CED Specialists Conducting Statewide Tourism Workshop

March 2, 2017

Map of Tourism WorkshopsStarting in March, four Iowa State University Extension and Outreach community development specialists are doing a “tourism blitz” throughout the state of Iowa.

Abbie Gaffey, Jane Goeken, Becky Luers, and Diane Van Wyngarden, field specialists for the Extension and Outreach Community and Economic Development (CED) program, are hitting the road to teach “Customer Service Workshops: Targeted Tourism Strategies for Communities, Businesses, and Attractions” at 40 locations across the state.

Extension CED created this new workshop in response to specific requests from Iowa communities and tourism businesses. Each workshop is customized to meet the needs of the community, with current local tourism data and a survey conducted in advance.

The target audience for the workshop is community front-line employees, including restaurants, retail, convenience stores, attractions, and hotels, as well as business managers and supervisors. However, the public is welcome to participate in any workshop at any location. Most workshops are free, but some may charge a small fee for a meal. Prior registration is requested.

During this two-hour workshop, participants will learn how front-line employees can become their community’s best ambassadors, how they can most effectively share information with visitors, and “The Five Steps to Excellent Customer Service” for businesses.

Locations were determined by sponsoring organizations, who contracted with Extension CED to teach the workshops. A complete list of local hosts, contact information, and workshop dates is available at www.extension.iastate.edu/communities.

To see a list of workshop hosts, contacts, dates, and locations, click HERE.

These workshops are possible through an extensive partnership between Extension CED and the Iowa Economic Development Authority, 28 counties in the eastern Iowa tourism region, 35 counties in the central Iowa tourism region, 36 counties in the western Iowa tourism region, and 40 Iowa cities, chambers of commerce, and visitor bureaus from across the state.

Extension councils may book additional workshops in their county for a fee of $800, which includes travel to any Iowa location and all participant materials. Extension CED provides marketing assistance to local hosts consisting of a customized marketing brochure and news release.

There is no limit in the number of participants. For more information, contact Diane Van Wyngarden at dvw@iastate.edu or 641-295-5757.