Monday, August 22, 2016

Planning a BBQ Festival

Have you ever planned a birthday party before? Well planning a festival is nothing like it. Sure you invite guests and there is food. But at this party everyone is invited and you need more than cake and ice cream. Planning a festival takes an abundant amount of time, energy and help!  Here at the GCCVB we are always working on some type of event, but a festival is being worked on all year round.

The Gallia County BBQ Festival was brought to life by Executive Assistant Karen McCarty, who I consider my events mentor. The GCBBQ is a fundraiser for the GCCVB and this year will be the third BBQ festival we have hosted. The great thing about annual events is that it gives us the opportunity to make it better than the last one.

In my opinion our festival comes down to 4 key elements; Teams for the competition, volunteers, a good marketing strategy and sponsors. Without one of these elements our festival is a car with no engine.

  • Teams: We invite teams from all around to participate in the competition. Our teams compete for several awards and even prize money. Teams arrive the day before the competition with their cookers and work into the night perfecting their meat. It is their meat that can be purchased at the festival (beginning at 1 p.m.) and voted on for the people's choice award.

  • Volunteers: These folks are such an enormous asset to our festival, with out their help it would only be Karen, Amanda, Lori, and myself. Therefore it is critical that we are able to receive the aid of community members. The GCCVB Board and Advisory Committee are able to help but even with their help it isn't always enough. So those who assist us are always so deeply appreciated by us.

  • Marketing: We live in a small community where everyone knows everyone, so shouldn't everyone know what is going on? Nope. If your event if open to everyone, then that makes your marketing efforts multiplied. Just because you share your event on Facebook doesn't mean it will be read by all. It is important to use different avenues to get the word out, posters, attending smaller events, walking into businesses and actually talking with people.

  • Sponsors: As I mentioned above each year we work hard to make the next festival better than the last, which usually means it is bigger and more expensive. As a non-profit organization we look to sponsorships to help us make those upgrades possible. Luckily we live in a FANTASTIC community with businesses and individuals who care about the success of this event and others like it. But know that it is more than just tossing money at something so you can have your name on a poster, it is called community involvement. Our sponsors really step up to the plate, they attend the event and even offer to help with much more. I am honestly blown away by them.
This is my way of saying thank you! To the teams thank you for participating, to the volunteers thank you for your time, to the person who (happily) took my flyer or shared our event thank you and thank you to our amazing sponsors.

Want to continue following our journey to the festival? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter (@galliabbqfest)

And as always thanks for reading!

Friday, August 12, 2016

What is a typical day at GCCVB?

10th photo I took....

I have been involved with the Gallia County Convention and Visitors Bureau off and on for the past 5ish years and now I am the Assistant Director here! Now that I have been here for a solid 3 months I thought I would share a "typical day" and what that means is every single day is different here, so I will use a more generalized description.

8:00 a.m. : Arrive at the CVB which is at 441 Second Ave, Gallipolis, Ohio (across from the Post Office)

8:05 a.m. : Sit at desk with coffee/tea/beverage of choice and read the Gallipolis Daily Tribune. It is important to be up to date on all happenings! Then it is time to jump into my email as well as reply to any social media questions we may have received.

8:45 a.m. : Create a to-do list or review any tasks that need to be done from the previous day

9:00 -11:59 a.m. : This time of day I could be working on a number of projects here is a list of potential projects.
  • Gallia County BBQ Festival (See previous article for more details!)
    • Advertizing for more teams or community organizations to set up
    • Creating Flyers
  •  Promoting the GCCVB Passport Challenge via Social Media or other forms of marketing.
    • Setting up at the Bossard Library
  • Editing the Word on the Street Web Series
  • Preparing reports to present at our Board meetings
  • This is also the time when we have our weekly staff meetings on Friday to discuss upcoming events to ensure everyone is on the same page.
  • And more...
12:00-1:00 p.m. : Lunch  :D

Now here is where things often get blurry; our schedules are always changing with events we may not be in the office but attending an event to promote Gallia County or to support an event in Gallia.  

1:00 - 2:59 p.m. : Amanda and I tend have brain storming sessions around this time. We discuss ideas for future events such as the AAA Great Vacations Travel Expo which is in February of 2017. After said discussions we return to our individual desks and do research on what we talked about.

3:00-4:45 p.m. : I will be honest, I am usually pretty useless between 3:00 and 4:00 p.m. Not to say I'm not doing my job I am just less productive than I am in the morning. I tend to get my second wind by 4:00 p.m.. However here is another list of what I might be doing.

  • Updating our blog (it is currently 3:25 p.m., right on schedule)
  • Updating my project dry erase board. This lists all of my current projects and what needs done with them.
  • Sharing events via social media. I always try to find events that others are hosting and share them with our wider audience.
  • Returning to projects that were driving me crazy from the morning and attempting to fix what wasn't working for me then.
  • Prepping for an event
  •  Snacks....
4:45-5:00 p.m. : Now is the time that I generally like to make a list of tasks I would like to accomplish the next day or reminders.

My day is constantly cut in by visitors calling or stopping in asking for information. As well as responding to emails and snack time. Not to mention conversations with my co-workers for advice, ideas, help and venting about the printer being stupid again. Not every day runs smoothly or perfect, but we are here because we love Gallia County and the many things it offers. I am so happy to be in a position where I get to be creative and share my love of tourism!  

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Gallia County BBQ Festival


Calling All BBQ Teams & Lovers of all BBQ!

Saturday, September 10, 2016
12:00-3:00 pm

It’s that time again… The Gallia County Convention and Visitors Bureau is excited to be hosting the 3rd Annual Gallia County BBQ Festival on Saturday, September 10, 2016 in the Gallipolis City Park and First Avenue/State Street.

Admission will be FREE. We will be having activities in the Park from 12:00-3:00 pm and you will be able to purchase BBQ Samples and Sandwiches, Chips, Desserts, Pop & Water around 1:00 pm.

BBQ Competition: Teams must register by Friday, August 26, 2016
  • We will be having up to 15 Teams competing with a combined score in Pork and Brisket for the “Michael Cockerham Grand Champion” Trophy.  The meat will be provided by Honey Creek Barbecue.
  • There will be a volunteer category (Teams are to provide their own meat) for “Rowdy’s Smokehouse Best Ribs”.
  • This year we have added another volunteer category (Teams provide their own ingredients). It’s “Anything Goes ~ Secret Ingredient” Competition. This year’s “Secret Ingredient” is Apple.Competitors can make any side dish/dessert but it must contain Apple(s).
  • Teams will also be vying for the “Kenny ‘Smooth’ Siders II Peoples’ Choice” Trophy from entry votes by attendees.

Teams may arrive on Friday, September 9 after 3:00 pm. Meat will be distributed at 5:00 pm followed by a mandatory Cooks’ meeting at 5:30 pm. Teams may begin cooking after the meeting. All competition entries must be prepared and cooked on-site.

Competition turn-in times on Saturday, September 10 are 12:00 pm for Pork; 12:30 pm for Brisket; 1:00 pm for Ribs; and 1:30 pm for Secret Ingredient.

There will be 2 sets (one set Pork, one set Brisket) of 5 Judges that will determine the overall Winner and 1st and 2nd Place. The Winner will receive $500 Cash Prize & a Trophy! First and Second Place will receive Trophies. A separate set of 5 Judges will determine the “Rowdy’s Smokehouse Best Ribs” Winner who will receive $100 and a Trophy. The “Anything Goes” category will have 3 Judges that will visit the participating Teams’ cook areas to determine the winner of a Trophy and Gallipolis silver coin.

After the Contestants have turned in their samples for judging, they will donate the pork and brisket to the GCCVB.  We will have a tent set up and separate heating containers for each team.  At approximately 1:00 pm, we will start selling Pork samples and Brisket sandwiches to the public. We will also sell pop, water, chips and desserts. You will receive a ticket when you purchase a sample or sandwich to use to vote for the “People’s Choice”.  All proceeds from the sale of food and drinks go back to the Gallia County Convention & Visitors Bureau for future events.

The GCCVB has invited area Organizations to set up in the City Park during the BBQ Festival as a “Get to Know Your Community”.  These Organizations can sell things for fundraisers; give away prizes; membership drives; and informational awareness.  They cannot sell any food or drink items as that is part of our fundraising during this event. There is no charge to participate.  You must register before August 26 to secure your spot. Spots will be assigned.
Activities from 12:00-3:00 pm include, The Gallipolis Car Club Cruise-In; live music on the stage by “The Tangled Roots”; Yard Yahtzee; Yard Tic-Tac-Toe; Corn Hole; a Photo Booth; Train Rides and Bounce House/Obstacle Courses.  From 12:30-2:30 pm there will be Face Painting by Jody Rife and Balloon Sculpting by Cowboy Mark Wood.

Teams can stop at the Gallia County Visitors Bureau, 441 Second Avenue, Gallipolis, call 740-446-6882 or email to for an Entry Form and Rules. If your Organization would like to set up, we ask that you call or email the GCCVB for your registration form. As with any Community event, Volunteers are always welcome. Please contact us if you would like to Volunteer.

The Gallia County Convention & Visitors Bureau would like to “Thank” our Sponsors and the Community for your Support, Encouragement and Participation in the upcoming 3rd Annual Gallia County BBQ Festival!

Gallia County Convention & Visitors Bureau
441 Second Avenue
Gallipolis, OH 45631
(740) 446-6882
Monday-Friday 8:00 am-5:00 pm

                   Written By: Executive Assistant Karen McCarty


Monday, August 1, 2016

Word on the Street Video Series

Hello Everyone!

This week has been crazy! This very moment we are uploading the very first episode of our new Video/Web Series "Word on the Street". Ahh!! What an  ordeal this first video has been! I am not a techy, video person, but I want to be. I have learned so much through this process of trial and (many) errors. So let's start from the beginning....

In my interview for my job I brought several project ideas with me, that if hired I wanted to do and Word on the Street was one of those ideas. Fast forward to my first week and I am sitting in my office at the GCCVB typing up topic suggestions for a video series to promote Gallia County, as well as fighting with logos. In our weekly staff meeting I share  my ideas with the rest of the staff who helped me choose the first topic and how to go about interviewing residents. (i.e. media release forms)

I decided to set up a few interviews ahead of time and would fill in with the random people I talked to along the street. Geared up with the media release forms and my smart phone , I went out to get some interviews. Well it was good to have those interviews set up because it is kind of intimidating  to walk up to strangers and ask if I can film them while they answer a question. Long story short I didn't get any words on the street.

In my interviews I was able to meet with a family, the Mayor of the Village of Rio Grande, a real estate agent, a volunteer at the Chamber of Commerce & CIC, and my friend's son. Without much prompting they all did a fantastic job. Once the interviews were over I just had to piece it all together and be done. With that thought the media gods began to laugh. Editing videos are not easy and once you get it done you have to save it in the correct format otherwise it won’t upload or the resolution will be so terrible you would think it was a picture of Big-Foot.

I decided to try my hand at mixing some music for the video so I wouldn’t have to worry about copyrights and such. That was a lot of fun to do and I hope it is just loud enough to be heard. For the filming I used my smart phone, my other option was Karen’s Video Camera from 2000 that was not willing to corporate with me.  So we work with what we are given. I thought that I would be fancy and use this Power Director program on my laptop. Well the resolution, again insert Big-Foot comparison. After ranting on Facebook and to Amanda, I heed and let her help me. (I have some control issues when it comes to my projects) She magically fixes what I was fighting with for what seemed forever. And how does she do it, Windows Movie Maker. So now we have completely changed the program and are finally done.

I get the seal of approval from Karen (our editor for all things) and proceed to upload to FB. Two hours later, which ends up being after closing. This has failed please try again. I closed my eyes, said my soothing words and shut the laptop. Then went home.

That brings us to 8:15 am today. Attempt number two, only this time I am uploading to youtube. The upload  would take 2.5 hours….as I wait I decide to write a blog article about this project (this is where you come in). 5 minutes to go…4…3…2  (I am literally so nervous that it won’t upload)...1…the seconds count down has begun….And it jumps up to 1 hour and 13 minutes for processing…wait no I only had to wait 5 minutes!!! Here it is!!!

Coming soon, the blooper reel!!

Ten Fun Staycation Ideas

Hi there! Assistant Director Kaitlynn here, I just got back to the office after a wonderful Staycation here in Gallia County! The plan f...