How many times have you made a promise to do something and then forgotten to do it? Or, how many times have you asked someone to do something for you and they have forgotten? How did you feel when it happened to you? It’s definitely important to keep your word when family, friends and bosses are involved, but what about casual contacts? I believe it’s important to keep all of your promises. Have I ever messed up? Yes, but I really make a conscientious effort not to. I can’t tell you how many times Gary and I have asked someone to send us information about their event or product and not received the information! It’s not only rude, it’s very poor business! I have participated in many events, where people have asked me to send information. I do, and most times I don’t get any response. It can be and is frustrating, but do I stop sending information? The answer is, of course, no. I guess some people become stilted and only go through the motions of promising to do something even though they have no intention of following through. They feel that they are just “wasting” their “valuable” time, responding to someone who doesn’t really want the requested information! It’s too bad, in our case, because we usually want to promote their product or event on our website for free! If we don’t hear from them, we don’t promote! Look at the Babe Ruth. He struck out many more times than he hit and yet he was considered the greatest Baseball Player of all time! If you can’t or won’t follow-up, be honest, tell that to the person who requested the information. They may not like it, but they will at least respect you for telling them the truth! So, when you say that you are going to do something, “Step up to the plate” and follow through, you may hit a HOME RUN!
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"!
Thursday, July 23, 2020
In real estate jargon they say a great looking house has “curb appeal”. When they want to make the inside of a house more appealing, they call it staging! What they are talking about is marketing, making the house saleable. There are lots of television programs on the air right now about this subject. Festivals and events should learn from the real estate industry! Festival and event organizers should pay greater attention on how their event looks, both on the inside and the outside! An appealing outside will attract people; make them want to come in to “check” the event out. A well planned inside will make them want to stay, spend money and tell their friends about the great event! It will also bring them back, year after year. “Setting the stage” is easy to do, but it takes thought and planning. Not just the day before the event starts, but right from the beginning. Staging an event includes the basics such as, great location, well planned site layout, interesting activities and events, clean and convenient washrooms and informed volunteers. It also includes the not so basics, well place signs and a lot of them, a simple but effective internet website, happy and enthusiastic vendors and a workable “green” plan! Really, proper “staging” is the anatomy of a well-run successful event. The more effort that is put into this area, the better the final outcome will be. And this, in today’s competitive and costly environment, will mean the different between survival, growth and prosperity or defeat, lose and closure!
Thursday, July 16, 2020
We couldn’t find any of them and we looked. We tried to find an event organizer or a festival program guide, but could not. We drove around town looking for signs that would point us in the rights direction. There were no directional signs to be found anywhere! We drove all around town looking for any information. The only thing we saw were a few large signs telling us to call a number for information and tickets. Even the festival information we printed off the event’s website was hard to read and incomplete. We weren’t looking for problems. We really wanted to enjoy this event! After all, we had driven several hours to get to it! So here are the basic problems with this event:
1. No directional signage
2. Lack of communications
3. Poorly designed website
4. No informational signage
5. Cancelled or “no show” events
6. A parade that wasn’t theme driven
These are all solvable problems (challenges). It’s just that the event organizers have to recognize and acknowledge that the challenges exist and that is where the greatest challenge likely is. Most organizers don’t like to think they have to change and correct, but they do! Good festivals, events and businesses are constantly evaluating themselves and making changes and adjustments as necessary. Hopefully the organizers of this event will recognize the need for change. Otherwise it will be an “opportunity lost”!
Thursday, July 9, 2020
We visited an event that had great theme and a lot of potential! Unfortunately, it fell far short of being the really special event it could have been. I know that the organizers work very hard each year, so the problem was not for lack of effort. So, what went wrong? The event has been running for many years, so perhaps it needs new direction, a re-evaluation. On the day that we visited the festival, there was a whole day of events scheduled. We arrived about noon, just in time for the start of the downtown festival parade. It was a long interesting parade and would have been perfect if it was just a town parade. However, the parade was supposed to represent the festival’s theme and it did everything but! There was very little in the parade that tied to the fun and spirit of the festival’s theme! After the parade there were a number of activities scheduled to take place in the downtown area.
(To be continued in Part Two)
(To be continued in Part Two)
Thursday, July 2, 2020
Many event organizers believe that they need vendors to enhance their event. This, however, is only true if they have planned vendor sales as part of their festival’s program. Anything less than this is irresponsible! Most vendors are small entrepreneurial business people who “live” and “die” by their sales. Poor sales can be disastrous! There are enough uncontrollable elements that can affect their sales. They don’t need poor planning and apathetic organizers adding to these elements! Careful planning and intelligent promotion is a must! Festival organizers should make sure that if they are going to have a vendors’ section that it is well thought out and that they attract the right mix of vendors. Vendors, on the other hand, should know as much about the festival or event as possible and then asked a lot probing questions. Only then, once they are satisfied with what they have read and heard, should they agree to participate.
On a final note to organizers, if your festival runs into weather related problems and the financial results are poor, please remember your vendors. Most festivals are run by volunteers and are non-profit. If the festival loses money, there is no financial lose to the volunteers. On the other hand, weather can ruin vendors financially, especially if they have to pay large festival fees on top of their traveling and out of pocket expenses. Try to preplan a policy that takes these vendor losses into consideration. I know you don’t have a legal responsibility to help them, but I believe you have a moral responsibility to minimize their losses. Besides, I think it’s good business in the long run. Good hard-working vendors are hard to kind and keep!