Workshop planned for local event coordinators

Gold Country Communities Society is holding a free workshop to help non-profit groups and businesses increase their opportunities.

The beads for Wild Goose Winery

The beads for Wild Goose Winery

Anyone directly involved with planning, coordinating, or promoting activities and events within the Gold Country area is invited to attend Gold Country Community Society’s (GCCS) “Events Coordination Collaboration” workshop from 1 to 4 p.m. on Monday, January 23 at the Cache Creek Community Hall.

“It’s very beneficial to non-profit groups,” says GCCS chief operating officer Terri Hadwin, “as we’ll talk about funding potential.” She adds, however, that business owners are welcome to attend as well. “It’s also about networking and being aware of the events in your community and in the surrounding communities.”

Among the topics covered will be resources available for event planners; opportunities for promotion; recruiting volunteers; social media best practices; and marketing techniques.

Hadwin notes that networking with others is a key tool for groups and businesses. “You can find funding opportunities that they’ve taken advantage of, and communicate with surrounding community event planners and see what works for them, and what you can take advantage of.

“You can make sure your events aren’t overlapping with those of others. On the other hand, you can work on strategic overlapping.

Hadwin says those attending the free workshop should, if possible, come prepared with their event dates and any details, so that GCCS can begin promoting them. “We’re especially looking for touristy things that we can begin putting on our calendar.”

She adds that GCCS will be looking for feedback from event planners, to see how the society can work harder for them. “We want to know what we can be doing better.”

For more information about the workshop, or to RSVP, contact info@exploregoldcountry.com.

Hadwin would also like to see the popular “bead trails” program, which started in Summerland in 2010, expand to the area. A number of communities in the Okanagan have created their own bead trails, where local wineries, businesses, museums, and artisans commission a small bead artwork that is unique to their establishment. Visitors can follow the bead trail in a given community and purchase beads to add to bracelets, necklaces, or just use as fun mementoes of their visit.

“There’s a bead available at the Merritt Visitor Centre, and we’d like to encourage them to continue into Gold Country,” says Hadwin. “The Cache Creek Visitor Centre might have a vintage car, or the Packing House might have an apple. Someone might say ‘UniTea has a cute little teapot that I have to have.’”

Businesses pay a nominal annual fee to take part, with the participating establishments listed at www.beadtrails.com with a picture of their bead and details about the business. They then commission and purchase the beads, which retail for a flat fee of $6 so they are the same amount at each business.

“I’m really hoping it’s something that does move forward in our communities,” says Hadwin. “I’m hoping that they have an interest in extending into the Gold Country region.”