By JONAH LOSSIAH
ONE FEATHER STAFF
According to Chris McCoy, EBCI Director of Communications and Interim Director of Destination Marketing, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indian’s new special events calendar is attempting to establish a new marketing standard.
The EBCI Department of Destination Marketing is revamping the offerings for this year’s summer entertainment. What’s new, exactly? Online ticket sales, a circus, a four weekend concert series and more. With events getting fully underway Memorial Day weekend, this packed schedule is looking to increase the number of events in the area, while also creating a diverse array of entertainment.
“We’ve noticed a trend that shows the visitors coming to our community have changed throughout the years,” said McCoy.
“So, to reach a new market and a new demographic, we feel it’s important to evolve our events and offerings to that crowd. We’re putting in free public Wi-Fi throughout town so when you come to the events you have connectivity and we’re able to direct-market to you.”
The new events, especially the concert series, will push for a full-day experience, incorporating plenty of vendors for crafts and food.
One way in which McCoy and his staff are trying to modernize this summer is through the implementation of online ticket sales and social media. Vendini is the new online system they are using to sell tickets, the first time the department has used online sells to this scale. The team is also developing a mobile app designed to help plan your trip to the area.
While these events are trying to bring new faces to the area, it’s not all about tourism. McCoy says he’s trying to better the entire area.
“If you can create a product that your local community is proud of, they’re going to sustain it. The tourism is only going to be the icing on the cake.”
McCoy knows that all these ideas are still in the infancy phase, but he has a vision of this series continuously growing in the coming years.
“We put a lot into our own events, and I think that is to show value for these first few years … the hope is that we show value in our facilities, that we show the value of our community, and then we get promoters from the outside excited to come here and do that business with us.”
Many of the final touches are still being put into place, but the schedule is set, and tickets are up for sale. For a full listing of Destination Marketing’s season full of events, go to www.visitcherokeenc.com.