Trust all is well with you. Things remain busy, and while I expect that the end of Job Keeper won’t send us off an economic cliff, my social media feeds are full of posts from former colleagues in the international travel sector who have been made redundant. Let’s be grateful for the fact that most businesses in the region are sustained by intrastate visitation…and that so far, our economy appears to be holding up pretty well.
Staffing shortages continue to be a real headache but rest assured, in our frequent conversations with Government, myself, and other RTB CEOs raise this is a key impediment to business. We need short and medium term solutions, whether incentives, structural change, housing policies…whatever…ASAP, and the message has been heard loud and clear in the halls of Government. We are being listened to.
As we heard last week, restrictions continue to ease. Here’s a full list of COVIDSafe settings.
There’s a lot going on. In fact, this is a very long email..sorry…but there’s a lot of interesting stuff here. Read on below…
Victoria Tourism Conference 21-22 April
The two day Victorian Tourism Conference is around the corner. The draft program is up, and while there are a couple of spots to fill, it is shaping up. Find out more here (tickets are cheaper than in typical years).
Speaking of conferences, ours is coming up too. It’ll have been almost two years since our last one, which was a cracker.
Please save the date: Wednesday 23 June. It will be held on the Macedon Ranges side of the region.
We have a draft program (but I’m not ready to share it until it’s a bit more locked down) and it’ll be fantastic.
DMT Industry Briefing
Likewise, it has been a while since we had a face-to-face briefing! The next one is Tuesday, April 27th. It will be held at the amazing Hedge Farm in Carlsruhe. Book your spot HERE as seats are limited.
Victorian Tourism Awards
Winning a tourism award is good PR, good for your marketing (great little tick of approval), encourages you to self-reflect on your business and its processes as you go through the application and above all, makes you feel pretty good if you win (or get on the podium).
Applications for the awards are now open. Here’s what you need to know for now: Click here for more information on the 2021 Awards program.
Nominations close: Friday 4 June 2021
Submissions due: Tuesday 31 August 2021
I won’t lie, submissions take a fair bit of time and effort and there’s no real point in doing a submission unless you do it properly. That said, the process is much easier these days and we will have some capacity to support you if you do want to enter (we’re awaiting details of what support resources we will be provided with).
I’ve been down the awards road a couple of times and am happy to give you a bit of an overview of the good and the bad. Hit me up on firstname.lastname@example.org or 0419 574 813.
What’s been happening with marketing at DMT
It’s been a busy, busy time as we try and scoop up as much of this surge in visitation as possible. A quick summary of what’s been going on:
The autumn magazine was a huge hit. If you missed it, check it out online here.
We just had the TV show Travel Oz in the region, and it aired recently. Check it out here.
The Today Show did a load of live crosses a little while back (thanks again to Visit Vic for their amazing support on this).
We’ve done a cooperative campaign with Visit Victoria featuring a wine itinerary. They’re pushing via their channels, and the reach so far has been outstanding.
Our website traffic is going bananas. I’m so proud of what the team has achieved here. The chart showing the growth in traffic goes up at a 45 degree angle. We’re now getting a few thousand sessions a week (a year ago, it was one tenth of this). I’ll go into more detail at the briefing.
Our eDM list now sits at 48,000 with click rates over 25% (which shows it’s an engaged audience), Facebook is over 45,000 with double digit engagement rates (way above the industry average), and insta just tipped over 12,000. It has almost doubled in a year.
Our winter magazine is in production now and will be released in the third week of May. All third page spots are sold, and we only have full page, half page, and business listing available. The last two editions of the magazine sold out quickly so PLEASE get in touch with Annissa ASAP if you want to secure a spot.
Macedon Ranges Autumn Festival
Kudos to our chums over at Macedon Ranges Shire Council. They’ve launched the inaugural Macedon Ranges Autumn Festival to offer more things to do during this busy time, which will disperse visitors across the region, increase the length of stay and improve the visitor and community experience. It’ll grow over the years, but this is a great kick off. Find out more (how to get involved, what’s on etc) here.
Digital marketing tools rebate scheme
Government rebates are available for digital tools including web creation, e-commerce, online accounting, and more.
Join the Small Business Digital Adaptation Program now to trial a range of digital products and access free digital adaptation training and workshops to help your business adapt and implement online tools.
After you purchase a digital product from a participating provider, you can apply for a rebate of $1,200 to access the product for 12 months.
Validate your ABN and join the program now
Artisan Agriculture Project
Hepburn Shire is hosting two exciting opportunities to share knowledge, network and learn new skills in April and May.
New and aspiring farmers forum and farm walk
Date: Saturday 24 April 2021
Time: 10am to 4pm (please arrive earlier for registration)
Where: Trentham Uniting Church, Cnr of Market and Camp Street, Trentham, VIC, 3458
Clare Fountain from Sorted will conduct a free morning interactive workshop that will provide producers with the opportunity to understand and implement the key elements of financial management for business.
The elements will include:
- where you see your business in 5-10 years
- financial literacy 101; and
- keeping on track but avoiding pitfalls.
Prior to the workshop, participants will be invited to complete a short online survey that supports producers to review the key elements of their business. This information will assist producers in understanding why financial performance is key to the business success puzzle.
The afternoon will be hosted a short drive away at Inara Farm in Trentham. Guest speakers Andrew Ritchie, owner of Inara Farm, will share his insights about being new to farming, and Tessa Sellar from Sellar Farmhouse Creamery, Harcourt, will also be sharing her experiences of working collectively with others.
Regenerative Farming Chit Chat and Farm walk
Date: Monday 17 May 2021
Where: 340 Blampied-Kooroocheang Road, Blampied, VIC 3364
Brookland’s Free Range Farm walk hosts Nat and Jono will introduce and discuss what Regenerative Agriculture is and what approaches are generally agreed to be ‘regenerative’ on both large and small scale.
Special guests Jade Killoran from Healthy Farming Systems and Jason McAinch, who works with rural land managers to achieve their lands full potential, will provide an update on current industry trends and their on ground experiences.
Places are limited, so if you are interested please follow the link below to register:
Steve and the DMT Team