06-03-15 Explore Campbeltown
News and updates from Explore Campbeltown.

Please find enclosed the latest news and updates from Explore Campbeltown. The subjects covered in this email include:

- Wedding Fayre Update
- MACC Photo Shoot
- Campbeltown Malts Festival 2015
- Explore Campbeltown is on Twitter
- CalMac's National Ferry Fortnight

Wedding Fayre Update

Our first Wedding Fayre meeting (held on Monday 16th February) was very successful and there was a great turn out from Explore Campbeltown members with 27 people in attendance. There were some good ideas thrown into the mix and it was good to get everyone together to see how we can work as a whole and make this event successful for everyone involved.

As previously mentioned, we hope to have a similar lay out as the previous Wedding Fayre, with local stall holders round the edges of the hall and a red carpet down the middle leading to the stage, with chairs facing into the runway. It was also suggested at the meeting that we could make good use of the stage space and have a 'top table' theme where businesses who provide table wear, flowers and favours etc could display their items. It was also discussed that we could have some local musicians providing music throughout the day which was agreed would be a nice touch.

Since the meeting, The Victoria Hall timings have been confirmed and has been booked from 10am-6pm on the Sunday at a cost of £410.00 which will be more than covered with the £15.00 stall holder fee. Times of the event have yet to be confirmed but feedback from the meeting suggested it should last around 3-4 hours so we could begin around 1pm and finish at 4/5pm. Suggestions on this are welcome!

We have 36 businesses in total signed up for the Wedding Fayre and unfortunately cannot accept any other bookings for the day as we are now at full capacity. Below is a list of 34 businesses (I am still waiting for confirmation of the final 2 so once I have heard back then I will add them to this list) This list may be useful for our attending businesses to know as there may be ways you can work with other businesses to benefit each other. If you have booked a place and are not listed here then please let me know ASAP incase there has been a mistake. Also, if you are listed here but would no longer like to take part then please let me know ASAP to give someone else the opportunity to take your place:

1) AG Personalised
2) Anne Stewart Knitwear
3) Argyll Alternatives
4) Argyll Bakeries
5) Cadenhead’s Whisky Shop
6) Campbeltown Registration Office
7) Campbeltown Town Hall Project
8) CGS4Gambia
9) Diana MacKenzie Hair & Makeup Artist
10) Dunvalanree
11) Ellie’s Crafts & Preserves
12) Emem Crafts
13) Eye Adore U Makeup Artist
14) Fascinators, Head Wear & Costume Jewellery by Emma
15) Grant Logan Jewellery
16) Harlequin Tearoom
17) Hi-Lites Hair Salon
18) Jean Farmer Clothing
19) Kintyre Design
20) Kintyre Smokehouse
21) MACC (Officers Mess Function Suite)
22) McIvors
23) Numero Dix Hair Salon
24) Red Cross Shop
25) Sarah MacDonald Photography incorporating Kintyre Wedding Photography
26) Scottish Tablet Company
27) Serenity Spa
28) Sian Jewellery
29) Silver Dragon Designs
30) The Headquarters Barber Shop
31) The Kintyre Shoe Co
32) The Royal Hotel
33) Will Anderson Photography
34) Yoga Nadi

It was agreed that the next meeting would take place on Monday 9th March (one week today) at 7pm in the Tasting Room, Bolgam Street. By the next meeting, we will have full measurements of the Victoria Hall as well as information on electricity supply and hope that during the meeting we can begin to talk about a running order for the day among other things. It would be great if anyone who is getting involved in the event could come along and share your ideas! If you cannot make it along to the meeting or would like to give your ideas or feedback ahead of the meeting, please send me over any thoughts that you have!

MACC Photo Shoot

Some of you may be aware that the Officers Mess venue out at Machrihanish Airbase is currently undergoing some major renovations and will soon be the ideal venue for a big Kintyre wedding.

Inspired by our Wedding Fayre idea, they have been in touch with us to help organise a photo-shoot of the Officers Mess to show what the venue would look like set up for a wedding, involving other local businesses to provide elements that will set the scene for the photography. They thought it could be a great opportunity for EC members to get involved to enhance the venue and showcase potential suppliers for a wedding in Kintyre. The shoot would likely take place late March but a date is yet to be confirmed.

They don't expect the shoot to apply to all businesses signed up for the Wedding Fayre but thought as they are doing it anyway, the Mess could be a nice backdrop for any ‘venue specific’ members to have their wares photographed.

Will Anderson, who has provided excellent photography for EC members in the past, has volunteered to do the photography on the day and will be able to take some great photos for you to create a small portfolio and use in future marketing tasks.

The hope is to have models there (bride/groom/bridesmaid(s)/best man) so if anyone knows of anyone who got married recently that would like to volunteer, that would be really fantastic. There are already some hair and make up businesses who have shown interest and if we are able to use the models/dresses/kilts etc that are being used for the fayre, this could be a nice tie-in.

The types of businesses that MACC are looking for are:

• Florists
• Wedding cakes/cupcakes
• Decorators/decorations
• Wedding favours
• Lighting/disco – Jamie Gee
• Table plan/order of service designers
• Hair/ Make-up

Obviously, these are just some starting points and if there are any other members/businesses that would like to utilise the shoot and use the backdrop of the recently renovated venue then they would love to hear your ideas. If you are interested in getting involved in this then please email Claire McFadzean at MACC by this Friday (6th March). You can telephone her on 01586 55 1555 or email claire@maccdl.co.uk.

Campbeltown Malts Festival 2015

As well as taking care of all Explore Campbeltown related tasks, I'm also responsible for organising the Campbeltown Malts Festival which will take place from Wednesday 20th-Friday 22nd May this year.

Springbank have been running our 'Open Day' since 2009 and in 2014 we decided to extend the celebrations to a 3 day festival so that the malts produced at all 3 Campbeltown distilleries (Springbank, Glengyle & Glen Scotia) could be recognised and appreciated. Last year was a roaring success but we want this year to be even bigger and better!

The Thursday (21st May) will be the annual Springbank Open Day event and on the day we have a range of activities on offer such as free distillery tours, specialised whisky masterclasses, a whisky bar with over 50 rare whiskies from Springbank, special bottlings, local craft stalls and much more. The day time events usually begin at 11am and finish about 5pm. From 6pm we have a drinks tent, hot food, live music and other forms of entertainment available.

On this day we like to invite as many local businesses as possible to have a stall and sell their products. We always have a great range of products available from local crafters so hopefully we can add to this again and have a similar variety to what we had at the Christmas Market. We are also keen to have local food providers present to offer a good range of food throughout the day and possibly in the evening.

We are usually very lucky with the weather at the Open Day with only one year being remarkably cold and windy! The plan is for the stalls to be set up in the car park area of the distillery but if it is a very windy/rainy day then we will set them up in the Malt Barns. Last year we bought 8 stall covers which were attached the to the walls of our warehouse and bottling hall and provided cover for all stalls if there was light rain or wind (or intense sunshine!) This year, we will order an additional 8 covers which should mean all stallholders will be able to have a space under cover.

If you are interested in getting involved in any way possible (having a stall selling your products, selling food, providing music/entertainment) then please get in touch with me by Friday 27th March at the very latest. We do not charge a stall holder fee for this event meaning it is completely free for you to have a stall.

Plans are still fairly loose for the Wednesday (20th) and Friday (22nd) at the moment but we do know Glen Scotia will be taking one of those days as their Open Day (most likely the Wednesday) and Springbank/Glengyle related events will take place on the other day.

On these two days we are keen to get other local businesses involved by putting on their own events. We would like other local businesses to benefit from the hundreds of tourists that are in the area during those three days so it would be great if you have any ideas of events you could run. Things such as whisky related dinners in the hotels, local bands playing in the pubs, organising historic tours of Campbeltown or even hosting a whisky quiz in your venue (we have a self acclaimed whisky geek in the office who has already volunteered to make up the questions!) Your ideas don’t even have to be whisky related - the more variety, the better. Not only will this bring in money for your business but it will also show all the visitors what great things Campbeltown has to offer.

Please have a think about how you could get involved and if you want to run any ideas by me before confirming them then please do! We can help advertise any event which is being held via our Facebook page and website as well as sending details to our Springbank Society which has over 1,200 members around the world. This could be a great opportunity for other businesses to get involved with this already successful festival and start to benefit more of our members.

Explore Campbeltown is on Twitter!

Explore Campbeltown is now on Twitter!! Our username is 'Explore_Ctown' so please give us a follow if you are in Twitter and we will follow you back!

I'm sure most of you will be aware but we are also on Facebook so if you haven't 'liked' us on there then please do! Remember that any event or special offer you have can be posted on our Facebook / Twitter pages and events can also be posted on the official Explore Campbeltown website so please don't be afraid to send me anything you would like advertised....that's what we are here for!

CalMac's National Ferry Fortnight

Today (Monday 2nd March) marks the beginning of National Ferry Fortnight (NFF) which runs from 02 to 15 March. Please see below for information which was sent to us from CalMac:

Hello everyone

Please find below information on National Ferry Fortnight (NFF) and how you and (for DMOs) your members can get involved and promote your business and destination. There is no cost to be involved and below are some suggestions for you to consider. We'd be delighted if you'd like to participate in NFF and join us in promoting the west coast.

What is NFF and when is it?

National Ferry Fortnight is a UK wide campaign in which all UK based ferry operators participate. As the name suggests, the aim is to promote travel by ferry and to kickstart the season. This year NFF will run from 02 to 15 March. Previously the main focus on the campaign has been on routes from the south of England to Europe however CalMac have been working to ensure more promotion and inclusion of Scotland and particularly the west coast.

Each year NFF has a main theme - the theme for this year is Ferry Freedom which works well for the west coast with the range of inspiring destinations and activities available which we can all showcase and promote.

What happens during NFF?

All the UK ferry operators aim to run a promotion available for new bookings made during the NFF dates of 2 -15 March only, although travel can be outside of those dates. Some operators run discounts although most promotions focus on value add and range from Kids Go Free or Kids Eat Free to discounts on routes to free on board meals or cabins, with specific terms and conditions. All promotion details are kept under embargo and not made public until 2 March with all ferry operator details made available on the same day.

CalMac will be running a route promotion for NFF which will apply to new bookings only, made during 2-15 March for travel up to 25 October. Full details will be available on our website from 02 March, accessible from our home page at www.calmac.co.uk.

As part of encouraging families to travel we will also be offering half price membership to the Kids Club during NFF. All new bookings will also be entered into a free competition to win one of 10 Golden Tickets. Winners of a Golden Ticket will be able to visit the Bridge during their ferry journey and have a chance to meet the Captain and enjoy a private tour of the bridge (subject to safety and operational requirements)

There is wide press coverage particularly in the national press including The Times, Evening Standard, Daily Mail and travel magazines such as Family Traveller. The national campaign is run by Discover Ferries which is the trade body which all UK ferry operators including CalMac are members of and who meet regularly throughout the year. As part of the national campaign Discover Ferries also run an online campaign via the web and social media with online competitions and specific days when each ferry company offer and routes are featured.

Each ferry company also runs their own campaign linked into the national one. So CalMac will be running our own web and social media promotions and competitions and will be supporting the national campaign through competition prizes and by sharing and retweeting national campaign messages as well as provide background information on the destinations and activities on the west coast to be included in newspaper and magazine features.

How can you join in and promote your business and destination

Below are suggestions for how you might want to join in National Ferry Fortnight.

Use the official NFF logo (attached) on your website and social media (facebook and twitter) to inform your friends, followers and customers about NFF

If using twitter, use the official NFf hashtags #NFF2015 and #FerryFreedom

Follow us on @calmacferries and facebook.com/calmacferries to share and retweet messages from our and the national campaign

Encourage your customers, members and followers to enter the competitions and follow the news - via your or our facebook and twitter updates. The first starts this week and prizes range from small giveaways to larger prizes including free ferry travel and some including ferry plus accommodation.

Consider if you'd like to run your own NFF promotion - is there a value add you'd like to offer? Can you tie it in with the theme of Ferry Freedom? For restaurants this might mean a special menu promotion during NFF, also good to link to the Year of Food and Drink. For activity operators this could be a taster session or some small added value 'extra' you don't normally include in your trips. For attractions such as stately homes and castles, perhaps an offer linked the cafe or tearooms or gift shops to encourage extra spend. Use the NFF logo to help promote and raise awareness of your offer. Try to focus on value add rather than discounts.

Email your promotions to webteam@calmac.co.uk - email brief details plus your business name, contact details (phone and email) and web address and we'll promote it for free during NFF. We'll create a new web page and list all partner promotions on it.

For some of you, the NFF dates will be earlier than you open for the season. A promotion can be for new bookings made during the 2-15 March for travel later in the year or you may prefer not to offer a promotion and still promote and join in with NFF, by mentioning it on your website and enewsletters and social media and use the NFF logo. Perhaps your visitors are planning to visit later in the year and would benefit from our route promotion. For all your promotion details please email to webteam@calmac.co.uk to ensure they are included.

Obviously the Ardrossan to Campbeltown ferry service is not running during this time but CalMac’s deals etc apply to bookings made from March 02-15, even if travel doesn’t take place until later in the year. Even if you do not want to offer any promotions, it would be great if you could share some information on this on your social media pages to help drum up some business for our service starting later on this year.

Look forward to hearing from you soon!

Many thanks and best regards,

Mairi Paterson

On behalf of Explore Campbeltown

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