Thursday, August 5, 2010

What It Takes to be a Tourism Professional

So just what does it take to be a tourism professional in Nebraska? A position recently opened up in Madison County Nebraska, and I thought it would be interesting for some of my readers to have a look at the job requirements of a Convention and Visitors Bureau Director.

DIRECTOR – MADISON COUNTY CONVENTION AND VISITORS BUREAU (NORFOLK)

The Opportunity
Madison County is a very dynamic region with a high energy level that creates an exciting environment for travel and tourism to thrive in Northeast Nebraska. Our goal is to re-invent the Madison County Convention and Visitors Bureau and create a new hope and vision that in turn generates a new level of enthusiasm to bring special events and guests to our communities.

We are looking for an experienced leader who understands the role of destination marketing for the promotion of tourism, hospitality and tourism business development in the communities of Madison County Nebraska. This leader will be our new Director of the Madison County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

You will be working in the brand new LEED Certified Green Norfolk Area Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center scheduled to open in historic downtown Norfolk in summer 2011. It is sure to be one of the leading state-of-the-art visitor centers in the Midwest! Our new Director will help us design the ultimate visitor center. Check out www.NorfolkAreaChamber.com to learn more about our new Chamber and Visitor Center building project.

The Madison County Convention and Visitors Bureau Director is a member of the management team at the Norfolk Area Chamber of Commerce and shall report directly to the Chamber President and CEO.

As Madison County’s marketing agency, the bureau’s primary role is to tell the Madison County story, and to educate and advise the visitor of today and tomorrow. The Madison County Convention and Visitors Bureau will be the heart, soul, and energy of Madison County as a visitor destination.

The Person
The person for this position will be a visible community leader with political wisdom and strong advocacy skills. They will be able to work effectively with a wide variety of people and organizations in a collaborative manner to bring Madison County together to work as one to create travel and tourism success for the entire county. They will balance and integrate the interests of visitors, service providers and the community. The Director will have a strong focus on external relationships and partnership building.

Our new Director will be someone who inspires broad vision and strategic planning; organizes and coordinates functional and leadership activities; implements and coordinates programs and activities to promote overnight stays; and performs all related duties necessary for success.

Planning and Organizing
Our new Director will conduct a disciplined annual planning process to develop and implement a travel and tourism plan for Madison County. This will include an annual sales and marketing plan outlining the CVB’s programs and activities to maximize visitor revenues to Madison County and achieve the annual goals set by our team.

They will develop and recommend the annual organization budget and business plan for management approval in order to achieve the organization mission and vision in a timely and cost-effective manner.

They need to be a natural-born organizer who can cover all of the details to make that next big community event a huge success. They also need to be able to rally the volunteers needed for a successful team.

Relationships
Our new Director will develop positive relationships with elected and appointed government and agency officials as well as all represented entities of the tourism industry both within and outside Madison County. They will establish and maintain relationships with the various media outlets in order to enhance the image of tourism and its development throughout the region. In working as one cohesive team, those new exciting projects are sure to succeed.

Marketing Genius and Creative Guru
Our new Director needs to have tremendous vision and creativity to bring new ideas to the table to move Madison County forward. They also need to be able to very effectively encourage other people to bring those new ideas into the mix.

Sales
The Director will be focused on selling Madison County and the communities within. They need to be able to tell our story effectively to potential guests and meeting planners outside of our area. If you are successful, the recipients of your message will wonder why they did not come here earlier.

Management
The Director will meet weekly with the Chamber President to strategize and prepare our roadmap for the travel and tourism future of Madison County.

The Director shall staff committees and task forces as needed, with special emphasis on tourism, convention and events planning.

They will also meet routinely with the Madison County Convention and Visitors Bureau Advisory Committee. The Advisory Committee shall provide additional oversight to the Director and act as the selection committee for awarding tourism grants to local attractions and special events.

Qualifications
The Director must have or develop an understanding of travel and tourism, in addition to a background in event planning and marketing. They must possess outstanding written and oral communications skills. They must be able to network effectively and work well with volunteers.

Education and training equivalent to a college degree in marketing or business administration plus a minimum of five years of management experience or equivalent.

Strong financial management skills are crucial for this role as annual travel and tourism budget responsibilities fall under the Director’s role.

Some travel, trade show management, evening and weekend hours will be requirements of this position. All staff, including the Madison County Convention and Visitors Bureau Director shall fill in as needed in all areas of Madison County Convention and Visitors Bureau operation. The Chamber staff shall act as a team and work together as one toward our goals.

The Application Process:
This is not your normal job posting because this is not your normal job. It is an amazing opportunity for an exciting career in an incredible new facility! Are you the absolute perfect person for this leadership role? If so, send a cover letter and resume that will “WOW” us with why you are THAT person! If you do, we will invite you to sit down to learn more about this amazing opportunity!

Mail cover letter and resume to:
Email: dhouston@norfolkareachamber.com No telephone inquiries please.
Subject line to read: “Application – Director, MCVB – Your Name”
OR Mail To: Dennis Houston
President and CEO
Norfolk Area Chamber of Commerce
405 W. Madison Avenue
Norfolk, NE 68701
ATT: Application – Director, MCVB

Sounds like fun, doesn't it? Of course, I would be able to distill the above paragraphs down into just a few words: You will help people have fun!

A CVB Director helps leisure visitors have fun by helping them plan wonderful vacations; they help meeting planners have fun by hosting successful meetings; they help the local tourism industry have fun by attracting lots of visitors; they help the local community have fun by generating lots of economic activity.

So if this sounds interesting to you, I recommend that you contact Mr. Houston.

Thanks for stopping by. The coffee is always on.

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