Now is the time to get your business ready for OpSail 2012 Virginia®, a collaboration between Operation Sail Inc. (OpSail) national, the United States Navy, Norfolk Festevents, and hundreds of national, state and local organizations. The event, to be held locally June 1-12, 2012, marks the Bicentennial of the War of 1812.
At the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce office in Norfolk on January 9, the Small Business Development Center of Hampton Roads, Inc. (SBDC) hosted an OpSail 2012 Virginia orientation meeting for local city officials, economic development departments, and other business organizations. Another meeting was held on January 10 at Thomas Nelson Community College in Newport News. At the January 9 meeting, Karen Scherberger, Chief Executive Officer for Festevents, provided attendees with an overview of the large-scale event. Hank Mosley, Festevent’s OpSail 2012 Virginia Operations Manager, led the January 10 meeting.
This is truly a regional event, with exciting activities taking place in Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Portsmouth, Hampton, Yorktown, Onancock, Chesapeake, Cape Charles, Tangier Island, and Newport News. OpSail 2012 Virginia is a $65 million production, projected to have an attendance of 1.5 million people during the 12 days. In addition, 4000 U.S. and foreign officers, cadets, crew and diplomats will be in town. This added consumer traffic presents a tremendous opportunity for the local business community. When OpSail came to Hampton Roads in 2000, it brought nearly 2 million people and generated an estimated $58 million economic impact on our region.
In February, the SBDC will host two weeks of seminars for the local business community to provide training and tools to help create a marketing plan in preparation of this event. Seminars called "TEAM Eventacular" will be conducted by Mark Wilson of the Virginia SBDC Network, on the Southside during the week of February 13 and on the Peninsula the week of February 20. Please visit www.hrsbdc.org to register.