Meeting will explore marketing WW area

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If you show up tonight for Tourism Walla Walla's annual meeting, you'll be 24 hours early.

An item in Tuesday's edition gave today's date for the meeting, which actually takes place Thursday.

A new branding and marketing plan for the community tops the agenda for the annual meeting. The Power House Theatre will serve as the stage for the presentation. The meeting runs 5-7 p.m. at 111 N. Sixth Ave.

DVA Advertising and Public Relations of Bend has been contracted to serve as Tourism's marketing agency. As part of the contract, DVA will help Tourism Walla Walla come up with a new branding plan. The promotion will be a follow-up to the community's previous marketing identity -- "Walla Walla, Surprise Surprise." Now that more people are becoming familiar with the area and its wine and recreational offerings, the Valley may no longer be a surprise -- hence the need to explore other brands.

DVA will also create a marketing plan to help build tourism during the cold off-season months. Details will be revealed Thursday.

The meeting will also include a recap of the 2011 tourism year, updates on the regional signage project and the Power House Theatre and election of board members. RSVPs are welcome but not required at 525-8799.

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The Milton-Freewater Area Chamber of Commerce is seeking nominations for its upcoming annual awards banquet.

The fabulous folks who work behind-the-scenes to make the community what it is will be recognized Feb. 16 at the 64th annual event themed "Our Little Corner of Paradise!"

Nominations will be accepted through Jan. 13. Categories are: Woman of the Year, Man of the Year, Junior Citizen of the Year, Agri-Business Award, Educator of the Year, Student of the Year and Golden Pioneer(s).

Nomination forms can be downloaded at www.mfchamber.com or picked up at City Hall, 722 S. Main St., or the Chamber office, 157 S. Columbia St.

The awards banquet takes place in the Community Building, 109 N.E. Fifth Ave., and will include a prime rib dinner served buffet style with a wine and beer garden and silent auction. Tickets are available at the Chamber office for $28 per person.

Strictly Business is a local business column. Vicki Hillhouse can be reached at vickihillhouse@wwub.com or 526-8321.

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