The 25-person staff of the Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board took turns rotating past its massive conference room table, plucking brochures from 20 stacks and placing the bundles into welcome bags for delegates to the Democratic National Convention.
By the time they were finished, they had logged 150 person-hours and handled 60,000 collateral pieces, ranging from discount offers for a local zoo to shopping savings at the nation’s largest mall.
The effort was completed by travel-tourism representatives from across the county, including Josh Shapiro, Chair of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners, and Bubby the Bison, mascot of Norristown’s Elmwood Park Zoo.
The goal was to make 5,200 DNC-related travelers feel at home in Montgomery County.
The bags will be onsite at the 27 area hotels that are housing delegates to the convention in nearby Philadelphia. These hotels will also show a video greeting from Commissioner Shapiro and Val Arkoosh, Vice-Chair of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners.
The welcome bags are only part of the VFTCB’s effort to extend the hand of hospitality to conventioneers.
The tourism board is also using billboards for welcome messages, placing them strategically on the Schuylkill Expressway, I-95, and the Turnpike – routes likely to be used by delegates.
The messaging includes the call to action to visit valleyforge.org/DNC, a site showcasing the attractions, restaurants, family-friendly adventures, and nightlife options throughout the county.
The area businesses that partnered with the VFTCB for the welcome bags were:
- Asher’s Chocolates
- Chaddsford Winery
- Elmwood Park Zoo
- Fleming’s Steakhouse
- Greater Philadelphia Gardens
- iFLY – King of Prussia
- International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
- King of Prussia Mall
- Lord & Taylor
- Manor College
- Philadelphia Premium Outlets
- Sesame Place
- Turtle Creek Golf Course
- Valley Forge Casino Resort
- Washington Memorial Chapel