“The following is a continuation of my Event Development Series. Several years ago, I started the series with the first section, “Initial Development”. The second section is entitled “Research and Preliminary Planning”. Now that you and your team have decided to proceed with the event, it’s time to get serious! As suggested previously, any thoughts and idea are more then welcome!”
Research and Preliminary Planning
5. LOCAL MEDIA – Most communities have local newspapers. Some have radio stations and a few have television stations. Whatever media there is in your town, you should make contact with them early in your planning stages. Local media is a wonderful source of information! It’s the news Media’s business to keep informed of all that is happening in its coverage area. If you form a close relationship with all media, they can help you not only with both local event information but with any research you might need. Most media outlets know all the regional demographics. They need this information to offer their customers the best programming/content possible. This information can be very helpful in your audience planning. You might even be able to persuade them to help you prepare and implement an information survey using their listeners or readers as survey participants. The results of any survey would be very helpful when planning your event!
6. GOVERNMENTS – All levels of government appreciate the value of festivals and events. They know how much they help local communities and their residents. That’s why federal and provincial governments have developed so many festival and event programs and grants. Although local governments don’t usually have the same cash capabilities as the senior governments, they definitely have a strong interest and desire to promote their communities through festivals and events. Their methods of helping events sometime include funds, but more often then not they only offer “help”. This “help” can come in several forms but generally is in either community services (garbage pick-up, policing, electrical, etc.) or location use. All levels of government, however, must spend wisely. Festivals and events that just ask for funding without a well thought out plan of action will likely not receive consideration. Most governments put an application process in place to help them determine who will receive funds. This forces festival and event organizers to prove that their event is both financially viable and beneficial to their community. Since there is only a limited amount of money available, monies are generally awarded to festivals and events that show they will have a major positive impact on their community. That is why it is important for the people preparing funding requests understand the process and follow its guidelines faithfully. There are plenty of places to find out more about government funding. Here are a few suggestions: government internet websites, federal and provincial members of parliament, local tourism offices, local Chambers of Commerce, the Federal and Provincial Ministries of Tourism and in
, Festivals and Events Ontario (FEO). Ontario
(To be continued)