Christmas light displays provide community spirit and can make a positive impact on your budget.
Finding new ways to generate or increase a Chamber’s non-dues revenue seems to always be on the to-do list. The Branson / Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce has found a way to support their community, add to the area’s chief industry of tourism and make a positive impact on their budget through event based income.
“Branson is nationally known for our celebration of Ozark Mountain Christmas, and a big part of our annual festivities is the drive-through display at the Branson Area Festival of Lights which is designed and produced by North Pole Productions, ” said Branson / Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce & CEO President, Ross Summers. “For over 20 years our Branson Chamber of Commerce has produced a Christmas lights drive-through display, locally known as the Branson Area Festival of Lights (BAFOL). As the tradition of Ozark Mountain Christmas has grown, so too has our BAFOL display.”
In the early years of Branson’s holiday light drive-through volunteers were utilized to put up and take down the display and no set ticket price was required to visit the drive-through, just donations were accepted. Today, a private production company, North Pole Productions, specializing in holiday light displays is used to manage the event. A set ticket price has been established for cars, limousines and busses.
“We will average over 20,000 cars every year through our mile-long display and each year new displays are added. We appreciate working with Tammy (owner North Pole Productions) – she makes it easy on our Chamber staff to put on the best display anywhere,” said Summers. “Each year thousands of visitors and residents look forward to celebrating the Christmas season with a leisurely drive through the mile-long display. After so many years the display has become a family tradition and it is a highlight of our Ozark Mountain Christmas celebration.”
The Branson Area Festival of Lights Drive Through opens each year on November 1st to a community-wide Grand Opening Celebration. At the 2013 Grand Opening country music stars Kenny Rogers and Billy Dean were on hand to help “flip the switch” to kick-off the 2013 drive-through. Community members enjoy the free opening event and a complimentary ride through the lights. The opening event helps to energize the community to promote the light display to visitors, friends and family.
Other organizations around the country have found additional ways to generate revenue from light displays. The Mount Pleasant Festival of Lights, hosted by the Midwest Old Threshers organization in Iowa, sell sponsorships to individual light displays to add to the ticket sales revenue.
Thinking outside the box and considering an event such as a commercial Christmas light display could add to your budget’s bottom line and community spirit. Contact North Pole Productions to start planning your Chamber of Commerce non-dues revenue strategy today!