The Sedalia Area Convention and Visitors Bureau recently received a $20,000 marketing grant from the Missouri Division of Tourism. The purpose of the grant is for the marketing of Sedalia outside of a 50-mile radius.
The News-Journal had a chance to speak with the CVB Marketing Director Carolyn Crooker about the grant.
“It is a co-op marketing program. I had to apply for this in January. The deadline was in January. There were specific line items that I had to provide,” Crooker said.
“There is a point system on each question they ask. They have evaluators and they score it. You either make it or don’t,” she added.
Crooker was asked when the CVB was notified of the approval of the grant.
“This year we had a little delay on getting the conformation of the awards.
“They finally did pass it. We were supposed to be notified in May, but it was late June,” Crooker said.
The co-op marketing grant comes out of a $13 million grant fund, and the grant is awarded to organizations throughout the State of Missouri.
Crooker was asked if this was a one-time grant or a yearly one.
“As long as the division can maintain that budget, it is an annual program. This is designed to expand the Division of Tourism’s marketing,” Crooker explained.
Crooker was asked what the money specifically goes toward.
“We got $20,000 for marketing outside of a 50-mile radius. That is to bring new money in.
“The idea is to get folks outside of the area coming in,” Crooker said.
She added, “We do a lot of web marketing, we do trade shows, magazine ads, travel inserts, interactive I-brochures, and visitor’s guides.”
Crooker is pleased that Sedalia received the grant.
“That is $20,000 more advertising that we can do. With the economy, these are different times. To get $20,000 is critical. We are fortunate to be able to do things,” she said.
The CVB should not be confused with the Local Tourism Commission.
The entity receives funding from the local Lodging Tax. In the last election the new tax passed and is set to begin on Oct. 1.
The original tax was set at two dollars per room sold, and the current tax will be increased to five percent of the total room cost.
The tourism commission provides advertising monies to various local organizations and events.
“Our off-season events at the fairgrounds are very important, also the Scott Joplin Foundation, the Katy Depot, and the Queen City of the Prairies festival,” Crooker said.