Jim Correll, director Fab Lab ICC at Independence Community College, Independence Kansas
A growing number of retail businesses know about becoming a destination. Being a destination means that something about a business is so unique, exceptional and/or compelling that people will go beyond normal efforts to go to the business. Efforts to become destinations should not be limited just to retail businesses. Our businesses, organizations, attractions, hospitals, and schools should all strive to become destinations. As more and more entities become destinations, a “critical mass” occurs and cities within a region and indeed, the region itself, becomes a destination. As people come to the destination, they bring with them dollars to spend and thus economic prosperity for the region.
People Go Far for a Great Experience
If you normally spend up to fifteen minutes getting to your usual restaurants, perhaps there is one restaurant that is so good you’re willing to travel for up to one or even two hours to get there. That would be considered a destination restaurant for you. A destination restaurant has figured out a way to do something extraordinary to be worth your extra effort. Most of the time, this requires more than just good food.
Becoming a destination has to do with the way people; i.e. customers, clients, patients, citizens, students, and visitors are treated as they seek solutions for their problems and needs. Each entity has to figure out exceptional ways to meet those needs in ways so much better than the competition that people will go out of their way to purchase the solutions. This is where innovation comes in. Sometimes innovation can be a totally new product or service, but many times innovation can be changing an existing product or service to provide new and better ways of solving people’s problems and meeting their needs.
How to Become a Destination
What is required to become a destination varies widely based on the type of entity. Helping businesses and entities become destinations is an important component of the Growth Accelerator Program at Fab Lab ICC. We’ve partnered with E-Community, a Network Kansas initiative to promote and facilitate the help of an internationally recognized destination expert, Jon Schallert, and two of his programs; “Destination Boot Camp (DBC)” and “New Rules of Business Success (NRBS).” The goal of both programs is to help businesses and organizations transform themselves into “Destinations.”
During DBC, participants spend 2 ½ days with Jon in Longmont, Colorado learning “how to reinvent their businesses and marketplaces.” Jon spent 10 years in marketing at Hallmark before starting his own business in 1996, launching Destination Boot Camp in 2002. During this time, he’s helped thousands of business owners and other leaders figure out how to make their entities destinations.
How-To Coming to Independence, Mar. 11 and 12.
In 2018, Network Kansas requested that Jon develop a distilled version of his destination strategies and bring them to Kansas for folks who had not had the opportunity to travel to Longmont for DBC. New Rules of Business Success made its debut in Kansas in October of 2018 in Marion, sponsored by the Marion/Hillsboro E-Community (Entrepreneurial Community is an initiative of Network Kansas.) Since then, there have been two other NRBS events in Kansas and we are pleased to be hosting the fourth in Independence on March 11 and 12. The 2-day event will conclude at 2:30 on the 12th. Both days will include breakfast, lunch and strategies that businesses and organizations can begin to use immediately to grow.
There are no geographic limits regarding who can participate. Promoting our businesses, cities and other entities to be innovative in becoming destinations in their own right, will help our region become a destination for customers, visitors, entrepreneurs and businesses.
Fab Lab ICC is pleased to be one of the sponsors of New Rules for Business Success in Independence on March 11 and 12, and we are handling registrations and inquiries through our web site at www.fablabicc.org.
Jim Correll is the director of Fab Lab ICC at the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship on the campus of Independence Community College. He can be reached at (620) 252-5349, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or Twitter @jimcorrellks. Archive columns and podcast at jimcorrell.com.