chapter  6
9 Pages

Merchandising, Special Events and Public Relations

Public Relations Merchandising, special events and public relations initiatives all provide opportunities to get your attraction’s message out in positive ways that can increase visitor numbers and dollars spent at your institution. This chapter takes a look at each. The Merchandise Is the Message Smart marketing starts in-store for tourists and locals alike. Your guests and shoppers have a unique opportunity to experience your organization’s brand and message via your store’s merchandising. In fact, in the cultural commerce world, the merchandise is the message. Books, DVDs, CDs, posters, special exhibit-related items, collectibles, logo items and home decor, as well as gifts and apparel that impart a sense of taste and style, all become an extension of your organization and share your story with current and future guests. Merchandise is a very powerful form of sustained tourism marketing. Your home may include a favorite Georgia O’Keeffe print from the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe, N.M., a poster from the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., plus beautiful and unique autumn leaf-shaped placemats from the Adirondack Museum store in upstate New York. These all become valuable viral marketing for the museums’ stores when shoppers share their finds with family and friends. The items spark conversation about travel experiences and ideas for future trips.