“A look at Oskaloosa, Iowa through the eyes of our visitors”
MAHASKA COUNTY – “A look at Oskaloosa, Iowa through the eyes of our visitors” is the topic of a special presentation by Roger Brooks, CEO of Destination Development International (DDI) on Friday, Sept. 19 at the George Daily Auditorium.
The presentation is part of a special workshop, “Rediscovering the Greater Oskaloosa Area,” that is sponsored by Oskaloosa Main Street, Main Street Challenge Grant, Iowa Economic Development Authority, Mahaska County Community Foundation and many local partners. According to Josh Buckingham, Oskaloosa Main Street President, Brooks is one of North America’s most respected experts in the creation of a great destination.
“Roger has guided more than a thousand communities in branding, product development, marketing and revitalization,” Buckingham explained. “He believes that successful community branding, product development and marketing requires local input, buy-in and effort. Oskaloosa is one of only 12 communities being assessed this year by Roger Brooks, and we have our great sponsors and community partners to thank.”
Buckingham said that Brooks will be working with sponsors and a wide cross-section of community and industry leaders, retailers, community organizations and citizens to come up with a plan for rebranding and marketing Oskaloosa to bolster economic development and tourism. “Roger and his team will be spending several days in Oskaloosa talking to people and exploring our community. He will present his findings at Friday’s workshop and anyone interested is invited to attend.”
The workshop will cover many topics, including first impressions, lasting impressions, signage, local attitude, beautification, ease of getting around, how to increase sales, becoming a fantastic downtown, how Oskaloosa stacks up against the competition and suggestions, tips and tricks that can bring spending to the area. Buckingham said Brooks will not sugar-coat his assessment of the community.
“We all have pride in Oskaloosa, so Roger’s community assessment may be difficult to hear, but the blunt truth that he is known for is also what inspires and empowers communities to achieve their highest aspirations,” Buckingham explained. “Roger will be providing steps, rules and ingredients – bottom line solutions – that we can implement today to make a positive difference.”
Buckingham said that after the workshop, organizers will continue working to develop and implement the DDI’s suggestions for an active marketing plan anchored by a brand identity. Effective marketing of the community is important in drawing tourists, recruiting new businesses, encouraging local shopping, and attracting future residents to the area. The results from this process will be recommendations, materials, and training that will assist Oskaloosa in remaining vibrant and attractive for many years to come.
Registration for the four-hour workshop is from 7:30 to 8:00 am and anyone interested is invited to attend. Mahaska County residents may register to attend for $10, non-Mahaska County resident registration fee is $30. The deadline for early registration is Aug. 25. After August 26, registration fee is $20 for Mahaska County residents/$40 for non-residents. Registration at the door is $60. For more information, please call Oskaloosa Main Street at 641-672-2591, ext. 228.