Update on Creating New Events to Increase Attendance

Part 3 Creating Events To Increase Attendance

We are 2 months away from opening day. Where have the days gone????? We have finalized the entertainment for the hispanic event, and we continue to work on the Asian Pacific American and the Indian American events. We are challenged working with media from these two cultural groups. It’s definitely not the same as working with Univision!

We had one radio station lined up for our Indian American event and they even provided some potential entertainers. I thought “great! We are close to finalizing our entertainment and food for this one”! And then when we reached out to one of the groups the radio station recommended, they wanted $2500 for a 5 minute performance, and then they wanted additional fees to do some on-stage classes. While this group had some high level performers…we are a county fair with a very limited budget so we respectfully said thanks but no to them.

I had a conversation with our media buyers about this situation. I learned that they too were surprised to learn that the radio station wasn’t coming through as they presented themselves during our in-person meeting. This radio station will only function as a media outlet – we buy media time and they will do promotions on top of our media buy. It’s so frustrating because they seemed so anxious to work with us overall when we met in person. As a result, we are re-evaluating our entertainment and food options. We have decided to reach out to someone our Fair worked with 6 years ago with ties to this demographic to help us book entertainment and make introductions to some food vendors. We’ve provided him with a budget and we will see what he comes up with.

We also have a second demographic, asian americans, that we are creating a separate festival for. We have chosen to call this event the “Asian Pacific American” festival. This event is moving slower than we want as well. The media partners we have reached out to haven’t been as receptive to our planned festival as we had hoped. It seems that these media outlets are more focused on us paying them a huge fee to produce an event in addition to our buying media time on their radio/tv stations. And how does that make us a partner??????? Anyway our team has decided to go a different route in producing this event as well. We have a team member with some connections to the entertainment groups we seek, and we also have a couple community groups from the asian pacific community who have performed at the fair in the past. We are reaching out to them to invite them to perform on the day of our Asian Pacific American festival.

So, with 2 months until opening day, where do we go from here on promoting these new 2 events? Well….we aren’t cancelling them …..sooooooooo …… As I tell my team, for every new program, we need to take a 3 year approach. What does that mean? Well, any new program you create needs 3 years to determine it’s success rate. The first year you create the event/program. Year 2 you tweak it, and by the end of Year 3 you decide to keep it or dump it!

Meanwhile, how do we provide our marketing team with information, photos, schedules, etc to promote these new events? As fast as we can get it to them…. Photo by photo, bio by bio, and the schedule as we finalize it with each event. It’s not pretty, and it’s not perfect, We can only provide them what we can guarantee will be there!

Stay tuned – I’ll give one more update before Fair…and then will give you an update after Fair on how it all worked out.

6 Tips for Running A Productive Meeting

Meetings are a necessary evil of any business, but they can easily suck away everyone’s valuable time. With a few careful choices in meeting planning, a savvy leader can ensure everyone gets the information they need, without wasting the day.

#1: Schedule only what you need. Rather than the usual thirty minute or hour block, go with 15 minutes, or even less. Meetings expand to fill their allotted time.

#2: Don’t sit down. Getting comfortable around the conference table invites everyone to accept a longer meeting. Stand or walk, and you’ll get the meeting done on time.

#3: Sound the alarm. Visibly set a timer, and everyone will be more likely to keep on-task and on- When the alarm signals the end of the meeting, that’s it. The meeting is over.

#4: Expect readiness. Send out a reminder email the day before the meeting. Ask everyone to bring their fully-formed thoughts about the subject at hand. Everyone should come prepared with their thoughts and convey them succinctly.

#5: Form an action plan. Meetings should help everyone figure something out and create a plan going forward that swings into action as soon as the meeting is over. Make it clear who will do what and when it will be complete.

#6: Follow up. Check in on the action points soon after they are due. Don’t hold another meeting for this – simply handle it by spending a few minutes with each person to find out where they are on the tasks. Update others via email.

Streamlined gatherings mean everyone will walk away with the information they need but no one will be wasting time around the conference table.