Bonnaroo to be Featured on TN Tourism Snapchat

Tennessee Tourism will be featuring Bonnaroo on our Snapchat story this weekend. You can catch all the action by following “Tennessee” on Snapchat.

The story will take place on Saturday, June 10 as a way to showcase the culture of the festival. Instead of featuring bands on site, we will showcase all non-music activities that happen on ground, such as the longest conga line and the sketchbook as well as fun foods found around the festival.

Snapchat has proven to be a tremendous addition to the tool box in expanding ways to showcase all Tennessee has to offer.

Tennessee Tourism launched its Snapchat channel in October 2016 with a series of videos featuring music superstar Garth Brooks as he revisited places in Tennessee that helped shape his music and become the first recording artist in history to earn 7 Diamond Certifications from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Tennessee Snapchat followers were able to watch the stories and download ticket codes to a free sold-out concert, which took place at Nashville’s Ascend Amphitheatre on October 18. The Garth Brooks Snap stories received more than 8 million views.

Tennessee Tourism has used this new audience on Snapchat to showcase attractions across the state including Jack Daniel Distillery, Dollywood, Beale Street and Elvis Week, along with behind-the-scenes profiles on up-and-coming music artists such as Drew Holcomb, Seth Ennis, The Young Fables and Whissell resulting in an additional 2.5 million views. In May, the Memphis World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest was the subject of a Snapchat series and contest profiling the Memphis-based barbecue team, Brown Chicken Brown Cow.

Please help spread the word about this exciting Snapchat story showcasing Bonnaroo in Manchester, Tennessee.

The Roadmap for Success – Speaker – Leroy C. Cunningham

The primary goal of the Small Business Development Centers in Tennessee is to optimize and maximize jobs in Tennessee.  Workforce Development and Economic Development are the driving factors for a stronger, stable workforce and lower unemployment rate.
Yesterday morning, Leroy Cunningham, Senior Business Development Specialist with the Murfreesboro SBCD was the keynote speaker at the chamber’s General Membership Breakfast.  Mr. Cunningham elaborated on the roadmap for success that our collective of talent needs to focus on; a gameplan, teamwork, and public-private partnerships.  Simple and apparent as it may seem, it is crucial we be reminded of these key elements.  So often we get tied up in the “Bigger Picture” and set aside the basic pillars of accomplishing a goal.  But they are no less important.

Our Game Plan should be Teamwork for Public and Private Partnerships to drive Economic and Workforce Development 
An important part of our game plan must be to inventory our resources. “When we focus on what we don’t have, we need to remember we have people with talent,” Mr. Cunningham stated.  Too often, we look at prosperous cities and say, “We can’t.”  We think because we don’t have a have a mountain or a beach that we can’t create something special.  Mr. Cunningham relayed the story of Walt Disney looking for investors in the early years and being denied for his outlandish ideas, but look at Disney now!  He compared the Disney story to how natives must have felt 15 years ago when the idea came about to have a music festival in the middle of a huge empty field in the small town of Manchester, TN.  And yet, look at Bonnaroo today.  And look at the possibilities that Great Stage Park presents for the future.
Secondly, Mr. Cunningham stressed the importance of teamwork.  Successful communities find team members who want to play and will be committed.  Their teams are transparent and inclusive.  So many times, one individual’s path can align with another’s agenda, but for whatever reason the parties just cannot seem to connect or establish a combined effort to make an initiative work.  This is our own fault.  If we are to progress as a community we can no longer detach our own efforts from another’s.  Truth is, any large scale endeavor is more than just one person’s concern, and the job is just too big and too important to be attempted individually.  For example…  If you want to build a waterpark, this is a combined effort.  Do you have enough water pressure to your park?  How clean is the water at your park?  Is Tourism recognizing your park as an attraction?  Do elected officials and townspeople know your business impacts their tax dollars as tourist attractions?  Are there enough hotels built to maximize your business goals?  And on and on.
And finally, Mr. Cunningham provided a gentle reminder that government can’t do everything for any community.  Governments are strapped; their budgets are stretched thin.  But there are still ways to build the community we desire.  Effective communities are entering into public-private partnerships (or p3’s).  There are countless stories around the country of how the public and private sector partnered together on projects and programs with wild success.


We must have a strong vibrant community for those who live here, who want to relocate here, who want to visit here, and for our children to stay or return here.  Our elected officials need to be informed with data to make informed decisions that drive economic development.

1st Team Manchester Strategy Meeting

Warning ( was up late writing this, so will be grammatical errors )

At 5:30 on Monday June 20th we packed our small conference room with members from State and local tourism, the department of education, hospitality, the arts center, downtown events and revitalization, and of course your team here at the chamber. For those of you who are unaware, the chamber works with the department of tourism and economic development. With all the new information and statistics we have been presented, a stronger more cohesive working relationship with tourism is in the best interest of our members and our community.  The purpose of this gathering was strategic planning and collaboration to increase revenue from tourism. Sara “lastname” was our first speaker. She congratulated our town on climbing in the tourism rankings in the state of Tennessee. One of the factors in determining this ranking is specific to hospitality tax revenue reported. She elaborated on the wide array of resources and tools available through the state and how we can utilize them. She ended her presentation by highlighting that the discovery of unique local flavor is exactly what travelers are seeking such as locally owned eateries and locally owned shops. So if your grandmother or aunt has a hidden vault of family dishes it may be the time to get fitted for that apron.   Have a niche concept for a consumer products that are uniquely local? Could be the time to take a stronger look at the viability of your concept as an actual brick and mortar business.

Next up was Mr. Sam Reed of the Ingram Group. We were first introduced to Mr. Reed by Jeff Cuellar of AC Entertainment at the June Luncheon. For those of you who do not know, the Ingram group is our local liaison for Great Stage Park, or the home of Bonnaroo.  Mr. Reed’s primary goal was to, show commitment by being here, reintroduce himself to this specific group, and confirm the commitment of Great Stage Park to our town over the next 15 years.
Incumbent Alderman and Tourism Chairman Ryan French wrapped up the evening with statistics and updates thus far into 2016 as well as stressed the importance of a united strategic front moving forward. A recent audit in hospitality service industries by Tourism resulted in an additional $100,000 in undeclared hospitality taxes. Alderman French stated, “This single effort by tourism sent a message that we are watching, and the reason we are watching is because hospitality directly affects taxpayers.” The Tourism plan for hosting more Youth athletic tournaments are expected to bring hundreds of thousands of dollars into our local economy. The most recent advance in this effort was in the form of applying for a grant to install lights at the new soccer complex allowing us the to ad soccer tournaments to that list.
There are multiple organizations that are each playing crucial roles in strengthening the Manchester and greater Coffee County community and economy. This creates an even stronger need for open dialogue, communication, and a united cohesive effort moving forward. Thus the creation of Team Manchester. Team Manchester is Tourisms answer to informed cohesive effort. Coincidentally this is also a pressing concern we here at the Chamber are currently addressing. We are in the process of building a digital hub where government organizations, private organizations, and members can keep informed, communicate, and collaborate.
Is the chamber on a soap box for tourism? Yes, Tourism is an active partner with the Chamber of Commerce. The proof is in the data. Our efforts for our community and our members is directly linked to many areas Tourism is in control of and we must be involved in those conversations.  Isn’t Incumbent French hot on the campaign trail and needing to highlight his efforts? Yes, but Alderman French is merely one member of a larger organization that is responsible for these efforts. Are you thinking, enough about Bonnaroo already, its 4 days a year and wasn’t attendance down this year anyway? Yes, but that one event is completely separate from the multiple smaller events that will not land lock patrons in the farm for the weekend. This will directly benefit our businesses and economy which benefits members.
Industry, education, retail, community, economic stability, and economic growth are all linked. We feel it in our gut, but most importantly the data backs it all up. Having meetings such as these are how we are staying informed and in turn sharing this knowledge with you, our members.

The Bonnarro Effect

On June twenty first, two thousand two the landscape of our small town would be forever altered. On this day some of the most electrifying entertainers in the world would lead over 70,000 tourists into our city limits. This day marked the first official Bonnaroo festival. As with anything different, this event would create a whirlwind of emotions, commentary, and controversy worthy of a Hollywood plot.

June 7th 2016 Luncheon

We all love that moment in a movie or television show where an inspirational speech followed by a, “Let’s do this together!”, brings the crowd to their feet. For those of us at the luncheon yesterday, we got to be a part of that experience. Jeff referenced the article we sent out in last week’s e-news about revisiting the relationship between our town and bonnaroo. In case you missed it, you can read it by CLICKING HERE!
Today Jeff Cuellar reflected on the last 15 years, but expressed a focus on the next 15 years!
Do not spend this weekend behind closed doors! Get out in the town. Make plans to go shop! People watch. Welcome our visitors with open arms. We are a great town full of wonderful people. The only words on the tongues of visitors who come and leave is, what a great town to spend a night or two at!