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Ottumwa Stories: Breathe New Life Into Your Meeting In Ottumwa

Published June 25, 2020

Shown through the eyes of a conference attendee, the Greater Ottumwa Convention & Visitors Bureau’s new groups video offers a behind-the-scenes look at how our community comes together to host meetings and conventions. This point of view puts meeting planners behind the camera as they walk through a two-day conference in Ottumwa in just three minutes.


When we sat down with videographer Isaac Campbell in July 2019, the plan was to create a video that would spotlight the city’s meeting venues and showcase our hotels, restaurants, attractions and local events. Through the use of a GoPro camera, a meeting planner interested in hosting an event in Ottumwa will be able to see themselves walking into Bridge View Center, Hotel Ottumwa or one of our other conference venues.


One of the first questions meeting planners ask about are our hotels, so the groups video shows the attendee being greeted with a smile at Holiday Inn Express & Suites, getting settled in the room, using the fitness center and having an amazing breakfast with some new conference friends. And what’s the first thing you do when you get to the hotel room? Yes, those shoes get kicked off!


Hitting the pavement on some beautiful southern Iowa days, our film crew explored Downtown Ottumwa to film one-of-a-kind places like Canteen Alley, the street art and many of the business along Main Street. From there, we walked the Wapello County Trail System, played disc golf, toured the American Gothic House Center and visited the Pioneer Ridge Nature Area. While we were out and about, we were able to tell people about the video and the CVB’s efforts to bring new meetings and conventions to Ottumwa, which created more excitement about the project.


In one of our favorite parts of filming, the film team visited numerous restaurants around Ottumwa to show off the great meals and drinks conference attendees can sample while they’re in town. Someone had to do it, so we took one for the team. We were so grateful that these restaurant owners would open their doors and share their passion for their diverse and cultural cuisines.


In the final days of filming, the CVB invited the entire community to come to Bridge View Center and become video stars. Dozens of Ottumwans became actors in a “conference,” showing how the meeting spaces look when they’re filled with attendees. The support the CVB received from the community was amazing, and we couldn’t have completed this project without the help of these willing participants.


You can find the video here on the CVB website on our Meetings page and on our YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1ccYpkcYAnj0IjWAmQKw5g

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