SMERF Means Green

Most of us remember the Smurfs as little guys on television who were blue in color and had a number of family members. Papa Smurf was the one all the others looked up to for the answers. And the family worked together to keep their community in order and working toward the right cause.

I am offering another twist on “Smurf” that means green for our community. The tourism industry calls it SMERF. It stands for Social, Military, Education, Religious and Fraternal special meetings and gatherings. This is where gatherings are planned for these specific entities in large and small markets. Marion would be considered a small market, but none the less still a market where any one of these meetings can and are accommodated on a regular basis.

The Marion Area CVB sort of works like the Papa Smurf character. Just like Papa Smurf, we are the ones to turn to for the answers if you happen to be the event planner. The Marion CVB offers a comprehensive listing of gathering spaces, restaurants, catering facilities, and attractions throughout the county that can accommodate any of the group types listed above. We are the go-to source for the person in charge of the task of getting their regional women’s club together, planning a reunion for their military buddies or maybe hosting a regional religious prayer conference. Are you wanting to put together an educational seminar for your group? We can offer the planner resources to put ideas into action.

As a community family each of us can be the catalysis to bring one of these groups to the Marion area. That is where the green comes from. It doesn’t take a brainiac to understand that bringing visitors to our area also brings the dollars they are willing to spend while they are here. It doesn’t have to be a huge group to make an impact. Any dollars spent by the group that comes to our community is normally new money that would not have been spent here if not for the gathering in the area.

Do you want to help grow the local economy? Do you belong to a social group, a military group, an education group, a religious or fraternal group? Marion can accommodate your special gathering. You can be the catalysis in getting the group to Marion by asking if the next gathering or meeting they would consider Marion, Ohio. Sometimes regional meetings are planned as many as two to five years out and ask for a RFP (request for proposal) to be submitted. The Marion CVB can help you answer any questions that may come during the research phase.

As always your group will “Feel Right At Home” when they decide to include Marion, Ohio as a meeting place destination.

About Marion Convention and Visitors Bureau

Diane Watson is the Director of the Marion Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. As the Director of the Marion Area Convention and Visitors Bureau Diane's main function is to promote Marion's facilities, resources and attractions to groups, organizations, families, and corporations as a destination for fun or business.

The Marion Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, 1713 Marion-Mt. Gilead Rd, Suite 110, Mallard Square. Weekday hours are 8:00am to 4:30pm. You can get more information about visiting Marion, OH by calling 740-389-9770 or visiting