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items tagged with cultural marketing

A Modest Proposal: Merge Quad Cities First and the Convention & Visitors Bureau
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Commentary/Politics

Category: Guest Commentaries

2009-08-25 22:24:48

At the public unveiling last month of Quad Cities First - the chamber-of-commerce-controlled replacement for the Quad City Development Group - I ran into Sean O'Harrow, the executive director of the Figge Art Museum.

His presence was a bit of a surprise, given that arts and culture are too rarely mentioned in the same breath as economic development in the Quad Cities. (They weren't mentioned at the debut of Quad Cities First.)

There's a reason for that: The establishment's conception of "economic development" is usually limited to luring employers to our community to create jobs (or at least move them from somewhere else). And the discussion is typically restricted to issues such as tax climate, transportation infrastructure, direct incentives, and workforce.

Yet, as O'Harrow pointed out, a community's culture is essential to attracting people - be they CEOs, workers, or tourists. And he and I wondered whether cultural marketing had been given any consideration as DavenportOne and the Illinois Quad City Chamber of Commerce took control of external economic-development marketing through Quad Cities First.

The answer, to the surprise of nobody: not really.

That oversight can't be corrected, so let's move into third-rail territory and suggest something truly radical: the long-term goal of a merger of Quad Cities First with the Quad Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau, creating genuinely unified external marketing with a holistic view of the area - not just business opportunities, but life.
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