On March 6th 2018, we attended probably one of the best BBIM Conferences that I can remember. It was held in Branson Missouri at the College of the Ozarks Keenan Center. Their facility is staffed by the students of the college and their attention to detail in every aspect of contact with the public just blows my mind.
We learned so many exciting things that I am going to try and explain here.
BBIM has a new website. It is fresh and more user friendly for not only innkeepers but also our prospective guests.
There is a great increase in our budget to use for Marketing and the Board of BBIM is working to return to marketing as their main goal of our organization. That was a great revelation to those of us who have been members for a while.
The board has been reaching out to prospective members. After we ate a great lunch prepared by the culinary staff of the College of the Ozarks, they introduced those who were attending that were not members. I was on the board for a little over eight years and was at almost every meeting we had and never were so many non BBIM members attending one of our conferences. I was truly impressed.
We had our business meeting early in the morning which went very well. We then were led to the kitchen where Chief Executive Chef Robert Stricklin introduced us to some of the recipes that he thought members of our organization would be interested in. He prepared them, demonstrated the preparation for us. The whole time he was giving us the demonstration some of the students present with him were passing out small samples of what he was preparing. After his presentation he walked us through the kitchen where he explained some of the activities that were going on. The steam roasting ovens were really interesting. He explained that they were doing exactly what our mothers or grandmothers would do in an old time electric skillet. They were cooking roasts that were going to be served later. They cook them for twelve hours.
On the way home from the conference we stopped at the Ice Creamery to help us enjoy the five hour trip home.
We ran into intermittent snow flurries until we approached Sullivan, MO on Interstate 44 when it became almost scary to drive in the snow. There was a couple of times when we couldn't see the tractor trailer which was about two hundred yards in front of us. It finally started to slow down when we reached St. Clair, MO.