Helping you Bring in Business

The success of Hamilton County’s tourism industry is dependent on a lot of factors, one of which is converting a potential visitor into an actual visitor. Because so many potential visitors begin their search online, the Hamilton County Convention and Visitors Bureau (HCCVB) is beefing up its website to help you get in front of more people. HCCVB has added a partner portal on VisitHamiltonCounty.com. This portal gives partners access to anything partnership plus the new extranet where partners can post coupons and special promotions, update listings, and add new programs, events and even photos.

 

It’s in an easy-to-use format. And, it’s all part of HCCVB’s 2014 strategic plan to help your organization increase your reach among people living in and considering travel to Hamilton County. Thanks to the wealth of attractions, hotels, shops and restaurants, Hamilton County attracts more than 2 million visitors, who spend $292 million, annually. That’s fueled by the more than 200,000 people who go VisitHamiltonCounty.com.

 

As part of the new partner program, not only will partners be able to post more information, but more information will be available to help tourism partners with their own marketing efforts. For example, listings will be included online, but they also may be included in the printed visitor guide and on NAVTEQ, a mobile service that pushes information to visitors’ GPS systems.

 

The next phase of the Extranet (for Gold partners) will track leads and provide market research results. Even though HCCVB launched the portal only weeks ago, already several partners have updated their amenities and listings.

 

Partners in the services industries (meeting facilities, lodging and attractions) will find a breakdown of all service requests sent to their organizations and will be able to see how many times their listings or coupons were viewed.

 

The Partnership Program will be rolled out in phases throughout 2014. Once completed, it will include social media connections, co-op advertising opportunities, radio promotions and more, depending on an organization’s level of partnership.

 

If you want more information about the 2014 Partner Program, email Judy Erner at or call 317.660.4035.

 

A Frenzy of Fall Fun in Hamilton County 

The leaves are changing color, the weather has cooled off, pumpkins are being harvested and the Headless Horseman is back lurking behind dark corners at Conner Prairie. From hayrides, campfires, apple picking and more, fall is filled with all kinds of activities and special events for people of all ages. Check out the highlights, and be sure to share these with guests, customers and friends.

 

Conner Prairie’s Headless Horseman opens its 30th season Oct. 11 with a host of new activities dubbed “Conner Scairie,” along with such long-time favorites as the Headless Horseman, scary stories, a marionette show, and a whole lot more. Don’t forget to check out the Apple Store, too, for a hand-dipped caramel apple.

 

When you roam the Conner Prairie grounds after dark Oct. 30-31, you’ll go on a search for ghostly apparitions during a ghost tour (for those 12 and older). Along the trail you’ll learn about the history of true local legends, hear supernatural stories and personal accounts of unexplained happenings on the prairie grounds.

 

The 41st Stony Creek Farm Pumpkin Harvest Festival goes through Oct. 31. Pick your own pumpkin right off the vine, take a hayride, or on weekends, zip line over the pumpkin patch.

 

The Haunted Tails at Cool Creek Park in Carmel (Oct. 22-24) offers those 12 and older a spooktacular time as ghouls and goblins lurk at every turn. Younger children will like the Trick-or-Treat Trail, campfire, hayride and more. Also, at Cool Creek Park through Nov. 25, visit the nature center and discover the secrets behind leaves changing color and the amazing journey of Monarch butterflies.

 

Milagros Y Muertos (which means miracles and deaths) is the newest exhibit at Nickel Plate Arts in Noblesville. Known as “The Torch Queen,” metal artist Bonnie Wynn Ramierez’s exhibit features Mexican folk art.

 

For the last decade, ghost hunters have been exploring the many tales and hauntings inside the Historic Sheriff’s Residence and Jail in Noblesville, and on Oct. 12, visitors will spend time inside the 1876 structure as part of the Nefarious Noblesville Ghost Walk, which also will include a tour of historic homes, a haunted cemetery and businesses around the courthouse square.

 

Dance Kaleidescope Dancing Mother Goose closes out the season at the Palladium in Carmel, which features the dance company and the Carmel Symphony Orchestra on Oct. 12.

 

Also on Oct. 12, eat and drink up for the annual Fall Food Festival at Central Park, where you’ll enjoy live music, get a chance to sample the fare from local food trucks and beer and wine vendors, all to help raise money for extended school enrichment programs.

 

Carmel Arts & Design Second Saturday Gallery Walk  (Oct. 13) gives visitors a chance to see local artists and shop local boutiques and take part in special events.