There is only one week left to sign up for the Rappahannock County Artisan Trail if you are interested in being included on the printed artisan trail map — 10,000 copies of which will be distributed throughout Virginia’s welcome centers and tourist stops.
The map will be finished in time for the fall kickoff of the trail, when the Artisan Center of Virginia (ACV) will help us create a marketing effort to announce the opening of Rappahannock County’s Trail. The ACV has already created a statewide network of trails, branding Virginia the “Artisan State.”
Artisan trails link our many talented artists, artisans and agri-artisans with local attractions, such as galleries, restaurants, B&Bs and cultural points of interest to create a coherent tourism focus. Many regions around the state have already created successful artisan trails. Several neighboring counties are starting on the process now.
The idea is to encourage businesses and artists to join together and co-market themselves; the map itself is a one-time print opportunity used to jumpstart interest in Rappahannock’s Artisan Trail. As a trail member, you also get a trail site sign, allowing tourists to recognize you as a quality venue, and a trail webpage, which connects your art or business to both the county and state-wide marketing network.
You can customize your trail webpage with your own text, pictures, contact information and hours, and link it to your website and social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter. Your web page will also be connected to Trip Planner and Google Maps. (Help is available with building your trail website.)
Members of ACV and the trail will receive discounted business management classes and can connect with others on the trail to create events, which can be promoted on the social media network within the trail.
Fees for joining the trail vary according to the type of membership. For more information on the trail, visit artisanscenterofvirginia.org/artisan_trail_network/artisan_trail_rappahannock. Questions can also directed to Patti Brennan (540-987-8615 or firstname.lastname@example.org).
— Patti Brennan