Tuesday, March 20 , 2018, 2:11 am | Fair 50º



Tourism Topics, Trends the Focus of Montecito Bank & Trust’s Final B2B Event

Montecito Bank & Trust held its third and final 2013 B2B education event in Solvang on Oct. 15 at the Hotel Corque.

The events began with 50 participants attending the afternoon panel format workshop titled “Tourism Marketing: How to Stand Out in the Crowd.” The panel of experts included Tracy Farhad of the Solvang Conference & Visitors Bureau, Mary Harris of the Santa Ynez Valley Hotel Association, Lorrie Thomas Ross of Web Marketing Therapy and Kathy Vreeland of the Buellton Visitors Bureau.

The four-hour interactive session topics included navigating through local tourism associations, creative promotion ideas to bring in business, the customer service total experience and the factors driving web marketing success. Participant reviews were very positive.

The evening began with a reception and networking session of 100 guests, with many of the workshop participants staying for the evening’s keynote address. Janet Garufis, bank president and CEO, welcomed guests and introduced the keynote speaker, Lynn Carpenter-Schumann, vice president of marketing for Visit California.

Carpenter-Schumann shared that she had never had a bank reach out to her before and was delighted to receive the invitation to speak to Santa Barbara County business owners focused on increasing business through tourism.

The keynote title was “Local and Global Trends in California Tourism.” The evening included statistical data on tourism down to the very local level and what is being done at the U.S. national level to promote travel to the Unitd States from international visitors. Tourism is a driver of jobs and economic growth and for those doubting its import, one in nine U.S. jobs depend on travel and tourism.

Bringing the discussion back again to a  local level, Carpenter-Schumann advocated for all businesses to begin with the creation of a marketing plan and invited the evening’s guests to access her marketing plan from Visit California’s website. She proclaimed that advertising budgets are important, but the messaging must be impactful and achieve a stated goal. The California tourism TV ads are intended to create a desire for the California experience.

Lynn Carpenter-Schumann, left, vice president of marketing for Visit California, and Janet Garufis, president and CEO of Montecito Bank & Trust. (Clint Weisman photo)

She advocated that all businesses related to tourism should define their goal and create an aspirational vision. If everyone works together on the branding and by pooling resources and synergistically messaging, then the desired consumer experience can be achieved. She encouraged  joint planning and leveraging other people’s budgets. Visit California’s advertising goal is to create a relationship with the consumer so that other businesses can do the product packaging.

Carpenter-Schumann treated the Solvang audience to a preview of the soon to break new TV advertising campaign called Dream Big. It again features known actors and includes California athletes. She then shared a video example of messaging creation by Visit California, but delivered by an Olympic gold medalist who shared personal information while promoting California which aired on a popular entertainment TV show.

The audience then had their chance to ask questions, and that sparked lively conversation with lots of time devoted for questions and answers.

Garufis closed the evening thanking Carpenter-Schumann and all the guests for such an engaged conversation. Montecito Bank & Trust creates these annual education events based on the topic requests from local business owners, and Garufis encouraged the audience to make their wishes known for 2014 topic consideration.

Montecito Bank & Trust, an S Corporation, is the oldest and largest locally owned community bank in the tri-counties. Founded in 1975, with branch offices located in Santa Barbara, Goleta, Solvang, Montecito, Carpinteria, Ventura and Westlake Village, the bank offers a variety of competitive deposit and lending solutions for businesses and consumers, including business loans and lines of credit; commercial real estate finance; SBA loans; consumer loans; credit cards; merchant services; and online services, including mobile banking and cash management. Its Wealth Management Division provides full investment management as well as trust services for all branch office markets.

— Carolyn Tulloh is the marketing director at Montecito Bank & Trust.

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