On December 11th the research was completed, pooled together, and laid out into four marketing plans. Each team of students then presented their plans to a group of local business people at the Visit Brainerd office. Once the scores were tallied all participating students were honored and the top three teams were presented certificates at a luncheon held at Arrowwood Lodge of Brainerd Lakes on December 18th.
Arrowwood Lodge, one of the lodging partners of Visit Brainerd, was the perfect location with its beautiful up north ambiance, great meeting space, and excellent food. All four businesses that scored the teams, Allie Bjerketvedt -Fulton Marketing, Dan Fundingsland - Summit Financial, Geoff Gorvin - Gorvin Marketing, and Katie Watland - Baymont Inn & Suites were present at the luncheon as well as were several of the Visit Brainerd board members. All judges expressed that this was a great experience seeing see the ideas the students came up with in regard to marketing Brainerd, Baxter, and the Brainerd Lakes Area.
Pat Swarthout, Instructor at CLC stated in review of the program that “this was a great example of collaboration between industry and education to create a learning experience that could not be duplicated in the classroom.”
Richard Polipnick, Executive Director of Visit Brainerd expressed that “this was a great experience for me personally and for the organization. It was great to see what the students put together then be able to honor them and give them that experience. For the organization it was great to have so many eyes looking at what we do, how we are doing at it, and sharing ideas on how we could do better in regards to promoting the Brainerd and Baxter area.”
Thinking about the overall experience with the project Sonia Tauer, student at CLC, stated “I thought this was a great thing for our class to do. I learned so much about targeting different markets.”
Sonia also shared her thoughts on the experience of putting the project together as a team. “We had group issues but that is working on a team. You encounter similar problems at work every day, you just have to tread lightly and work through it which our group came together and did. ”
Although all teams were honored for their participation and effort, we wanted to take a moment to give special recognition to the first place team which included students Christina Butler, Jennifer Kriegl, Jamie Osborn, Benji Subah, Colten Sunde, and Sonia Tauer. Their presentation was in-depth, well-organized, and thought through from research to implementation.
Central Lakes College and Visit Brainerd would like to thank all students for their work on this project, all judges for their time and input, and the Arrowwood Lodge of Brainerd Lakes for sponsoring and hosting the award luncheon.