Some people make a living at Cat Herding. Getting a group of people going in the right direction or adhering to a process can be akin to 'Cat Herding, i.e, nearly impossible.
There are people who actually study meeting processes and how to make them better. You can always spot them in a tight, public confrontation—they are the ones with the microphone or wall chart pen taped to their hand (a golden rule for facilitator is that he who holds the mic or pen rules the meeting--never give up either willingly!).
A meeting facilitator is often used to ‘make easy’ the task of meetings. Meetings can be contentious and groups difficult to keep on task. A meeting facilitator can help with herding, as well as help designing agendas, decision making processes, team building exercises, and increase the productivity of a group.
They also may be well paid, and no wonder! Meetings can easily cost hundreds for every minute, depending on the participants. Like other crafts, there are some training and certification programs that help you become a more efficient ‘cat herder.’
Small production theatres dot the Oregon coast and regularly entertainment to local communities. They may be the traditional stage presentations, or modern dinner theatre mysteries, comedy shows, and musical productions.
Costs are minimal and profits are often funneled back into the theater organization. How else do they support the economy?
They capture some traded-sector dollars, in that not all attendees are residents. Grandma and Grandpa would not dare miss their grandchild’s performance and may travel from other communities or states here to the coast. While here, they will, most likely, stay overnight, grab a meal or two, may procure flowers for their budding actor, and purchase a gift or two. They might even capture pictures or video on their digital phone, or purchase a DVD of the performance, or heck, see the performance a second time. Before heading home, they might get a bit of gas and a few groceries
Get a cast of 43 young actors from the south coast (Reedsport to Brookings), and the impacts for one performance may have benefitted our region as a whole for nearly a year. 
The actors might also contribute to the economy through personal expenditures, as in the case of this month’s ‘Mary Poppins Jr.’ playing at the Sprague theater in Bandon. Some of the actor took voice and dance lessons to help master their performances. And there may have been other expenditures with sets, costumes, marketing, programs, tickets, and marketing. And who knows, some may go on to successful entertainment careers! 
These theaters may be small, but their long-term economic contributions contribute to our region and help us stay healthy and entertained! Looking at more of a national view, even these small theaters contribute billions to our economy. Support your local theatre!
 Western World, Coffee Break ‘Mary Poppins Jr.’ coming to Sprague Theater Oct. 14, 2019.
 Theater Communications Group, “Good theater is good for the economy to the tune of 1.9 billion” (www.denverpost.com/2011/11/17/good-theater-is-good-for-the-economy-to-tune-of-1-9-billion/)
 Image from Pinterest.
Could the sunny southern Oregon coast become the new destination wedding spot? Why not?
Weddings are big business for most any area and the monies flow well to local businesses that can contribute to the event. The even better news is that they are repetitive.
A festival may only happen once a year. Weddings can occur repetitively, bringing in monies throughout the year in a number of venues, both large and small. Is it worth billing our communities as wedding destinations? We have a lot to offer and getting a piece of that wedding business could make a huge impact to our south coast economy.
So let’s think about this. Weddings are considered to be a traded-sector because monies from any number of other communities, states, and countries could come here, and many companies could be involved in providing products and services. Traded-sector activities generally circulate monies in our communities a lot. The opportunities for involving a large number of local product and service providers makes this a great choice.
Could we outcompete other venues? Potentially. Some of the in-city venues have waiting lists of two years and costs that might surprise you. For instance, consider the beautiful Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden in Portland. The use fees for 50 guests start at $4,722 (this is only the space cost with some access to a garden planner; other costs such as chair rentals are extra). The waiting list is often two years out as they have limited venues (predominantly outside) in the garden.
Could weddings shore up our tourism ‘shoulder months’ when the number of visitors and incoming dollars drop? According to Wedding Wire 2019 report 40 percent of weddings occur in the fall months with October 2, 15, and 19 scoring in the top five most popular wedding dates. Our weather is often stunningly beautiful, with cool days in October.
So what might one do to attract this business sector? Consider a community-level plan or larger--because no one location at this point could provide access to all of the services typically needed. The nice thing in this example, is that a community-level effort ensures that more people will potentially benefit and the risks might be minimized.
Example: Let’s say that your Chamber of Commerce likes the idea and is willing to support it. Perhaps their website could be expanded to include a few extra pages that would include a list and description of venues in your area.
Venues do not need to be large, as not all weddings are large. Venues can include churches, gardens, parks, community centers, and other meeting areas. Some of these sites could be indoors, and others out, small and large. Sites that work well include places that have a dressing area or restrooms. Having access to a kitchen is definitely a step-up but not necessarily required. A beautiful, peaceful setting or view can go a long way especially if you include pictures and descriptions on the website.
Services may be a challenge, but can be developed over time. Your community does not need to have all of these services. Look for nearby sources in local communities and consider what kinds of services that could be created in the future. Some products are easily created or procured online, such as the various cards.
Just to give you a feel for the potential services and their economic impact, Barnstable County with a population of 213,444 in 2017 had 1,532 weddings (that population is similar what our population might be for Curry, Coos, western Lane, and western Douglas counties combined might total). They kept track of several, but potentially not all, wedding expenditures that year as shown in the table below.
Other potential expenditures could include pre-site visits, more meals, rooms, gas, gifts, etc. There could also be other activities for the wedding party such as special beach gathering photo shoots, campfires on the beach, trolley rides, last minute tailoring (there is a tailor in Bandon), as well as other before and after family activities. Suggestions could be made for all of these ideas, great and small, on your wedding website.
Why a website? Because that is where many people, young and older, are looking for ideas and comparing costs and opportunities. The good news is that it is relatively inexpensive to add-on pages to an existing site like your Chamber might have.
The average wedding ceremony is now costing $28,000-32,000 each... A thousand or so weddings could strengthen our economy tremendously and might even attract some new families to our area. Weddings are not be instant economic fix and won't start up at the same level as Barnstable county was in 2017. They are however not going away and would blend wonderfully with our beautiful environment and mild weather. I Do!
1 The Wedding Spot.com, Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden (https://www.wedding-spot.com/venue/5032/Crystal-Springs-Rhododendron-Garden/)
2 Marriage and Money: The wedding industry is big business for our region (https://capeplymouthbusiness.com/marriage-and-money-the-wedding-industry-is-big-business-for-our-region/)
This BLOG is all about using creative talents to create and support the economy in Oregon. First Blog out of the shute is how film in Oregon helps bring in money and jobs into the state. Business Recruitment, Retention, and Expansion (BRE) comes in many forms and flavors. The entertainment sector is alive and well on the South Coast!