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Reach Your Customers in the Next Issue—Call 540.812.2282

➤ VolTran, from Page 2 Now, the VolTran number is transferred directly to the one call center and they handle the task of collecting the passenger’s name, their address, phone number and when their appointment is. That information is transferred to Stillwell who then connects with drivers via email to see who is available to drive. “We’ve had three or four people responding to one ride,” Stillwell said. The numbers have surged in the past year. In 2017, they had a total of 604 requests and were able to provide 438 rides. Already this year they’ve had 75 requests and 58 rides provided in January and 92 requests and 66 rides in February. Of half the rides that don’t take place, it’s because the client canceled while the other half are due to no driver available. “We’ve made a real effort to recruit volunteers,” Stillwell said. “It’s because of the Call Center and the publicity it and Aging Together does.” Stillwell said that the majority of the calls come from Fauquier County, with 80 percent originating in the town of Warrenton. The Northern Piedmont Community


Foundation has provided funds to help reach out in Rappahannock and Culpeper counties. “We’ve done a really good job of becoming better known and getting new drivers,” Stillwell said. Stillwell stressed that for drivers, the amount of commitment is totally up to them. “People can drive whenever they want, as little or as often as they want,” Stillwell said. Drivers are asked to use their own cars and many of the trips are to Warrenton, Fairfax, Manassas and some to Charlottesville. Stillwell said the volunteer drivers have responded with positive feedback. “They love it, they find it very satisfying,” he said. “A lot of them are eager to transport certain people again because they just enjoy them and they enjoy that feeling of helping out.” He said part of the outreach is finding drivers who live in Rixeyville, Marshall, Catlett or Morrisville and outlying areas. “We really want to serve our whole footprint,” Stillwell said. For more information about VolTran, call 540-422-8424 or visit

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Culpeper Times • March 29-April 4, 2018

Event Exhibiting Success - Part One MARKETING MINUTE

As we ever so slowly emerge out of what feels like the longest winter in our area, we move into event season. Think home improvement shows and Gnarly Hops in the Spring, CulpeperFest and concerts in the Summer, Airfest and the Culpeper Fiesta in the Fall. It seems like something is happening every week - It is! These events offer excellent opportunities to market your business. Meeting potential clients and reconnecting with existing ones In person. Even in this digital age we live in, one thing we can all agree on relationships are key. There is still no substitute to meeting someone face to face. Moreover, according to The Center for Exhibition Research: Around 80% of people visiting your booth are in a position to buy and use the opportunity to decide what to buy. Converting a trade show lead to a sale costs nearly 40% less than traditional sales calls and office visits. Trade show visitors will tell 6+ people about their experience. Sadly the most common thing I hear people say about events is - “I didn’t get anything out of it”. While this statement may be true, when it comes to events a little planning can go a long way in getting the results you were expecting. Define your aims and objectives one of the biggest contributors to the statement “I didn’t get anything out of it,” is not knowing what you wanted to achieve in the first place. Just showing up, putting up your display, and handing out the occasional business card and promotional item will not cut it. You need a clear plan in place and get everyone involved on the same page to get results. Ask some key questions Who is your target audience? If you are looking for local families, CulpeperFest is a good choice. If your audience is seniors, The art of Aging Expo is where you need to be. Looking

Sophie Hudson

to reach our Hispanic community? Consider Culpeper Fiesta. New last year was the Homesteaders conference - an emerging niche of self sufficient people of all ages in our region and beyond. A perfect opportunity for Real Estate agents, agricultural suppliers and solar businesses. Whoever you are looking to reach, you can find an event opportunity near us. What do you want people to know about your company / what is your message? People don’t absorb as much information as you want them to. They are on full sensory overload at an event, you have to cut through that with a clear message. Consider the key things you need people to remember about you and your company and make everything you do about that. Some examples could include: information on a new product or service, maybe you have a new location, hours or a new website that you need to make people aware of. Maybe you are hiring and have a new employee benefit or training program to offer. Whatever you decide, less is more. Once you have determined your target audience and message, find some events that fit. While there is no one source you can go to contact, you can start with the counties major organizations. The Chamber of Commerce, The Department of Economic Development, Culpeper Renaissance all have events and sponsorship opportunities. Explain who your audience is, and what your message is, and I am sure they would be more than happy to send any relevant event and sponsorship opportunities. I encourage you to, between now and next month, review your target market, marketing message, and events that will fit. And stay tuned for part 2. If you have a question to put to Sophie on marketing your business, you can contact Sophie Hudson at: Kash Design, 629 Sperryville Pike, Suite 204, Culpeper, VA 22701 540.317.1473,,

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Culpeper Times, March 29, 2018  

Culpeper Times, March 29, 2018