‘Bennington Made:’ Show to Focus on Local Makers
The Bennington Area Chamber of Commerce, in conjunction with CAT-TV, launched the first of a series of episodes for a show called ‘Bennington Made’ on April 11. The show’s focus is on locally made Bennington products and the owner, operators and staff that make these quality products. “When I first joined the Chamber, I was invited to take a tour of Bennington Potters. I video-taped a short clip of the tour and posted it. The feedback was great … and so the vision for a full series was born,” states executive director, Matt Harrington. “I talked with CAT-TV and asked, ‘Why don’t we go into local shops that make Vermont products and ask them to introduce their craftsmanship and process as a way to excite and educate people about the natural talents we have right here in Bennington? CAT-TV loved the idea; I partnered with Mike Cutler on their staff to start to produce the series.”
The first episode focused on the original conception point, Bennington Potters, and is a little under 15 minutes in lenght. Sheela Harden, owner and operator of Bennington Potters, leads Harrington on a tour of the facility. Three other episodes are filmed and will air throughout the following months, with another six to seven episodes featuring Chamber member organizations by the end of the year. The organizations featured are Chamber members making Bennington products.
“As I began at the Chamber in January I was charged with discovering new ways to add value to our members,” stated Harrington. “I think this is a great opportunity to not only get exposure from the Chamber, but that the business being filmed also gets the footage and is able to use it as they see fit for further marketing. I think the true value here is the Chamber’s ability to connect dots and resources for people. We were able to work with the Potters to connect them with CAT-TV, an amazing resource in the community. I’m surprised more people don’t utilize it especially in this ‘new media’ environment. If the Chamber can facilitate some of those ideas and relationships with our members and other area resources, I think that’s terrific.”
Harrington continued, “The other opportunity here is that now Bennington Potters has a great video of their product and brand that they can broadcast as they see fit on their website, social channels and other marketing materials. We are helping businesses move into the next generation with our expertise in new media and marketing platforms.”
Lisa Byer, executive director of CAT-TV, points out another key reason for the series.
“Having talked with Matt, our vision for this series is to also highlight the many great products made in our town and by Benningtonians themselves. We want this series to build a sense of pride and accomplishment in all that Bennington has to offer the world. We truly have some remarkable Vermont products that come out of our little community. Bennington should be very proud of the craftsmanship and quality that each product is made with and the citizens that make those products.”
The video did not cost anything other then some sweat equity as the Chamber utilized the resource of the public access CAT-TV for talent, equipment and air time.