Tourism workshops to be offered

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BETHEL — A new network of business and economic development organizations will host a series of training workshops to help Oxford County tourism businesses apply innovative marketing strategies and improve the service they offer visitors to the region.

These workshops are being organized as part of the Maine Woods Tourism Training Initiative by the Northern Forest Center, Bethel Area Chamber of Commerce, Central Maine Community College, Oxford Hills Chamber of Commerce, River Valley Growth Council, River Valley Chamber of Commerce, and Western Maine Economic Development Council.

Three specific tourism training workshops will be offered at multiple locations in May and June, with more planned for the fall. Workshop topics include delivering outstanding customer service, social media and online marketing, and destination training.

“Give ‘Em the Pickle: Delivering Outstanding Customer Service” — Participants will leave the workshop with a tool box to help them reinforce the workshop’s key elements of attitude, consistency and teamwork. This workshop will be held at three locations on different dates. The first is in Bethel at the Maine Energy System training room, 8 Airport Road, on June 7 from 9 a.m. to noon with instructor Julie Guerin of Central Maine Community College. For more information or to register, contact the Bethel Area Chamber of Commerce at 824-2282.

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It will be also offered in South Paris on June 27 from 9 a.m. to noon. Register by contacting Maria Berriault, Oxford Hills Chamber of Commerce, at 743-2281.

Another session will be held in Rumford on June 28, 9 a.m. to noon. To register, contact Janet Brennick, Bangor Savings Bank, 364-8122. There is a registration fee of $20.

Social media and online marketing will be offered in two sessions. The first session, “Top 10 Tips to Market Your Business Online,” provides a general overview and introduction to social media marketing strategies.

The second session, “Making Social Media Work for Your Business,” will address best practices, return on investment and other more advanced topics. Workshop instructor will be Shannon Kinney of Dream Local. The registration fee is $20 per session, but is free for members of the Bethel, Oxford Hills, River Valley or Bridgton Chambers of Commerce, and members of the Fryeburg Business Association.

“Top 10 Tips to Market Your Business Online” will be offered at two different times, 9:30-11 a.m. and 1:30-3 p.m. on May 26 at the Maine Energy System training room, 8 Airport Road, in Bethel.

“Making Social Media Work for Your Business” will be offered from 5:30-7 p.m., also on May 26 in Bethel. Register before May 20 by contacting the Bethel Area Chamber of Commerce at 824-2282.

On June 14, small business owners and frontline tourism workers are invited to meet providers of recreational, heritage, educational and other experiences from across Oxford County as part of Destination Day in Bethel. There is no fee for attendance but call the Bethel Area Chamber of Commerce at 824-2282 before June 10 to reserve a spot. The meeting will be held from 10 a.m. to noon at the Bethel Inn and Conference Center.

To find out more about the Maine Woods Tourism Training Initiative and other Maine Woods Tourism initiatives, visit www.MaineWoodsConsortium.org.

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