On Tuesday, January 23, the Hot Springs Village POA Communications Committee met at the Coronado Community Center. Due to the absence of Chair Mark Smith, Secretary Clara Nicolosi conducted the meeting. Steve Korotash took the minutes. Other committee members present were James Rice, Susan McCarty, and ex officio member Chuck Miller.
Committee Staff and Board Liaisons present were Pam Avila, Communications/Revenue Growth Strategist, and Board Director Gary Belair. Terry Wiley, Director of Parks and Recreation, stopped by for a few minutes to answer questions.
Note: A lot of the topics of this meeting were in the discussion phase, and final plans have not been firmed up.
Total solar eclipse t-shirts, flyers, and glasses
The committee is designing a T-shirt to sell for the 2024 Total Solar Eclipse. McCarty has been researching vendors to supply the shirts.
Avila said the committee needs to coordinate with Wiley to arrange for the sale of the T-shirts. Avila asked Wiley, “The question for you is, ‘Where and how would we sell the T-shirts?'”
Wiley responded, “We can sell them at the Fitness Center, the pro shops, in the lobby before concerts, and on the HSV Thunder Tix website.”
Miller asked, “How do we determine how many shirts to buy?”
Wiley said, “That is the tough part.”
Avila stated, “It is better not to have enough than to have leftover T-shirts.”
McCarty is investigating pricing for flyers/posters, and the committee members also discussed purchasing glasses for the solar eclipse.
Possible guest speakers
Twenty NASA scientists are coming to this area, and McCarty said it would be wonderful to get some of them to give a presentation on Friday, April 5, to talk about science that would complement the eclipse event. Avila said a venue would need to be scheduled if this comes to fruition.
Nicolosi said, “I would love to cooperate with the schools and get children involved. That would be wonderful.”
Avila and Miller discuss KATV marketing
Avila said, “Chuck [Miller] set up a lunch with KATV Good Morning Arkansas to discuss the filming of segments for “AR Towns.” This is a great opportunity.” Avila asked Miller to explain what this was about.
Miller said, “We met with them. They are putting a package together, which will be coming to Avila. The idea is that we will do six five-minute segments that can be filmed wherever we want. They will do an onsite interview. There will also be a voiceover.”
Avila said each segment would cover a specific part of Hot Springs Village. For example, segments could feature golf, pickleball, and the performing arts center. (This has not been approved yet and is still in discussion.)
Miller explained, “This is perfect for us because we can highlight areas in the Village.”
“Our 2024 marketing focus will be in Arkansas.” In the past, marketing efforts were concentrated in other states. “There are hundreds and hundreds of people in Arkansas who might like to move here. They can commute to Benton, Hot Springs, or wherever. The KATV Good Morning Arkansas opportunity fits in very nicely with our marketing effort.”Pam Avila, Communications/Revenue Growth Strategist
In addition, Miller is working to bring golf writers to the village.
Avila discusses Sells Marketing and Advertising Agency
Avila said she and General Manager Kelly Hale will meet with our marketing company on Thursday, February 1, for an update. The company will compare 2022 and 2023, discuss learned lessons, and what strategies work better than others. “As I mentioned, we will discuss our 2024 focus.”
Why do we use an ad agency?
Avila said the Sells Agency does all of our graphic designs, digital marketing, etc.
“We use an ad agency because we don’t have somebody on staff who can do graphic design, and we don’t have enough work to hire somebody full-time for this job. That wouldn’t make sense. The same thing for digital marketing. The same thing for web design. Sells has contacts that perform these tasks. They are all really great and talented and skilled people.”Pam Avila, Communications/Revenue Growth Strategist
Miller reaches out to Arkansas service organizations
Miller is contacting leaders of Arkansas service organizations outside the village with a gift box that contains golf balls and information for a golfing expedition. This box offers a foursome the opportunity to enjoy Hot Springs Village golf for free after 1:00 p.m. This marketing program aims to reach golfers in surrounding areas to introduce them to the village.
Clubs and service organizations could use this box for fundraising at an auction.
Miller said, “This is a way to get people to visit Hot Springs Village.” This is not for clubs and organizations within the village gates or the immediate surrounding area.
Miller added that he aims to meet the golfers and welcome them. “A lot of these people will be visiting the village for the first time,” stated Miller.
Stay and Play
Stay and Play packages are doing well, with the number of packages growing and groups’ sizes becoming larger. In 2022, 800 Stay and Play packages were sold. Around three hundred of those were repeat customers.
In 2023, over 970 Stay and Play packages were sold.
“Stay and Play is growing phenomenally, year by year. It is one of our best marketing tools.”Pam Avila, Communications/Revenue Growth Strategist
A welcome package needs to be given to the Stay and Play groups. Avila asked Rice to identify what needs to be included in the package.
Nicolosi is working on banners for the gates. Three banners will be installed at the east gate, with the west gate receiving two. The poles are already in place, but the previous banners were removed due to being outdated and in poor condition. “We came up with some ideas that mirrored our social media efforts – kind of the same color, same vibe,” said Nicolosi.
“The goal is to have the banners installed before the Total Solar Eclipse,” added Nicolosi.
Total Solar Eclipse Golf Tournament
Rice discussed the Total Solar Eclipse Golf Tournament. More details on this will be coming in about six or eight weeks.
Arkansas Department of Tourism to Visit the Village
In October [or thereabouts], the Arkansas State Department of Tourism will meet in the village. “That is a really big deal, coming up,” stated Avila.
Next Communications Committee Meeting
The next Communications Committee Meeting will be on Tuesday, February 27, at 2:00 p.m. at the Coronado Community Center.
By Cheryl Dowden
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