Inside Events and Festivals - February 2019

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Inside Events and Festivals The official publication of the Washington Festivals & Events Association

See Inside: •

Annual WFEA Conference Set for Bellevue, April 3-5

How to grow your audience with social media

Inside Seattle’s Tunnel to Viaduct 8K

The Lineup Networking in Bellevue Mike Berry of the renowned Kentucky Derby Festival will keynote the WFEA annual educational conference Page 4

The Power of Social Media How the Winthrop Rhythm & Blues Festival used social media to grow their audience and sell out their festival Page 6

Hello Tunnel, Goodbye Viaduct Seattle’s Tunnel to Viaduct 8K Page 8

Certification Program To Be Launched The ultimate educational and achievement experience for WFEA members Page 12

Reaching for the Summit Here’s how you can receive the most prestigious awards in the industry for creative and promotional event programs Page 14

25 Years of Professional Development Be a part of the northwest’s premier gathering of event professionals

The Northwest’s premier annual gathering of festival and event professionals for learning and networking will be held April 3-5 at the Red Lion Hotel in Bellevue. The conference will feature three days of intensive workshops, educational sessions, and keynote presentations from local and national industry leaders. The Washington Festivals and Events Association has been producing a professional development conference for the past 25 years. Over 30 professional development sessions will be presented during the three day conference, which will allow for attendees to connect with business leaders. For more information and registration:

Click Here See page 18-21 for the full conference schedule.

The Power of Social Media By Erika Olsen Winthrop Rhythm & Blues Festival and Marketing Director for Waterfront Blues Festival


or the past 15 years I’ve had the pleasure of producing an amazing annual festival in Winthrop, Washington. In addition, I have been part of the Waterfront Blues Festival in Portland approaching its 32nd year, drawing over 80,000 people to Portland’s waterfront over the 4th of July holiday each summer to see upwards of 100 plus amazing artists ranging from local favorites to legendary headliners. Now in its 32nd year, the Winthrop Rhythm & Blues festival returns to the banks of the Methow River in picturesque Winthrop each summer for a long weekend of camping and great music. While smaller than Waterfront, this festival has a dedicated, loyal fan base and has become a favorite venue of artists in the blues, roots, Americana, and R&B genres. For many years we approached marketing these festivals with entirely traditional methods: poster campaigns; radio, tv, and newspaper ads; and other sponsorships to get the word out. While successful, we realized a few years ago that we were missing out on opportunities with new media. Then we were introduced to the social media agency, Project Bionic while at a WFEA conference. Project Bionic showed us how building and maintaining an active presence on the major social platforms could help us engage people at every step of the customer journey, from young people who are interested in festivals, but have never heard of ours, to lifelong fans who return year after year. Our profiles on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter have become a go-to resource for people to learn about our events, share experiences, ask questions, and get excited about the coming festivities. These platforms function as much more than just a one-way ad, they have helped us connect to, interact with and grow our community. Since partnering with Project Bionic for the 2016 festivals we have seen huge growth in attendance. We sell more tickets every year, and we are selling them earlier, before we even announce our lineup. The tracking possible on these platforms enable us to see where ticket sales are coming from and measure the return on our ad spend.

Winthrop Rhythm & Blues Festival

Last year, for every dollar we invested in social ads we got between 9 and 12x return on investment in directly tracked ticket sales. In addition to that direct benefit, we further grew our audiences and gathered more user generated content, both of which help us do even more in the future. We haven’t abandoned traditional marketing methods. In fact, the team at Project Bionic recommended we continue what we know works, and selective print and radio advertising still works for us. But we have started to shift more of our marketing budget to the digital space simply because it provides reach, interaction, and measurability that are not possible with print, television, and radio. For the last two years we have fully sold out the Winthrop festival. My goal this year is to sell out again, but a month before the festival gates open. Our social media efforts are the number one reason that may happen. If you don’t already have a robust social media marketing strategy, I strongly suggest you pull one together. And if you need help you know who to call.

Hello Tunnel, Goodbye Viaduct Seattle’s Tunnel to Viaduct 8K By Jaren Loranger Race Director – Tunnel to Viaduct 8K, Owner, Fizz Events


his project started way back in April of 1953, when the first section of Seattle’s now iconic Viaduct was complete, connecting the Seattle’s north end to the south, providing 100,000 vehicles a day access through the city and countless running races a section of the city to gobble up miles with limited staffing, police and equipment needs. Hundreds of races have used all of part of the viaduct’s roadway over the years including the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon, St. Patrick’s Day Dash, Seafair Torchlight Run and more. Not only has it been a cheap, easily closable roadway but has always offered the best views of Seattle’s skyline and waterfront at the same time – countless participants have captured selfies along this roadway, showing off their soon to be accomplishments to friends and family. In 2001 – the Nisqually Earthquake caused minor damages to the roadway, thus later concluding it vulnerable to collapse in the event of another. Because of this, Seattle and the state considered multiple options, finally settling on a tunnel to reopen the waterfront while providing relief to Seattle’s growing traffic constraints. Enter 2013 – “Bertha” began boring Seattle’s new tunnel and would be completed in 2015. Well, so we all thought… Each year multiple running races dubbed their race “the last run on the viaduct” to not only boost participation but because they were convinced, this is it. It wasn’t until 2018 (3 years after estimated completion) was there more clarity on the projects timeline. Estimates went from completion in 2015 to 2018 then late 2018, finally Feb 4, 2019 the tunnel opened!

Finally, once a date was locked in to, it was time to discuss how to open it. The state (after the success of the new 520 Floating Bridge opening) settled on a weekend long event to unveil the tunnel and give people one last chance to be on the viaduct. The weekend was set, the new SR 99 Tunnel would open with a running race, followed by a free daytime walk filled with art installations, music and more both through the tunnel and on the viaduct, and then finally the weekend’s festivities would end with a bike ride. And that’s how it was created, this would be the 99 Step Forward Event featuring the Tunnel to Viaduct 8K Run/Walk and Tunnel Ride.

Focusing on the running race now, as that was Fizz Events part in the event… with every large-scale event, you run into challenges. The first step in the process was actually our first challenge. Immediately the question arose, how do you market something that has never been done before, nobody has seen and won’t happen again? We needed to get the word out to the public quickly (The Feb. 4, 2019 date was not settled on until October of 2018) in order to promote this event, while explaining what it is – And that’s where the title came from “Tunnel to Viaduct 8K” and the slogan “Hello Tunnel, Goodbye Viaduct.” Our goal – come up with something simple that immediately explains the product, 1st ever run through the new tunnel and LAST run ever on the viaduct.


After the success of the 520 Bridge opening run (13,000+ participants), WSDOT had lofty goals for this event (22,000 runners, another 60,000 during the free portion and 10,000 cyclist for a total of 92,000 people). We were immediately met with doubters from sponsors to general public, Seattle had never seen a race bigger than 22,000, there was no way this could be achieved they said with only a three month marketing timeframe and a not enjoyable date weather-wise (February in Seattle can be cold, and wet or worse – snow!). We pushed forward nonetheless. Registration opened November 1 with three months to attract participants while finalizing route plans, sponsorships, marketing and more. Thankfully with a strong early marketing push, paired with WSDOT’s reach – we had over 1,000 registrants in the first day and 5,000 registrants in the first 5 days. From there, the event started to take off. We had marketing/advertising partnerships with television, radio and print but social media helped spread the word. By the second week, there were over 10,000 “interested” people following the Facebook event page and over 70,000 viewing it weekly. Social media quickly created an extremely social experience for attendees, friends, family and interested parties and

those individuals quickly helped us shape our marketing ideas. People were sharing their favorite race pictures, stories of times on the viaduct and excitement to see something (the new tunnel) that was delayed to a point people questioned would it happen. Week after week, month after month, registrations climbed and climbed. We reached our 22,000attendee goal by early January with our final registrant numbers over 29,000 registrants! The end result… The LARGEST race in Seattle’s history and top 7 single distance races (in terms of size) in the country! Was everything easy? Nope. Were there challenges throughout? Of Course! We definitely aren’t saying, “build a tunnel and participants will come.” More importantly, with a solid product and the proper marketing, you can reach your goals.

Happy Running! Jared Loranger Race Director – Tunnel to Viaduct 8K Owner, Fizz Events

Certification Program To Be Launched at WFEA Annual Conference The ultimate educational and achievement experience for WFEA members


he Washington Festivals and Events Association has established a certification program that will offer the ultimate educational and achievement experience for WFEA members. The Association will kick it off at its annual conference in Bellevue April 3-5. Registrants who attend the allday pre-convention sponsorship workshop on Wednesday, April 3, can earn CLEP credit:

Conference Registration The CLEP program will offer all-day, in-depth educational sessions and hands-on experience at festivals and events that will provide event professionals knowledge at the highest level of their field. Upon completion of requirements, graduates will earn the title of Certified Live Event Planner (CLEP). “It will also offer recognition to people who have gone the extra step to learn about the festivals and events industry,” said WFEA Executive Director Bruce Skinner. “With it will come increased professional status and potentially compensation.” The WFEA Certification program is overseen by the WFEA Professional Education Board of Managers, a body appointed and made up of top industry professionals and educators. The Board establishes the curriculum, engages faculty, provides expertise, and monitors progress by students seeking certification. To achieve certification, candidates must complete items on the CLEP check list:

CLEP Check List To Register For The CLEP Program Click Here:

Register Now

Enter WFEA’s Summit Award Program Entries Due Next Week!


he Washington Festivals and Events Association will once again recognize outstanding creative, promotional and community outreach programs and materials produced by events and festivals from throughout the State at its annual conference on Thursday, April 4 at 6 p.m. at the Red Lion Hotel in Bellevue. “This is a great opportunity for organizers to receive statewide recognition,” said WFEA President Peggy Doering of Spokane. “We divide the awards into three different budget categories so that all events will have the opportunity to take home a gold award.” Here’s the Step by Step process on how to enter:

Step 1: Fill out the online application form

Apply Here All entries will be organized into one of three (3) categories based on total overall event budget, which is to include both cash and in-kind expenses: $49,999 and Under; $50,000$249,000 and Over $250,000. The committee reserves the right to combine budget categories based upon the number of entries submitted. Entries must be received by end of business March 4th, 2019.

Step 2: Pay for your entries After completing the online application you can pay by credit card online or choose to be invoiced and send a check to WFEA at 1015 Georgiana St. Port Angeles, WA 98362. Each entry fee is $15.00 if received by March 2nd, 2018.

Step 3. Submit your digital copy Send your digital copy to: Any questions about what digital copies to send, please reference the Summit Award rules here:

Rules Any other questions please contact WFEA at 360-441-7190 or email

WFEA Conference Schedule April 3-5, 2019

Red Lion, Bellevue

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT SESSIONS 10:15 - 11:15 AM The Nuts and Bolts of Building and Strike Mike Prebezac, Event Management Services Learn the basics of how to set up your event at the lowest possible price. This session will also delve into what type of vendors you should use in order to make your event efficient and safe.


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Sponsorship Marketing Plan Outstanding Events and Leadership Sell Sponsorship

Let’s Make a Deal Mike Berry, CEO, Kentucky Derby Festival Just like the popular game show, sponsorship activation can be a game of negotiation, strategy and choices. Should you keep providing the benefits you offer to a sponsor or entice them to trade for what’s behind Door Number Two?

Researching Potential Partners Benefit Packages Activation and Being Creative The Keys to Successful Sales Sponsorship Fulfillment How to Keep Sponsors Coming Back

Instructors: Mike Berry, Kentucky Derby Festival; Melissa Jurcan, Compass Group, USA; John Thorburn, Bold Hat Productions; Beth Knox, Special Olympic Games USA *THESE PRE-CONFERENCE SESSIONS WILL QUALIFY FOR WASHINGTON CERTIFIED FESTIVAL AND EVENT CREDIT. (REQUIRES SEPARATE REGISTRATION)

AFFINITY SESSIONS 4:00 - 5:30 PM These sessions are held for professionals on a specific topic. Held in a roundtable setting, attendees can pick their topic and ask questions in an informal setting. It’s a great opportunity to get to know people in your area of expertise.

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ASSET (A Seattle Special Events Team) Sponsorship Municipalities Music Events Performing and Visual Art Events Parks and Recreation Departments Running and Exercise Events Marketing/Social Media Event Production

Update on Liquor and Cannabis Laws for Festival and Event Organizers Enforcement Sergeant Steve Telstad, Lt. Steve Grassfield, Officer Kevin Russom, and Licensing Customer Service Manager Beth Lehman Here what all event organizers should know about this very important subject. The WSLCB Licensing and Enforcement Divisions will be educating you on having safe and legal events with alcohol. They will cover types of licensing and permits, ways to obtain and sell alcohol, and relationships with alcohol industry members at events. Although cannabis can’t be sold at festivals and other related events, they will also discuss the new world of cannabis related events such as trade shows. The Greening of Events Melissa Johnston, Waste Connections of Washington, Sally Fisher, Clark County A growing trend is that event attendees are becoming more aware of the environment. Learn the many ways on how you can green up your event.

NETWORK SUPPLIER LUNCH 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM Building Connections – Expo Speed Dating Discover the latest trends in our industry with many top event suppliers and producers. Each table at the lunch will be hosted by a vendor/ exhibitor, who will distribute materials and discuss the merits of their product with fellow table members. During the four course lunch, each table will be visited by four different suppliers, who will discuss four different topics.

NEW COMERS SESSION 5:30 - 6:00 PM Jonah Falk and Raina Melchor, Workshop Events, Chuck Cuzzetto, Peninsula Metropolitan Parks District First timers are urged to come and meet WFEA Board members and learn how they can best learn from the conference experience.


THURSDAY, APRIL 4, 2019 OPENING KEYNOTE 9:00 - 10:00 AM Deal or No Deal: Mike Berry, CEO, Kentucky Derby Festival The loss of a major sponsor can be challenging to the financial wellbeing of any event. However, the impact isn’t just measured in sponsorship fees. We will discuss a case study of how the Kentucky Derby Festival replaced an event sponsor while ensuring a viable future and reassuring a nervous public.


Festivals and Events on the Microsoft Campus Microsoft Panel

THURSDAY, APRIL 4, 2019 PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT SESSIONS 1:45 - 2:45 PM Pass the Pepper: Spicy Ways to Increase Food and Beverage Sales Jody May, Festivals Inc. Food, along with boutique spirits, wine and Craft Beer focused events have taken over the festival landscape in the past 10 years, and with that, have created an increased level of competition that currently challenges major festival producers to step up their game, stay relevant and find new and creative ways to increase food and beverage sales. It takes more than just great food. Join Jody May, President, and Trudi Webster, Media Director and Culinary Liaison from Festivals. Inc. to hear about current trends, social media and marketing, and the value of how local knowledge and partnerships can assist to ‘spice up sales,’ at your festival. Website Visibility Jon Stone, CEA Partners Explore SEO tips and tricks that can help you better connect with those who are searching for your product or service. Learn about best practices including link-building, site speed, long-tail keywords and image optimization. Discuss the shifting role of websites in an increasingly social environment. The Volunteer Staff Partnership Trevor Lane, WSU Ferry County Extension Volunteers are an essential part of festivals and events. There are three evidence-based aspects to supporting festival and event volunteers in your community: recruit, reward, and retain. Learn how these aspects can improve your festival and help volunteers feel engaged and appreciated. Events and Municipalities Chris Swenson, Film + Special Events Program Manager/Seattle Special Events Committee Chair PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT SESSIONS 3:00 - 4:00 PM Insurance – Are You Ready? Dale Johnson, Francis L. Dean & Associates This session will cover what to insure against, and how to apply for coverage and get the best deal. Here ideas on walk-throughs, golf carts, certificates of insurance, volunteers and several other subjects.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT SESSIONS 4:15 - 5:15 PM Building a Marketing and Communications Plan John Thorburn, Bold Hat Productions The success of every event hinges on an effective plan to attract guests or ticket buyers. Learn how to develop a comprehensive marketing and communications plan and build your own playbook to increase engagement and grow attendance. 4 Easy Steps to a Waste-free Event! Heather Teegarden, CSEP, Natural Resources Outreach Programs Coordinator, WSU Snohomish County Extension Did you know that converting your event to "waste-free" can actually save you money? Join this fun and engaging session to learn the steps to success for planning your next event or festival. We will cover the benefits, the challenges, and the solutions that make it possible, with real event examples and templates that you can use for your next event! New recycling rules will be covered too! Why We Sponsor What We Do Corporate Sponsorship Representatives Erin Combs, Head of Marketing, Lyft Learning From Your Mistakes Craig Cooke, Pacific Rim Talent As event organizers we all make mistakes. Look at these mistakes as opportunities to learn a better way. Craig will share some of his blunders and then discuss the lessons learned and the remedies moving forward. Blunders include incorrect placement of vendor booths as they pertain to water drainage, fire lanes, power lines, and facing the sun. Handling signature gatherers, service animals, and public nuisances. Placement of Port a Potties and generators in relation to the neighbors. WFEA AWARDS AND AUCTION DINNER 5:45 PM Help us recognize the best of our industry, as we welcome new inductees into the WFEA Hall of Fame, the State’s Volunteer Year, and the winners of the Summit Awards, which embodies the best of the festival and events industry.

Practical Project Management David Doxtater, The Workshop One of the Northwest’s leading event producers will give a practical approach to planning and managing a complex live event project. Learn how to budget, develop a team, track work flow and milestones, document a production plan, and how to train and manage an onsite team. Standout-ness George Sharp, Rural Program Manager for the Thurston Economic Development Council Center for Business and Innovation This session is both for you as a professional and for your festival or event. You will learn ideas on how to be seen as leader and expert in your field and community, as well as how to have your festival or event standout from the 1,000’s of festivals taking place annually. Learn how the National Lentil Festival was in the New York and L.A. Times in its second year of existence in 1990 and how the Tiny Town of Bucoda, Washington and their first year Boo-Coda Spook-Tacular Festival received an estimated $100,000 of earned media in 2018, including a 2 minute segment on King5 News.


Friday, April 5, 2019 PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT SESSIONS 8:30 - 9:30 AM Operations From Vision to Reality (2 hr., 15 minute session) Becky Genoways, Genoways Event Management, Rockford, IL Operations contributes significantly to the success of any event or festival. This session covers four main elements of operations: site selection and design, event infrastructure, support services, and planning and implementation tools. Successfully planning for these essential operations elements can make or break an event and the planning tools provided will make the event planning and execution appear seamless. Developing Programming for Your Event Peggy Doering, Spokane Valleyfest Whether you are a new or old event, programming needs to be constantly refreshed. Learn how to get new ideas in order to keep up with your audience’s expectations. Also discover how to utilize community resources to beef up your event.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT SESSIONS 9:45 - 10:45 AM Beginner’s Panel: Ask the Experts Bruce Skinner, WFEA, moderator; David Doxtater, Workshop Events, Beth Knox, formerly of Special Olympics USA Games Bring your questions to this seasoned panel of event producers. Between them they have over 125 years of experience! Event Disaster Management Robert Ezelle, Washington State Emergency Management Director Robert Mitchell, Director of Community Disaster Medicine Events will never be disaster-proof, but they can be disaster ready. Learn how you can develop a program that will provide for safety for community leaders, first responders, bystander/victims, as well as festival performers and the audience.

Lessons Learned at Big Festivals Greg Flakus, GF Strategies, Bonnaroo, Coachella Many festivals sometimes say we are small and we don't have the same challenges as big festivals do. Come hear Greg Flakus from GF Strategies Measuring Economic Impact share with you what he has learned from working with three of the Scott Nagel, Dungeness Crab & Seafood Festival, Port Angeles largest music festivals in North America, and two of the most successful The need for information about the economic impact and in the world. Bonnaroo, Coachella, Outside Lands. Greg will share his demographics of the audiences of festivals and events has never been findings from having worked with these festivals as they have evolved greater. Festival management is serious business, but sometimes it’s difficult to persuade government, sponsors, and business, that a festival in the past five years. He will share how these festivals have managed to adapt to the attendee and create new concepts every year. contributes to the economic vitality of your community. Learn the basics of economic impact and demographic studies, what they can do CLOSING KEYNOTE for your organization, and how this can answer those LTAC grant 11:00 AM - 12:15 PM questions required by the State. Ten Steps to Maximize Your Revenue: Becky Genoways, Genoways Event Management, Rockford IL Working With the Washington Tourism Alliance In an industry that is constantly looking for new revenue streams and Mike Moe, Managing Director, Washington Tourism Alliance 2018 marked a significant milestone for Washington’s tourism industry, how to maximize current streams, this is a “Top 10” checklist of critical areas to revisit at your event for increasing non-sponsorship revenues. as the legislature unanimously supported legislation to reestablish statewide tourism marketing. Learn what’s underway, what’s planned for the future, and how events can benefit.


Washington Festivals & Events Association 1015 Georgiana St. Port Angeles, WA 98362

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