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Secret Shopping Visitor Guides

It really simply started as a curiosity about what other destinations were doing with their Visitor Guides.  But then as co-workers will tell you, my ideas get bigger and bigger!  How are other DMO’s Visitor Guide request processes?  How long does it take Guides to arrive?  Are they sent first class or bulk?  What size are they?   And then to the original question, what features are destinations including in the Guides?

Where else does one get the answers but to ‘secret shop’ Visitor Guides.  So we sent off – or attempted to send off for 60 Guides.  Major destinations.  Smaller destinations but primarily ‘benchmark’ destinations – University cities or cities of 100,000 in population.  The results?

Delivery Of 60 attempts, twice we were unable to even find an ability to request a guide online.  Two more fulfillment pages were broken.  Eight only offered online versions and we weren’t able to order a printed Guide.  So we were only able to order 48 Guides.  Surprisingly, we have only received 39.  Nine requests for Visitor Guides have gone unfulfilled.  Sure there’s got to be some explanation but perhaps that’s the next study – my asking the nine why they never sent a Guide. 

Delivery II The average Guide took 6 days for delivery.  Thus the challenge to our staff – 5 days or less!  Matter of fact, I have a side anecdotal story below about the importance of a speedy delivery!

Delivery III Only one Guide was not sent First Class.  Explains the average six day delivery.

Annual or Multiple Issues per Year We experimented printing three issues per year.  For too many reasons we’ve decided to return to an annual.  We’re right in line as only seven destinations don’t print an annual and those seven – the larger destinations – each printed twice a year.

Size Apparently out is the adage that Guides need to be small, pocket-sized for the visitor to put in their back pocket or purse.  23 of the 39 were magazine sized 8.5 X 11 (or a close size to that, 7.5 X 11.)  12 were digest size (5 X 8 or a close size to that, 4 X 9.)  The other three were 8 X 8, 7 X 9 and 4 X 7.

Length All over the board!  The smallest Guide was 10 pages.  Lengthiest – Orlando’s 233 pager.

Inserts / Enclosures A handful of destinations included a detailed Calendar of Events.  Six enclosed a thank you letter for requesting the guide.  And one destination hand wrote a note and dropped it in the envelope with the Guide!

Content –  Social Media meets print  There are numerous instances in which destinations have included Social Media content in the Visitor Guide.  Detroit’s is the most prevalent.  Detroit includes these “Travel Tips” throughout the Guide which the content is pulled from social media.

Detroit Travel Tip

They even go full-page with the social:

Detroit Social Page

Durham has similar features throughout their Guide:

Durham Fan Favorites

But Detroit keeps pulling from social media and nicely promotes the online world through their “Depict the D” page.  Click here to see the page.

Content – Use of QR Code While I bashed QR Code use last month, I will hand it to Columbia and Grand Rapids for both utilizing QR Codes to bring the online world to the print world.  Columbia offers the reader a chance to scan and have a walking tour of their downtown:

Columbia Walking Tour

Grand Rapids provides a map of their smart phone tour.  The page from the Guide has 10 QR Codes that a visitor can scan and learn more about the public art.

Content – Research back to Detroit where they point blank say ‘We Need Your Help’ and give you a QR Code to scan so you can answer a few questions about their Guide.

Detroit Survey

If you ever wanted to benchmark your Visitors Guide with others, there you go.  That’s a rough summary of what Visitor Guides are looking like today.  Thanks for reading.

Oh, by the way, here’s that story…

In the midst of our Visitor Guide research above, our family is planning our three family vacation next summer.  Thanksgiving Day my brother and I discussed three destinations.  I perused three destination websites.  My wife is still a printed piece person and heck, I being in the industry doing the above research thought here’s two more that I can test.  So, I requested three Visitor Guides.
Tuesday after Thanksgiving, the first one arrived.  (That’s TUESDAY after Thanksgiving it ARRIVES!  Standing O for someone or their mail house working on Friday or Saturday to get that Guide out!)  Wednesday my wife flipped through it while my daughter practiced.  My wife started texting me ads and pictures from the Guide.  She gets home and starts showing the family pages that were dog-eared.  When my son asked ‘can we go there.’  My wife declared, ‘Yes.  This is where we’re going next summer!’
But, what, um, uh, we have two more Guides on the way!  We have two more options!
Not in my wife’s mind.  Destination 1 beat the other two to the mailbox.  She’s already studied the Guide.  She liked what she saw.  She’s made up her mind!
Destination 2’s Guide arrived two days later.  She hasn’t even looked at it.  Destination 3’s Guide is yet to arrive.  Doesn’t matter.  Game over.

QR Codes – Pointless or Effective Tool?

QR Codes… (Quick Response Code).  They’re the little squares with dots.  (See below.)  A consumer scans the code with their smart phone and, well, in most cases, becomes very disappointed in the results!  Most of the time we’re only being sent to a website – and most of the time, the websites aren’t even mobile friendly.  One gets the desktop version of the website that is difficult to read and navigate on an iPhone or android smart phone.  Fail!

I’ve become obsessed with QR Codes mainly from the ‘let’s-see-how-this-one-is-done-poorly’ sense.  I’ve heard how they’re supposed to be used and successful ways they are being used (shared later.)  But first, let’s review the top five worst ways QR Codes have been used.

I’m not quite sure which one is my favorite so they’re in reverse alphabetical order.

Website Bring up the offending website and there it was – right in the middle of the home page.  Naturally I’m curious so I get my phone and try to scan it.  You can’t scan a QR Code off a computer monitor!  Did no one think of trying this before they went live with the site?

I was really curious where the code would lead me so I printed the screen shot, scanned the code and you know what it allowed me to do?  See a picture!  Um, just put the picture on the website and save us a lot of time and frustration and you a lot of humiliation!

Television Commercial Yep, there it was in the corner of the advertisement.  I guess they’re placing it in the ad based on research that more and more are watching TV with laptops, pads or smartphones in hand but for those of us that don’t have it in hand, can one grab their phone, access the scan app, and get up to the TV in time to scan the code?  And based upon the fact you can’t scan a code off a computer monitor, can you scan one off a TV monitor?

Restaurant Menu The code was on the back of the menu.  I scanned it.  It took me to the restaurant’s website – that WAS MOBILE FRIENDLY!  It was a desktop version.  As I flipped through the site, it shared the location of the restaurant and their menu because when I’m sitting in the booth in the restaurant reading the menu, I need to know where the restaurant is and the large menu is too difficult to read so I want to squint at my smartphone to see what kind of burger I want!

Billboard Who in the flip is going to slam on their breaks on the Interstate to stop on the side of the road to scan the code off a billboard?  Genius the one that thought of that use!

Airline Magazine Um, VP of Marketing Genius… we’re on a plane.  and our phones are supposed to be off… and there’s no internet… and one needs a phone that is turned on and internet to follow the code… and, ah forget it!

So after all that sarcasm and ridicule, how are QR Codes best used?

“Getting the consumer one step closer to purchasing” was the best way I’ve ever heard it.  Got them interested in your destination?  “Scan here to book your hotel room” or “see our weekend trip packages” or “purchase your tickets to the (museum, theatre, park, etc.)”  

Don’t give them something they already have, give them something new!  Most likely they are scanning the code from a visitors guide or advertisement.  Don’t take them to more reading.  Take them to a video that then takes them to your hotel reservation system (or ticketing page if you’re an attraction.

I’ve seen QR Codes in ads to travel writers.  The code took the writer to a page on the website that had dozens of story ideas.

Colleagues have QR Codes on their business cards linking new contacts to their Vcard saving time of typing in the contact information!

Put them on conference badges so when one scans it, they have the attendees’ contact info.

Sign at an expo booth.  “Scan to register to win!”

Receipt… have them directed to your TripAdvisor or Yelp or UrbanSpoon listing so they can give a good review or so they can join your email list.

There’s seven.  Bet with your and other reader’s comments, we can come up with seven more!  Comment and share your example of how to use a QR Code.  You can share your QR blunders too!  I always enjoy a good laugh!

DMAI Convention Summary

Between seafood, the Space Needle, the Experience Music Project and my 19th Hard Rock Cafe, I did take in the sessions at DMAI’s Convention in Seattle.  I typed out action items or concepts for the staff and I to prioritize upon my return and had 54 items on the list – and that was before the last day of sessions!
I could make this very short and say Mobile.  The end.  But really there were five key concepts that I took away from Seattle: Mobile, Video, Research, Partnerships, and Service.
Mobile… Okay, Mobile could have been all five concepts. The gal from Google said it best, “We used to say ‘it’s not too late to be early to mobile’. I here to tell you you can no longer be early to mobile.” Facts shared: -smart phones out number desk top computers; – in 2014, mobile search will pass desk top search. If you do not have a mobile version of your website, stop reading now and call your webmaster. Seriously! Stop reading and call. Mobile is here!
The speaker from Google said, “Online is no longer an individual strategy. Online should be a part of every strategy.” From what I heard, insert Moble every place you have Online in those two statements.

Video… If you missed the fact two years ago, YouTube is the number two search engine.  And it hasn’t dropped last year or this.  Average time on a website is 48 seconds.  Average person spends 5 minutes and 50 seconds on the web.  What are they doing the other 5 minutes and 2 seconds?  Watching Video.  Video must be on everything and on every main section of your website.

And I know you’re gonna ask, does it have to be all Steven Spielburg, beautiful, HD? I heard a few times “content over quality”.  And keep ’em short!  30 seconds.  No one is going to watch your 8 minute mini movie about your destination.

Research… Everything we do starts and ends with Research.  Literally!

A Visitor Profile Study and Potential Customer Study are the minimum two that should be done before you begin any promotions.  After everything, do a Conversion Study to see if the leads generated even came.  There’s countless others but those are the minimum three.  (I’m going to attempt to get samples of each and post them on the site.)

Partnerships… This isn’t about the trend of DMOs moving from memberships to partnerships, it’s the reminder that without the hotels, restaurants, attractions, retail outlets, cab companies, sport facilities, conference center(s), etc., we have no destination to market!  Include your partners on the Mobile strategies.  Work with them on production of Videos.  Something they really want to know?  Add a question to your research.  And it’s okay to ask for financial assistance.  They are a partner!  Keep them as a partner or develop them as a Partner!

Services… You know it’s important when Convention Services had it’s own session!  The Certified Tourism Ambassador program or your own, local hospitality training program.  They’re all important!  We can do all the research, optimize our site for search, place all the pretty ads but if the traveler comes to our destination and is not met with outstanding service, they’re going to leave having not had a nice experience and they’ll probably Tweet about it or post it on Facebook.  (I did Monday night!  See more below.)

Good thing is only the first two are really expenses.  If you absolutely have to, you can do the research your self.  Partnerships and simple (and if done right, revenue) and Service development costs little to nothing.

Talk to you next month.  I need to get some Nirvana downloaded to my iPod.  Been craving some grunge since I landed.

Are You Experienced?

My Achilles Heel is ice cream. And when I HAVE to drive by a Braum’s Ice Cream and Dairy Story to get to our office, that’s a problem. Every once in a while I cave and drive through.

The young gal the other day handed me my peanut butter cup mix and said, “Wow! That looks good!” I retorted, “What? You’ve never had one?” She responded, “No.” And I drove off thinking ‘how in the world can she adequately sell their products if she’s never eaten them!?’

Then I quickly turned the thought on myself and wondered if I’ve ever “eaten all of my destination’s products!?” Sure, I can tell about the Smithsonian caliper displays at our natural history museum or the art museum or the lake or the live music but can I emotionally convey the experience?

Am I experienced?

Attractions… I believe I’ve been to every attraction although one I just went to within the last six months – three years after I arrived. We have a large casino just across the river / city limits. I’ve yet to play Blackjack or a slot and I certainly haven’t experienced any of their live music in the lounge. On our website we list the “Must Dos”. I’m embarrassed to share I’ve only done 4 of the 11!

Festivals / Events… I’ve yet to go to our Jazz Festival (although that will change this summer when David Sandborn plays!) Norman boasts a Second Friday Circuit of Art. Haven’t been to one. Summer and winter concerts. Nope. I haven’t even been to our County Fair! Gasp!

Restaurants… This I’ve done well! I actually attempted to eat at every restaurant in the diners guide in the first year I was here. I came close but as you do, you get your favorites and don’t get back into a place for quite a while to see if the burger or omelet is still serve-able let alone if the concept has completely changed!

Hotels / Bed and Breakfasts… Really… is a Hampton Inn a Hampton Inn a Hampton Inn? Well yes, but what truly makes your Hampton Inn a unique experience from the other Hampton Inn down the road? (Okay. Hampton Inns aren’t unique but you get what I mean…) Helen Hunt and Al Gore slept in one of our B&Bs. It’s cool to say to a potential visitor but have I experienced Helen’s or the Veep’s experience?

Intangibles… What’s the other intangibles we as destination marketers need to experience in or about our communities? Have you experienced game day traffic? How can you truly relate to a visitor if you haven’t sat in that traffic? Road construction? What does the visitor need to know about dodging the orange barrels? Is a museum docent better than all the others? Do you know he/she works every Tuesday? Go ahead a recommend a visitor go at that time while he/she’s there! Is there a time of day that the sun hits a work of public art just perfectly? Tell a visitor where to stand and that that’s when they should take the picture!

We almost need to budget staff field trips don’t we!? But really, isn’t that what differs us from TripAdvisor, UrbanSpoon or any of the other hundreds of online review sites? Doesn’t that make us and our DMO relevant again!?

Get out of the office and go experience something!

Are We As Bad As Automated?

I called to have our phone lines moved. Went through the automated system. Gave Mr. Computer my account number and address. First thing the live customer service representative asked for? Yep, my account number and address! I laughed and asked her if that hadn’t popped up on her screen. She said no. I then asked (nicely) then why did I have to give all my information to the computer? She said she didn’t know and shared they wonder themselves.

It got me thinking… are we doing the same thing? When someone calls in, they may share information about their conference or reunion or anything so we can decipher who to direct the call to. Wonder if they’ll appreciate a simple “I apologize, but in order for Joe to help you best, you’ll probably have to repeat your information.” It might at least deaden the sting.

What do you think?

Do The Disney Thing

Did the Disney thing! My son loved the Star Wars themed weekends and my daughter was giddy to meet all of the princesses and of course, Mickey and Minnie. Don’t tell my wife, but the trip was partially a reconnaissance mission for me. And I was marveled again by the exemplary example Disney provides to the others of us in the travel/entertainment industry.

It probably helped that in April I had just heard about Customer Service “Disney Style” as part of NASC’s CSEE program. The speaker offered action plans to build loyalty in our offices, delivery systems that enhance service and service plans that promote quality. All great systems but really, it was some very simple things that amazed me – easy things we can “steal from Disney”, do every day and impact our operations and destinations.

Name Tags… I’m certainly not trying to infringe on the Name Tag Guy’s domain by mentioning Name Tags but man, everything Scott preaches about approachability is dead on at Disney with EVERY cast member wearing a name tag! It became very comfortable to call them by name, feeling like you knew them for years and guilty if you didn’t call them by name! I came back realizing name tags aren’t just for trade shows. It’s required wearing helping not just the visitors but your community partners feel they can approach you and be comfortable doing so.

Research… the gentleman that spoke in Greensboro at NASC’s Symposium shared how Disney had done research to learn the average person will walk 27 paces with a piece of trash before they throw it on the ground. Thus, there are trash cans every 25 paces through out Disney. And trust me, I counted. Not all of them but from time to time I would pace it off and sure enough, 24, 25, 24, 23, 25… How well do we know our visitors? Are you constantly collecting secondary research? Monitoring TTRA or USTA’s MOF… Are you collecting any primary research? Heck, pick one question you’re gonna ask every visitor that walks in your Welcome Center this summer. No it may not be absolutely scientific, but I’ll be you know how far your visitors will walk with that empty cup looking for a receptacle!

Speaking of Trash… the cleanliness of Disney parks are legendary. But the cleanliness is real! They’re spotless! Okay, there was a napkin or something from time to time but it was shocking to see anything on the ground. What I was impressed with was the managerial staff that walked around with the ‘trash pick up tools’, ‘garbage grabbers’, prongs, whatever they’re called. Trash wasn’t beneath anyone. Which leads me to wonder if picking up the can or paper or empty cup in the parking lot or on our downtown sidewalk is below us? It’s not just individual efforts either. Can our DMO’s organize a clean-up day before a major event in our community? Disney set the trash bar high. Any trash in our communities is less than what is expected by our visitors. Both the individual and group efforts might be contagious.

Three simple things we can steal from Disney. I’ll bet there’s more. Feel free to leave your suggestions or comments below.Thanks for reading!

Men at Work Singing of You?

December marked the two year mark for me at the Norman, Oklahoma, Convention and Visitors Bureau. As expected, this has been a tremendous, tremendous professional growth opportunity. I joined a DMO right at the brink of full-scale transition and have experienced a “re-branding”, a complete staff re-engineering, and a 75% turnover of the Board to hit the highlights. But it hasn’t all been smooth.

I’ve had Men At Work’s “It’s A Mistake” ringing in my ears a time or two. I alienated a core committee and group of volunteers. It haven’t had the best of relationships with a hotelier and my predecessor who is still in the community. As I annually take time to reflect on the year past and what I could have done better, I perused common mistakes managers make. They’re from numerous sources and are – January’s Five @ 5:

1. Not being flexible to change and open to new ideas. Be open to what employees have to say. Even if you don’t always agree. At least acknowledge them. It shows you’re open-minded and a good listener. park of being an effective manager or supervisor means practicing good listening skills.

2. Changing everything. Don’t re-invent the wheel. Just because the way something is done isn’t the way you would do it, it isn’t necessarily wrong. Learn the difference between “different” and “wrong.”

3. Not acknowledging that you do not have all the answers. A Good manager does not make the mistake of trying to solve every problem. Seeking help from individuals with expertise in specific areas is a sign of strength, not weakness. In addition, a good manager must understand that his or her way is not the only way to do the job.

4. The glass is always half empty. Managers who continually focus on the negatives, without recognizing positive achievements or employee accomplishments, end up with employees who are not motivated and often have one foot out the door looking for a more positive work environment.

5. Too much technology. A new breed of managers are more tech-savvy than they are comfortable handling and managing people. Embracing technology is a key to success in the modern office environment, but not at the risk of embracing people skills. Do not hide behind e-mails and other technology.

Whether you’re a newly appointed manager or working on your gold watch, these mistakes managers make will create a more enjoyable work experience for you and your employees.

Time For A Better Conference

Back from another astounding DMAI Annual Convention. The session with Claire Hughes Johnson of Google, the PDM sessions, the “cheap therapy” as you network and realize you’re not the only one dealing with those issues… And the expo is a perfect opportunity for small bureaus to window shop and compare valuable tools that will help their Bureau! If you believe the Convention is only for the major markets, you’re mistaken! Dan Fenton offered a money back guarantee. Perhaps Stephen Perry will offer the same next July.

But, I don’t believe it was perfect. Jeff Hurt has offered his thoughts on improving conferences. Here’s a few other random thoughts as to how to improve the conferences we attend every year – August’s Five @ 5:

1. True Descriptions of Session Contents – I swear some of the same people that write the over-exaggerations we tend to put in our visitor guides write the session summaries. If it’s going to be an infomercial, tell me please. If you sell it as a session on marketing to 35-45 year old high school drop out martians, make sure the speaker stays on topic and doesn’t change his mind after a conversation with a friend as he walked into the breakout room.

2. A Frank Dialogue with Hoteliers – we always grumble about the hoteliers. We wish we could get them to understand us or just hear us. Have we ever invited them to a round-table dialogue? Get the HLA leadership(s) to attend a session, listen and encourage them to take the message back to their membership. (Better yet, hold the HLA and DMO conferences concurrently and have joint sessions!)

3. No Motivational Speakers or Celebrities – Save the money. The celebrity will just say something stupid and show he/she doesn’t have a clue about the group they’re addressing. And I’m motivated enough being out of the office. No rock climber or fighter pilot or former athlete will help me with my job. Save the hour and give me more time to network.

4. More Time to Network – Ten minutes between sessions is not enough time to start a serious dialogue. (Perhaps I’m stupid in that I go to sessions.) But the time to chat with the colleagues about their ‘best practices’ or mistakes they’ve made that will help me is invaluable! Give me more time!

(Oh, and when a niche specific round table session is held, don’t spend half the time writing down 20 topics leaving us with enough time to only touch on 3. Especially if you polled the group in advance and already have a list!)

5. Hold the Conference in a Small Market – “small market” is a relative term. If it’s a state conference, hold it in really small community. One that will really value the attendance. I know there’s logistic issues but figure it every fourth year or so. Nationally, go to a Des Moines, or Lincoln, or Topeka, er, I’m sorry, Google, Kansas. Do we always have to go to the same major markets? Besides, it will be a lot easier for smaller bureaus to sell it to their boards if you’re headed to Fargo (with all due respect Fargo!)

This is certainly not a knock on Michael Gehrisch and the staff at DMAI. The convention is outstanding and DMAI is moving in some great directions! Stay tuned for some incredible offerings in the form of a tool kit from the Advocacy Committee! And this certainly wasn’t directed just at DMAI. My state’s conference could use a refreshing I’m sure. I’m not going to suggest #5 to them this year though ’cause it’s scheduled to be in my city!

(Originally posted August 2010)

Resolved to Communicate

Every once in a while an opportunity comes along that one just has to take. And while I had every intention of growing Stephen Koranda & Associates and not moving from Kansas, when I learned about the opportunity in Norman, Oklahoma, to direct the CVB, I had to take it. Besides, in today’s economy, one has to go with a sure thing.

Naturally I still have contacts with associates and if either one of us can assist, please let me know. But in the meantime, I’ll focus on the immediate task at hand – the Norman, OK CVB. In the spirit of Bill Geists’ last Z-news, I still plan to continue these dialogues so that we continue to connect. What will you find with the monthly Five @ 5?

1. Ideas, tips, and best practices I discover. While I’m going to bring a lot of ideas from Kansas, I’m going to learn more from Oklahoma. And I’ve already connected with colleagues in Texas that are sharing. If I can forward any thoughts, you’ll read about them.

2. Lessons learned from mistakes made. Seriously, we’re not all perfect. A buddy of mine in Kansas laughs when he tells me about mistakes he made in Atlantic City. Sure they’re great to hear over a beer, but they’re also great lessons.

3. Research. Yes, we’re all doing our own primary research to learn more about our customers, but if I can uncover some incredible secondary research that will help us all, why not share it!?

4. Comments from colleagues in response to these posts. One is below. Others will be added as they come in. There’s many of us that have ideas, lessons and information. Let’s share. Which leads to…

5. Increased tools for dialogue. Besides these monthly sharings, I’m working with my webmaster to create a forum on the website. Post a question. Respond to a question. Share some information. Communicate! “Share concepts that, combined and debated, could recreate this crazy business in which we find ourselves” as Bill says.

One thing I’m learning doesn’t differ on this side of the state line – tourism is all about partnerships, sharing and communication. Here’s hoping this Jayhawk in Sooner country can foster the communication and help us all grow and succeed in 2009. I look forward to hearing what is on your mind!

(Originally posted December 2009)

Sometimes Its the Simple Reminders

Miss me last month? I’d like to think the 5th of June ended and you screamed “Where’s Stephen’s Five @ 5!?” For both of you that asked about this correspondence’s where abouts, budget time at our CVB, other ‘fireworks’ at the Bureau, vacation preparation, and, well, life happened!

There were feelings of being overwhelmed. Feelings of guilt ’cause I can’t get a simple newsletter out. Feelings of ‘holy crap, can there be any more?’ But then a magical day happened and I’m reminded… Nothing terribly profound… Just simple things that are this month’s Five @ 5.

1. Take time for you. When is the last time you had a vacation? When is the last time you had a day off? Sure there’s all the stuff and email that piles up the week one is out of the office, but some times we just gotta get away! Oh, and I hate to hurt your esteem, but it will run while you’re out of the office!

2. It’s okay to ask for help. I’ve been handling my father’s affairs since his death and got behind on a couple of things. My brother called me and asked what he could do to help. ‘I’ve got it’ I told him. He replied with a gentle, ‘It’s okay to ask for help. I won’t think any less of you.’ I don’t believe your board or co-workers will think less of you either.

3. Slow down and pace yourself and you’ll finish. Runners will know this and being a runner I shouldn’t have had to be reminded but within two days, two very different runs helped me recall this lesson for everything in life. Slow down. Do one thing on that ‘to-do’ list at a time and you’ll finish it.

4. Pick yourself up and move. Actually lyrics from Switchfoot hit me one night (during that a fore mentioned run.) Something not go your way? Make a mistake? Board critisize you for something? It’s okay! I dare you to life yourself up off the floor. I dare you to move like today never happened…

5. Take time for Him. Good devotions hit us at the perfect time don’t they!? This one compared a bird trapped in a garage to us trapped in our busy lives. The bird wouldn’t stop so they could be rescued. We need stop and go to Him so he can assist us in the planning and organizing of our day. He knows what you will be facing and longs to prevent you from ‘banging’ your head against the wall. Won’t you fall into the open arms of your Father and allow him to rescue you? He is waiting.

These probably aren’t going to help your bottom line, let alone attract a visitor to your community or attraction, but then again, if the bureau or attraction shuts down ’cause staff has ‘lost it’, you’re not going to attract visitors then either. Sometimes it’s taking care of ourselves and re-energizing us that help us get back to the task at hand!

(Originally posted February 2010)