WALKING GUIDE ASSEMBLY, AN OVERVIEW
by Kirby Lindsay
The end is coming for Fremont businesses – to register for a listing in the Walking Guide - 2010 edition. When deadline for registration – October 31, 2009 – arrives, that’s it. “John [Nordstrand] has done this beautifully,” said Jessica Vets, Fremont Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, “people need a deadline, and if they don’t have a deadline, they will drag their feet, and drag their feet.”
A November ‘To Do’ List
John, and his wife, Nancy Nordstrand, own Cougar Mountain Productions, the company contracted to produce the Walking Guide – a full-color, folded, six-panel brochure – for the Fremont Chamber. They’ve taken on the task each year, since 2004, with the help of the Chamber Executive Director, to get 50,000 copies of the Guide published by December.
As registration ends, John will respond to applicants with an electronic confirmation and a link to a proof for review. In the first two weeks of November, he and Nancy insert information, manipulate graphics and generally mold the spirit of Fremont into brochure form.
The Guide got a major overhaul for the 2009 edition. “Jessica brought in the idea of branding a ‘visual look’ to Chamber documents,” John explained, and the Walking Guide adapted. Expect few changes for the 2010 edition, although Jessica intends to update photos, to make it fresh. “Little tweaks here and there,” she promised, such as the Fremont Guidepost photo on the cover being replaced with a photo of the new version, installed during the 2009 Summer Solstice.
Before Thanksgiving, Cougar Mountain must deliver the art to the printer, Litho Craft. “They’ve been very good with us, very flexible,” John praised. After Jessica (and the ad hoc committee she assembles) review a printed proof, the finished product, the 2010 edition, goes to press.
Grand unveilings take place at the Fremont Chamber Holiday Party on December 2, and the Lenin Lighting and First Friday Art Walk on December 4. From there, the Chamber takes over on distribution, although History House (where John is Operations Director) assists in this.
Then Work Begins Anew
By February, according to John, Chamber directors begin reviewing the project to evaluate whether to publish, and whether to contact with Cougar Mountain. The Guide, which Jessica said she delivers “to almost 60 hotels and visitor’s centers,” around Seattle, has long served as a winning resource for the Chamber – and popular among concierges.
As for whether to contract, “If you don’t hire John to do the Guide, I’ll quit,” Jessica joked to Chamber directors, then said she meant every word. “They do an excellent job,” she praised, including the contract Cougar Mountain presents to the Chamber with its detailed list of what must be done, and when.
Frankly, “all year ‘round,” Jessica gathers information for the Guide as “invariably, after it comes out, I get little things that need changing.” John and Nancy also work during the summer in preparation – to make the rush to publish in November easier.
This year they added a pre-sign up period in September, with a discounted listing fee, in deference to the state of the economy. John didn’t expect the discount to increase the number of listings. Historically, registration “seems to stop at 100,” John acknowledged, “we are not restricted by that. The printer says we can add more panels.”
“People who do it really think it is valuable,” John allowed, and “it’s a cheap way of promoting your business.” As Jessica pointed out, “the Walking Guide is for anyone who wants to explore Fremont. I’ve seen other maps,” she said, “but I don’t think they are as playfully orientated.”
©2010 Kirby Lindsay. This column is protected by intellectual property laws, including U.S. copyright laws. Reproduction, adaptation or distribution without permission is prohibited.