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Visitors Bureau: new strategic plan Signature events added

The October 30 meeting of the Fallbrook Area Visitors Bureau (FAVB) saw support for an update of the bureau’s 2007-12 strategic plan which includes an increase from two signature events per year to at least four such events.

“Expanding into the new events just shows we’ve been very successful over the first year,” said Don McDougal, the president of the Fallbrook Area Visitors Bureau. “It just continues that growth program.”

When the plan was initially approved in July 2007, the goal was to create two signature events, one major and one minor. The Wine & “A Bite” and the fundraiser became one signature event while the Insiders Studio Tour was also established.

The major and minor designations were dropped during the update, and while the strategic plan calls for four signature events the FAVB is planning for five events. One of the new events is a bridal tour, which is expected to debut in January 2009.

The FAVB will work with the art community on the other two events. A traditional art festival is slated for April 5, 2009, at the Pala Mesa resort. The FAVB is also looking at an “extreme art festival” for “over-the-top” art.

“It’s a collaboration between the visitors bureau and the School of the Arts and the Art Gallery. This will be our first true collaboration,” said FAVB executive director Linda Kissam.

The “extreme art festival” will likely feature large art, possibly with a common theme. The tentative date for that event is October 10, 2009.

“I think it’s a good thing,” Kissam said of the expansion to four or five signature events. “I think we need to do that and I like the fact that we’re looking at collaboration.”

The initial Wine and a Bite made a slight profit, although the expenses include a one-time cost for wine glasses which will not be incurred in the future.

Revenue for the Insiders Studio Tour included a Community Projects grant from Supervisor Bill Horn which allowed the initial event to be profitable.

The FAVB believes that revenues for both events will increase as they become more established.

“We need to find four events that will help fund our goals,” Kissam said.

“I’m just excited,” McDougal said of the expansion in the number of events. “We’re gaining momentum.”

In addition to raising money for the FAVB, the signature events are intended to help the FAVB meet its goal of increasing tourism by 5 percent by the end of 2009.

“We’re meeting member needs and we’re meeting visitors bureau needs,” Kissam said.

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