Huntington Beach, Calif.–You can call it a staycation if you like. But one thing’s for certain. HB locals are out raising more money for sick kids, having more contests for special causes, and attending events in larger numbers during this economic slumber. Nearly every week a school, group or cause is hosting a dog frisbee disc contest, a car show or 5K run. It’s a good thing! The benefits excess include: more activities on weekeneds; more opportunities to connect for causes; and more things for tourists to do while in town.
This week, for instance, a tourist contacted me to say she was amazed there were so many things going on. She thanked me for my volunteer efforts at rounding up events and posting them on my site, Huntingtonbeachevents.com, and said she looks forward to visiting Huntington Beach.
I started this website when there was a lack of comprehensive listings of events in Huntington Beach, and I mainly wanted to know what was going on. At that time, I do believe there were less special events happening. I had to divest of my personal publication as I began promoting Huntington Beach tourism for the City’s non-profit marketing arm, the Huntington Beach Conference and Visitors Bureau, it was called (recently I saw it named Huntington Beach Marketing Bureau.) I returned to my personal efforts when I left that job after two years of creating a calendar for the Conference and Visitors Bureau in Huntington Beach. What has happend in the past several years is nothing short of amazing. Now blogs make it possible for every group to post info about their events, and calendar of events software also allows you to spread the word with five minutes and click.
The Huntington Beach news community has grown tremendously. Some “reporters” are paid and most are not. The newspapers still provide a minority voice in the coverage with The Wave and Huntington Beach Independent being the two primary sources. Someone near & dear to me covers many events and offers his stories and photos to my publications, and a print newspaper. Then there’s the paid video guy, Matt Liffering, and the non-paid city historian, Jerry Persons, who both attend many events in Huntington Beach. Not to forget, Joe Shaw and his contributors for his blog. Several realtors have launched blogs, surfers with a camera have expanded their “jobs” and more and more info is spread online.
Where is it all going? I was a newspaper reporter and photographer at one time before I did all this stuff. As I saw budgets decline, I began building websites maybe 10 years ago. While I believe the reporters are honest and stick with the facts, some of the newspapers are doing a major disservice the social networking online effort. I have insider info from individuals who are actually paid and solicited to blog for major newspapers, with the task of simply posting comments to columns as their “job”. By posting a comment, they give the paper a positive vote (the old system of negative votes was removed). It is a fabrication of the news and a disturbing trend that hopefully one day will end. It is done to increase visibility in organic search in search engines. It’s ultimately about revenue, and has allowed credibility to take a back seat. It is simply survival, one of these sources told me.
The good news is that events are more plentiful than ever, and if you have something of popular appeal, appropriately priced, and well timed, your success at hosting an event is favorable, thanks to the Internet and social networking.