com, scroll to the bottom and enter your address in the box under “Get the Newsletter.” He also designed the advertising solicitation material for the 2019 Real Racine Activities Guide. Yes, it’s already that time of the year.
Brianna Wright, our social media manager, monitored social media and responded to questions and comments. She set up a contest and gave away several pairs of tickets to Rock the Harbor. Using our new Crowdriff software, she went online to pull photos showing canoeing/kayaking on the Fox River. She reviewed them, obtained rights to use the best photos and then submitted them to the Fox River Water Trail Committee (which we are also a part of) for possible inclusion in a new brochure and website which highlights the 250 mile long river.
Aletha Woodside is our director of visitor services. If you call us, chances are she is the one that answers the phone. Between phone calls, she compiled a list of businesses that are affected by the boating industry here in Racine County for inclusion in letter that I was writing to Speaker Paul Ryan. It’s the middle of camping season, so she is also taking campground reservation calls for the county’s very popular Cliffside Park.
Eileen Arnold serves as our group sales director. She spends most of her time working with building itineraries for bus groups, but on this day she was working with an event planner regarding the Twin Disc 100th Anniversary Global Distributor Meeting, which will be held in September. She arranged spouse tours with a number of local and regional, attractions.
As far as my day went, at the request of the Racine Harbor Commission, I wrote a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan regarding the need for the reconstruction of the Racine Reef Lighthouse, which has fallen into disrepair. I also met with several representatives of the Racine Fourth Fest committee about our sponsorship and the future of the event and participated in a Wisconsin Association of Convention and Visitor Bureaus Legislative Affairs committee conference call. Later, I contacted elected officials and encouraged them to attend the two public sessions where noted destination development guru Roger Brooks presented his findings from a week of secret shopping Racine, Waterford and Burlington.
So, as you can see, Real Racine does a lot more than events. We do the fun part of economic development. Our goal is to drive tourism development and visitor expenditures in Racine County- and we really do enjoy our jobs.
Dave Blank is the president/CEO of Real Racine (Racine County Convention & Visitors Bureau).