Iron Range Tourism struts their broadband stuff: putting local art on the map and more

We made our last Strut Your Stuff visit today with the Iron Range Tourism. It was fun to hear about their projects.

Artist database/map
Creating a map of local artists. It’s given a broader range of artists attention. The State Arts Board has been working on something similar. So we might be a pilot. One difficulty has been defining a location for the artists. Often the artist would prefer to list a location where their art is available, not their home where they may work.

They are using MailChimp and could send out annual emails to update any info. It would be nice to create a color coded map (different colors for types of art) but with a Google map that’s difficult when people don’t have exact addresses. They are also trying to make it mobile-friendly. There is an opportunity to showcase and get more info at a statewide artist summit.

Also working on tablets and kiosks. They are working on making the arts site the homepage.

Digital Marketing
Trying to get in with folks who don’t traditionally focus on marketing – folks who provide services. We help them claim their Google Location. We also have funds to have small sessions in each member community – especially in how to lift each other up as a community via tagging and shared hash tags.

We will be able to get into each community – starting with restaurants. That’s a good hook to spread the word. We’ll get focused this fall, during a slower season.

Internet Access Assessment
We haven’t been able to meet this summer. We are going to try to track access in campgrounds and other areas. But summer is their busiest time so we decided maybe a phone survey in the fall would be a better time to gather info. It might be nice to have someone do a speed test too – although experience would be dependent on number of guests.

Doing a survey would be a nice way to figure out what people need on a slow day versus a busy day. And you might create a list of the best places to stay if access is a priority.

Talent Attraction Microsite
They have a plan and ideas on what we want. They are working with three groups to define their needs: Chambers, businesses and potential workers. The Tourism Board is also getting a new website so there’s an opportunity to make sure that they complement each other.

Maybe there’s an opportunity to match this with the interview station they are working on with the Laurentian Chamber.

Virtual Reality Mine Tour
Might not be done until next year – but it’s going.

Local Pride
A way to get local people more enthusiastic about where they live. A social media initiative to change the narrative. It might be nice to get local editors to feature arts and culture once a week.

This entry was posted in Conferences, IRRRB, MN by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

Librarian who follows rural broadband in MN and good uses of new technology (, hosts a radio show on MN music (, supports people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota ( and helps with social justice issues through Women’s March MN.

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