The Shepp Square event which kicked off in Melbourne this week is costing the City of Greater Shepparton about $300000.
Councillors say the figure represents ‘‘bang for buck’’ and will serve to put the region’s positives front and centre.
The council’s finance boss also says the cost is ‘‘worth it’’ and expects the event to offer value in being a ‘‘tangible’’ vehicle to promote the city.
The cost of the two-week marketing showcase at Federation Square covers the wages of staff, facility hire, supplies and advertising associated with the event.
The event is split into two weeks, with the first focusing on tourism, families and experiences, while the second will look at business, investment and employment opportunities.
Council’s corporate services director Chris Teitzel said the chance to ‘‘rebadge’’ a high-profile city site for two weeks presented a golden marketing opportunity.
‘‘It’s one of those one-in-a-million opportunities,’’ he said.
‘‘To be first council in regional Victoria (to take part), that’s a great opportunity for marketing what Shepparton has to offer.
‘‘Even if it’s a subliminal link, it’s a fairly powerful way of getting our name out there.
‘‘While it’s a fairly big number, we think the benefits are worth it.’’
The event ties in with the city’s Great Things Happen Here campaign, on the back of which, Mr Teitzel said, the council was to run an event in Melbourne.
The Shepp Square event funding was allocated in the current financial year’s council budget.
Mr Teitzel said the average visitor to Shepparton typically spent about $150 to $200 per day in the city.
He stressed the project was a partnership between industry groups and the council. A number of local companies had donated their time and money to the event.
The hope is for the event to coincide with people travelling to Melbourne for holidays.
Mr Teitzel believed the value of the spend, compared with advertising, was in creating a one-on-one personal, more tangible experience of a place, aiming for more ‘‘cut through and visibility’’.
The event’s success would be assessed once the two weeks had finished, while the council would gauge whether it might be repeated.
‘‘I’m not sure whether it would become an annual thing,’’ Mr Teitzel said.
‘‘Running these sorts of things becomes a bit ho-hum if you do the same thing year in, year out.’’
He said surveys would be undertaken on site to gauge attendance, while follow-on indicators would be picked up down the track.
City councillors have largely thrown their support behind the event.
Cr Fern Summer believed the council was getting ‘‘bang for buck’’, stressing plenty of people ‘‘don’t realise the positive stories we have here’’.
‘‘It’s an opportunity to position us as a destination place,’’ she said.
Cr Seema Abdullah said ‘‘something really substantial’’ was needed to highlight the region’s attributes, adding those outside the region did not always have a positive perception of Shepparton.
Cr Chris Hazelman described it as a great initiative to showcase Greater Shepparton to thousands of people per day, adding that if it increased visitation and investment, it was ‘‘well worth the exercise’’.
Cr Bruce Giovanetti said it presented an opportunity the city might have passed up before but it needed to be embraced.