Double dose of holiday cheer
Hamilton County has become a holiday destination for residents and visitors. The number of available holiday events has doubled here in the last five years, and this year, it’s not hard to find holiday cheer from ice sculptures and Santa sightings to hearth-side suppers and the Polar Express.

“As the number of attractions, shops and restaurants grows all around the county, we’ve seen an increase number of people coming to Hamilton County, whether it’s for a special holiday dinner or a weekend excursion to take advantage of everything from Conner Prairie’s gingerbread village to the symphony performance at the Palladium,” said Brenda Myers, executive director of the Hamilton County Convention and Visitors Bureau (HCCVB).

Of course, there are major shopping opportunities from the popular outdoor malls – Hamilton Town Center in Noblesville and Clay Terrace in Carmel – to the unique boutiques around the Noblesville Square, the Carmel Art & Design District and in every Hamilton County community. On stage, you’ll find live performances at the Palladium in Carmel and the Belfry community theater in Noblesville. And, then there are the lights – lots and lots of lights at Reynolds Farm Equipment holiday display, which brings in thousands of carloads of people, who drive through the property for free to view the various scenes.

Plus, Noblesville added new contemporary tree lighting around the square and Fishers setup a light display in the Nickel Plate District.

The 12 Days of Christmas, Hamilton County style (#HC12days)
There are so many options for the holidays that HCCVB is helping visitors (and residents, too) plan their excursions. Check out: VisitHamiltonCounty.com/12days to see all the options and travel suggestions, which include where to find Santa and the Grinch, hear live music, watch a performance, shop for that special someone or see ice sculptures.

Through the webpage, you can send e-invites to friends or family to experience the holidays in Hamilton County. Visitors and residents are encouraged to post photos on Instagram (use #HC12days), for a chance to win prizes.

New cool, fun, sophisticated look for HCCVB
If you’ve been to the VisitHamiltonCounty.com, you likely noticed some changes. A new red balloon-shaped icon, trendy new colors and a more linear design. It’s all part of the new branding campaign HCCVB launched in November.

It’s not just the website that’s changing. This new look, the new logo, tagline and colors all will be integrated to all HCCVB’s publications, travel guides and advertising throughout the first quarter of 2014. Why the change?

In part, you can blame the kids, also known as the millennial generation (those born between about 1980 and 2000). While Baby Boomers drove the economy in the 1990s, the millennial generation (estimated to include about 80 million), will outpace Baby Boomer spending within the next three years.

“If we are going to continue to be successful in attracting visitors, we have to be relevant to multiple generations,” said Karen Radcliff, HCCVB deputy director. “We know Millennials expect – and will demand – to get almost all of
their information electronically.”

The new look came after months of research, including surveys. While respondents liked the former logo, time-and-again, it was described as quaint and charming. Those surveyed, responded differently to the new logo, saying it made Hamilton County look exciting, energetic and a place they would want to visit. That’s the key.

As the roll-out of the new brand continues, visitors will find that even the travel guides will have more of an “on-line” feel. The look also will transfer into signage and interior of the visitor centers.

“We’re giving everything a bit of a facelift to make us look, fresh, up-to-date and welcoming,” Radcliff said. In order to help introduce the new look and build local awareness, the HCCVB will be giving away t-shirts at special events and during high school basketball games this winter.