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SIU, Illinois Department of Agriculture partner to help businesses with brand, eclipse workshops Jan. 29

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Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Office of Innovation and Economic Development is collaborating with the Illinois Department of Agriculture and its Du Quoin State Fair to sponsor two special, no-cost workshops at the Southern Illinois Center at the Du Quoin State Fairgrounds on Jan. 29.

One workshop will focus on branding and customer service, while the other session will address opportunities with the April 8 total solar eclipse. Registration for either or both workshops is due by 8 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 25.

Setting your brand apart

The day begins with “Brand Differentiating Service: Delivering an Elevated Experience” by the Ritz-Carlton Leadership Center from 8:45 a.m. to noon. Check-in and registration begin at 8 a.m. According to Salesforce research, 89% of consumers are more likely to make another purchase after a positive customer service experience, and HubSpot Research polls reveal 93% of customers are more likely to make repeat purchases from companies offering excellent customer service.

Ritz-Carlton notes that any brand that is not emotionally engaging its customers risks losing them.

This workshop will show how Ritz-Carlton provides an elevated customer experience and will give participants information on how they can integrate those methods into their businesses or organizations. The workshop is limited to two business owners/managers from each organization to allow as many organizations as possible to participate.

Workshop topics include:

  • Emotional connection.
  • The Ritz-Carlton key service principles.
  • Optimizing every interaction.
  • A written service strategy.
  • Creating brand advocates.

Register at ilsbdc.ecenterdirect.com/events/38639.

Preparing for the big eclipse

The afternoon workshop, in the same location, will be “Are You Ready for the 2024 Total Solar Eclipse? Lessons Learned in 2017 for Communities and Businesses.”

The session will focus on things businesses and communities learned during the last total solar eclipse in 2017 in Southern Illinois and offer ideas to help people as they plan for this year’s big event on April 8. Participants are encouraged to bring questions and concerns to discuss at the event, which begins at 1 p.m. and wraps up with a question-and-answer session at 3 p.m.

Speakers are:

  • William Lo, director of the Carbondale Chamber of Commerce and restaurant manager.
  • Steven Mitchell, city of Carbondale economic development director.
  • Vanessa Sneed, SIU director of business innovation and research who served as a primary planner for the university’s 2017 eclipse activities.

Registration is available as long as seating allows. Sign up at ilsbdc.ecenterdirect.com/events/38660.

Additional details

Lunch will be provided for participants attending both workshops. For more information about the workshops, email sbdc@siu.edu or call 618-536-2424.

Christi Mathis — student affairs; diversity, equity and inclusion; business and analytics; education; health and human sciences; psychological and behavioral sciences; innovation and economic development; international education.

SIU News is produced by University Communications and Marketing - 618-453-2589. Twitter: @SIUCNews
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