NCLGA convention gives leg up to local business

Conventions and other big events have huge financial impact on 100 Mile House

Correlation of the economic impact of hosting the North Central Local Government Association (NCLGA) convention in 100 Mile House last May is now completed.

Mayor Mitch Campsall says the Economic Impact Assessment report demonstrates the “very beneficial” impacts to the community.

“It’s great. Hosting that event [here] is actually a huge benefit to our community, there’s no doubt.”

The community stepped up and made that impact happen collaboratively, he adds, by giving the visiting delegates many welcoming and enjoyable experiences.

These ranged from the caterers and accommodations to the restaurants and retailers, which Campsall explains were well prepared and offered warm, friendly hospitality to the visitors.

“It’s not just bringing NCLGA to your community; the community has to [engage in] and embrace it as well; otherwise, it won’t have the impact.

“It was a huge financial boost to our community, for sure.”

The mayor adds the feedback he’s getting from people in other municipalities and regional districts shows they are impressed with the community, and many have returned to their favourite local spots.

“They’ve said, ‘I used to just drive right through, but now I stop here and I stop there, and I like this restaurant’, and ‘oh, that shop you have there is just an amazing little shop’. I hear that consistently, and it’s non-stop.”

It also shows the community is capable of successfully hosting a 300-delegate convention, he says, which is about its capacity.

Campsall, who is the NCLGA president, notes the informative report has been “very well received” by other communities thinking about hosting an NCLGA convention.

District planner Joanne Doddridge administered the survey and prepared the report, and says almost all delegate comments focused on having never before felt so welcomed by a whole community when attending a convention.

Delegates were the primary survey targets, but she notes businesses were also polled on convention impacts.

“We always say, ‘it’s good for our local businesses’, but how good is it, and who benefits?”

The report’s executive summary is the best place for people to review the results, Doddridge explains.

“It shows $100,000 per day was generated in the community, which in our little town is quite tremendous, I think.”

South Cariboo Chamber of Commerce president Tom Bachynski says the correlated results are “proof positive” that events bring people into town, it boosts the economy.

“We should be focusing on those types of events more often. From hockey tournaments and soccer tournaments to the NCLGA, people will spend money when they come to town.”

Doddridge notes the survey questioned if the visitors bought gas, picked up souvenirs, shopped in retail stores or stayed in hotels, and how much cash they laid out.

“Who spent the most was another thing we thought would be interesting, like volunteers versus delegates versus trade show participants.”

Delegates and their partners spent the most, but Doddridge notes folks at the trade show may not have stayed as long in town.

While the data trends were extrapolated to cover a small percentage of survey targets that did not respond, she says that was done “carefully and cautiously” to be fair and accurate.

“It was quite an encouraging response rate, by all standards.”

Doddridge adds businesses can now see how good a convention might be for their sales, and target them accordingly to “get a leg up,” such as bringing in extra inventory for popular items.

The executive summary can be downloaded at www.100milehouse.com/index.php/news-and-events/. To request the full 27-page report and comments, contact Doddridge at the district office at 250-395-2434.