Tour shows off the county to region's executives

April 28, 1994|By Consella A. Lee | Consella A. Lee,Sun Staff Writer

Six hours riding through Anne Arundel County by tour buses may be a good way for county officials to pitch the area's benefits to business executives, but savvy business people see it as a good way to press the flesh and swap business cards.

"I think it's very useful," Frederick L. Sims, president of Facilities Management Company Inc. in Landover, said yesterday. "I've had a chance to meet a few people who were only names to me."

Thirty-three executives from Maryland, D.C. and Virginia spent yesterday peering out of two air-conditioned touring buses as part of the third annual Anne Arundel Trade Council Executive Tour.

They rolled through historic Annapolis streets, crossed the Chesapeake Bay, and took a quick tour of Baltimore-Washington International Airport.

John A. McLean marveled at the size of the bay. He said seeing it gave him mental pictures to convey to clients in London, Brussels and Tokyo.

"What I get out of something like this is anecdotes," said Mr. McLean, managing partner of the Greater Washington Marketing Partnership.

Mr. McLean noted that a video shown on the tour touted Annapolis' proximity to Washington and illustrated that you can't promote yourself in isolation.

"Those icons sell pretty well overseas," he said, as images of the Washington Monument and other sites in the district passed across the TV screen.

"The great thing about this is you aways think about Annapolis being somewhere way out there," said David J. Byrd. "I didn't realize how close it was."

Mr. Byrd, director of special programs with Stephens Engineering Company, Inc. in Lanham, said he hopes county officials stay in touch.

The two-day event, which included a skybox view of Tuesday's Orioles game, cost $15,000, all paid for by local companies that took out ads in brochures given to the visiting executives.

The event was sponsored in conjunction with the Anne Arundel Economic Development Corp.

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