Elkins Main Street will host a Community Branding Workshop Jan. 23-25 at the West Virginia Wood Technology Center in Elkins.

A marketing consultant provided by Main Street West Virginia will lead sessions with various groups, as well as the public, to collect input from all sectors of the community.

“The workshop is essentially a community conversation about what makes Elkins unique,” said Promotion Committee Chair Anne Beardslee. “It is an opportunity for people to participate in the creative process and help achieve a positive outcome for the community.” Public participation in the branding workshop is very important to get the best possible results for Elkins, Beardslee said.

A public meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Jan. 23 to provide information about the branding process to citizens, who will also have a chance to provide input, and explore possibilities in conversations with others.

Roundtable discussions will also be held to collect input from specific groups. Public participation is welcome and encouraged at any of these sessions.

The Main Street board and committee members will meet Jan. 23 at 1 p.m.; local government officials, staff and boards are scheduled at 2:30 p.m.  Members of Generation Randolph and other young professionals will meet at 4 p.m.  A session for merchants and commercial property owners will be held Jan. 24 at 8:30 a.m.

Representatives from local community organizations will act as a steering committee to guide the branding process.

Participating organizations include the Davis Health System Foundation, Elkins Depot Welcome Center, Elkins Main Street, Elkins-Randolph County Chamber of Commerce, Envision Elkins, the Randolph County Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Randolph County Development Authority, and local government officials.

All discussions and presentations will be facilitated by consultants with the firm Arnett Muldrow of Greenville, S.C. The firm is under contract by Main Street West Virginia with the National Main Street Center to provide services to communities throughout the state.

According to Arnett Muldrow, a brand is much more than a tagline, a logo, or an image. It is a system that can be employed, a toolbox that can be used, and an exercise that a community goes through to explore what makes it truly unique and marketable.

A Community Brand is a promise that a place makes with people. A successful brand communicates that promise and delivers a positive image for residents, investors, and visitors.

A final presentation of Arnett Muldrow’s creative work will take place Jan. 25 at 3 p.m. All workshop participants and the public are invited to attend the presentation at the Wood Technology Center.

For more information on the Community Branding Workshop, contact Elkins Main Street by phone at 304-637-4803 or email karen@elkinsmainstreet.org.

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