[IMAGE]Clipboard01-11.jpg[/IMAGE]The Motorcoach Council's Inaugural Silent Auction debuted in Tampa, Fla., Jan. 19 to 23, during the United Motorcoach Association's Expo 2011, kicking off the year with a sizeable contribution to the campaign.
More than 70 items were auctioned off, with categories ranging from electronics and gadgets, to motorcoach parts, vehicle graphics, jewelry, sports and music memorabilia, travel packages, and unique experiences such as a golf outing for 12 and a VIP package to the Bridgestone Golf Invitational.
"More than 60 donors and 100 bidders helped the Council raise $24,000 for the campaign, an amazing feat which is very much appreciated," said Pamela Wolff, director of strategic alliances for the Council and auction organizer.
The Council announced that Daimler Buses North America/Setra joined its Coach Vendor Parts Program, which means all four of the leading coach manufacturers collaborate with motorcoach operators to help fund the industry's public awareness campaign.
By enrolling, participating operators elect to donate one-half of one percent of their net parts purchases — multiply annual parts purchased by .005 to estimate annual investment — to support the industry-wide campaign. The coach vendor parts program has proven to be a solid way to generate sustainable, recurring revenue for the campaign, and the Council encourages all operators within the industry enroll.
Last year, the Motorcoach Council enjoyed several hits in the media, including the Washington Post, New York Times, Travelocity, CBS Sunday Morning Show, Leisure Group Travel Magazine and other appearances, and will continue to pursue new opportunities with television's major networks in the coming months, with the assistance of the Council's PR agency of record, Barton Gilanelli & Associates.
Council initiatives such as the campaign bus wraps, parts program, silent auction and financial contributions help fund an industry-wide initiative to shift public perception in favor of motorcoach transportation, capture new and much younger riders, and increase overall preferences and usage of the motorcoach throughout North America and, as a result, create more demand for the industry's products and services, according to a Council statement.
The Council aims to develop its first public service announcements in the coming months and is now in discussions with a well known public figure/motorcoach advocate to endorse the motorcoach industry and serve as a champion for the campaign.
METRO TV:To view the Motorcoach Council's new You Tube video "A Year On The Campaign Trail: 2010 Campaign Highlights," click here.