Richmond 2015 helping businesses prepare for 450,000 race fans - NBC12.com - Richmond, VA News

Richmond 2015 helping businesses prepare for 450,000 race fans

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450,000 visitors are expected when Richmond hosts the 2015 UCI Road Cycling World Championships. Organizers have just launched a program to help businesses cash in on the boom in customers.

These days, Eric Spivack of Alchemy Coffee sells under 100 cups of coffee a day.

"I'm happy to serve anyone that's looking for a good cup of coffee," he says.

But that number of customers could explode during nine days in 2015, when 450,000 spectators are expected for the World Cycling Championships. So he signed up for Societe 2015, a free program by event organizer Richmond 2015 to help businesses make the most of potential customers.

Said Spivack, "A lot of the events are going to be out and about throughout the city. My cart should be a pretty efficient way to get really good coffee to people, so I'll count on knowing where the events are and setting up to serve people."

Societe 2015 will offer businesses free seminars, networking, website graphics, and promotional materials to help them market to the spectators and know when and where they might need more inventory or staff.

Explains Richmond 2015's marketing director Lee Kallman, "With thousands of people coming to town, how do you plan for that? How do you schedule for that, beyond the marketing and advertising part of it?"

The route hasn't been announced yet, but Kallman says they'll help businesses concerned about any street closures. "You might lose these parking spaces, but how do you get the thousands of people within a block of you, how do you get on their radar at that time?"

Businesses that sign up for Societe 2015 will get decals they can put in their store windows so customers will see that they support and are preparing the event.

Spivack's wheels are already in motion with a plan to add more coffee carts. "That would be a good sign for my business if we're able to serve people from multiple spots at that time."

Chmura Economics & Analytics estimates the economic impact to Richmond will be $158 million.

Businesses can learn more through the Societe 2015 website.

 

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