Why an Interview,,,

Over the years we have been able to meet and talk with some very interesting people. They have shared with us their knowledge and have provided us with a great deal of insight as to how and why festivals and events work and why they are so important to our communities and to the Province of Ontario. With this in mind, we decided that we wanted you to meet and hear from some of the wonderful people who work so hard to provide us all with such wonderful Ontario Festivals and Events! We are pleased and proud to present "THE INSIDE SCOOP"!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Special Anecdote from Jan Bonhomme ...

Jan Bonhomme
Executive Birector
St. Lawrence 1812 Bicentennial Alliance
Experienced, Insighful, Knowledgeable and fun!

Finally, it would make sense, that since during the course of the year I have been collecting some "special anecdotes" to publish...that with Jan’s vast experience, I was sure she would have something she would like to share with us in our THE INSIDE SCOOP special “anecdote” section … and of course she did … “I have learned that as event organizers we take our event and its activities much more serious than our visitors do. They come for the unusual experience, to spend valuable time with their families/friends in a fun way, and to try a new activity. With this in mind, I changed all of our event contests to activities instead. Contests mean judges, prizes, unhappy parents and/or kids. Why do that to yourself as an event leader? By changing your contests into participating activities where everyone gets a ribbon – you keep costs down and management headaches to a minimum. We changed our scarecrow making, seed spitting, watermelon eating etc. contests into family activities and our numbers went up and challenges down! Another thing I have learned is to never say why but why not! When African Lion Safari contacted Pumpkinfest to say they wanted to bring their elephants to our event, my first reaction was what do elephants have to do with our event. But then I started thinking “pumpkins so big we need elephants “and Pumpkinfest goes wild. Instead of saying no to all the stuff that comes out of elephants, why not sell their waste as a new type of manure for our pumpkin growers. Over the years, the elephants have added a wonderful experience for young visitors with not only the rides but the popular elephant tug-a-war. And last but not least, elephants eat pumpkins whole just like we would eat a chocolate bar – it’s one of their favourite foods – who knew!”

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