Joy Jeffries says one of her immediate goals as new executive director at the Frankfort-Franklin County Tourist and Convention Commission is to "bring the level of proficiency up a notch."
"In our presentation, whether it's people coming in our office or our staff having an exhibit at a trade show, I want us to be high quality," Jeffries said. "I want people to look at us and say, 'These people know what they are doing.' First impressions are incredibly important.
"I think if we can't sell Frankfort, we can't sell period, because there are incredible tourist opportunities here and almost everything we have is free."
The tourist commission, at Tuesday's regular monthly meeting, approved purchasing a new trade show exhibit display, which will cost $5,728. Bob Craig, sales director for the tourist commission, had checked with several exhibit production firms and recommended purchasing the display from Crystal Communications in Lexington.
It will be an 8-by-8-foot three-panel display with light fixtures and "state-of-the-art exhibit technology," Craig said.
"We haven't had a new display in years, and this will put us on fair footing with other groups who have exhibits at trade shows," Jeffries said. "It's going to be huge and absolutely beautiful."
The tourist commission gave the OK to order the display from Crystal Communications and send a 50 percent deposit, $2,864. The balance will be due upon delivery in 45 to 60 days.
In the tourist commission office, in the Gooch House at the corner of Second Street and Capital Avenue, some lamps have been added to change the appearance "from dark and dreary to brighter and cheerier," Jeffries said. "We want tourists coming into the office to know we want them to be here."
Also, the office bulletin board's wooden easel, "which looked like something you would expect kids to take to a science fair," has been replaced with a brass easel, Jeffries said. "We need to look like we're in business," she said.
New computer software will be purchased soon to change the format for more professional-looking printed materials coming out of the local tourism office such as the newsletter, restaurant guide, calendar of events and walking tour brochure. The staff is also working on Web site changes and a video update.