Friday, December 14, 2012

How to create your own music festival

Here's a terrific infographic for those of you interested in creating a music festival from scratch.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day...

...and may the luck of the Irish be with you as Spring rolls around.

After reading the newest post from Success Magazine Publisher Darren Hardy again tonight. It got me thinking about the term luck, and how we define it. I have come to believe that there is no such thing as really bad luck, only a negative attitudes. After reading Darren's terrific post about Getting Lucky, I did a little digging for the origins of the word "luck". Here's what I found.

Luck as it turns out is the shortened form of the Middle Dutch: gheluc, which means "happiness".

So there you have it, LUCK = HAPPINESS.

Now it all makes sense to me. Bad luck means unhappy. Since I really believe that happiness is a state of mind, changing your attitude to happy, means that luck will always be there since it lives inside of you. No need to look any further than our mindset to find luck in each and every day.

So as you enjoy your St. Patrick's day, may the HAPPINESS of the Irish be with you as well.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Inspirational leadership

Funny how things run in cycles. I wrote last night about being moved and inspired by the movie Invictus, and tonight I am inspired yet again by another great post from Success Magazine Publisher Darren Hardy. His post about The Unpopular View of Leadership is spot on.

How many of us when faced with a tough decision take the politically safe action rather than the one that at our core we know to be correct. To be honest, I know I have at times. But as we move forward its going to be harder to not take that stand. It might not always be popular, but it will always be right at the core of our existence.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Touched, moved and inspired - Invictus

I just returned from the movies a few minutes ago, and while movie reviews are not normally my style for this blog, I have to talk about Invictus tonight. Its a film about South Africa following the end of apartheid and the rise of Nelson Mandela (played brilliantly by Morgan Freeman) to the presidency. He is faced with the daunting challenge of "balancing black aspirations with white fears." Mandela utilizes the Springboks, the South African National Rugby team, who are scheduled to compete in the Rugby World Cup in Johannesburg, to draw together blacks and whites as one nation, one team. This is not an easy task given that the Springboks history, players and even their team colors represent prejudice and apartheid in the minds of the black majority. Both sides, feel this is a bad idea to try to unify a country torn apart by 50 years of racial tension, but despite the political risks of pursuing this path, Mandela prevails in winning over the support of team captain Fran├žois Pienaar (convincingly played by Matt Damon) who goes on to inspire and draw his team together and in the process draw together an entire nation. Both men went way out on a limb and South Africa and the world are better today because of their effort.

So why am I talking about this in a blog about festivals, special events, marketing and entertainment. Quite simply because this film gives an insight into what a really effective event is all about. Its about pulling together a community, whether that be a small club or an entire nation. Its about setting aside past experiences and prejudices, and allowing a new shared experience envelop us in a blanket of joy and pride.

My business and personal philosphy is that we as event producers are charged with touching, motivating and inspiring our audiences, our stakeholders and our communities. To move beyond what everyone else thought impossible and to make a real contribution in the world. This story hit that home run for me. I have to say that I felt my eyes tear up more than once when I was genuinely moved by the experience of the South African people, Mandela's staff and the Springbok players. I encourage you to have the courage to take risks when the greater good of your community is at stake. Be willing to go above and beyond and we will change the world one event at a time.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Moving from "Event" to "Experience"

Why am I having such a hard time starting to write the three blog articles that I promised myself weeks ago to write. I wish I knew. What topics to write about. Its easy when I'm driving in the car to come up with lots of great ideas. They all dry up when I actually sit down to the keyboard.

So what am I writing about tonight...

Lets start with "The Experience Economy: Work Is Theatre & Every Business a Stage" by B. Joseph Pine II and James H. Gilmore. To be honest, I've had a copy of this book sitting on my shelf for about 10 years. I had only read a few dozen pages and then my ADHD kicked in and I lost track of it. As I've been in the process of moving, I have a huge stack of the books that wanted to have readily available between now and the actual move. I grabbed the Experience Economy last week since I knew it needed to be read. After a few pages, I’m thinking to myself what was I thinking when I last put it down. There’s some great stuff here. If you're in the festivals and events business or in retail you need to read this book today. Run, do not walk to your nearest library or bookstore to get a copy.

In a nutshell, Pine and Gilmore suggest that the next great age or economy will be built around Experiences. Guess what festival and event producers, you are at ground zero. That’s what we have been doing for years.

Ponder this - How does your festival or event differentiate itself from all of the other entertainment attractions in your community? Why would a guest choose to attend your event over an evening at the movies or having dinner with friends? If business is theater, what’s your cast up to that makes guests want to return again and again, and spend more money in the process.

Note the use of the terms, guest and cast, there’s a great point made in “Be Our Guest: Perfecting the Art of Customer Service” by Ted Kinni and the folks at Disney Institute. A “guest” is someone whom we’ve invite into our home. That’s a lot different than the term “customer” which is often a faceless statistic. Which one are we more likely to want to develop a long term relationship with.

In an ideal world people leave their everyday lives behind when they walk through the gates of our events. Are we creating a new reality for them to escape into? Hopefully the answer is a resounding yes!

With that in mind, have you ever considered that your staff and volunteers, the public faces of your events, are indeed the “cast” that sell our (production/event). Like a theatrical production how do they move the story/experience along. What’s their role in our pageant? Are they in character when they’re on stage (where guests can see them) or do they distract.

Here’s the bottom line: When we create great experiences, we build great memories, we build great communities, fans and loyal paying customers. And we make a lot more money in the process.

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Friday, October 9, 2009

A new kind of fireworks act for your next event

Wow, I thought competive drum corps was physically demanding. Imagine the possibilities created by adding the Firecrackers jump rope dance team to your next event. It'd be a great way to promote physical fitness and to encourage the value of play.

Special thanks to Ken Levine for posting the Naval Academy performance clip on his blog.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Using New Media, New Marketing, and New Thinking...

Here is a great video clip from Seth Godin on the future of marketing books. I know we're not in the publishing business, but we are in the business of creating and selling stories. Which means that we are also about turning our stories and events into experiences, that bring in an audience and that get them talking about our events and organizations. That's the underlying premise behind this talk from the O'Reilly Tools of Change for Publishing Conference. I'd love to hear your feedback on how this could have an impact on your festivals and events.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Sneezing your way to a whole new audience

A lot has been written about Viral and Word of Mouth marketing. As events producers, do we really look at them as tools or something that's great but not really easy to accomplish and track.

Here are five easy, trackable ways to use Word of Mouth to help build your audience.
  1. Email marketing program
  2. Grass Roots campaigns
  3. Social Networking (Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Friendster, Flicker and YouTube)
  4. Blogging
  5. Referral or Affiliate programs
I'll elaborate on each idea over the next few days so stay tuned.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Twitter your way to a whole new audience...

Well its official, I am now twittering. If you haven't checked it out, Twitter is sort of a mini-blog. Short, to the point and a great way to spread the word or provide updates about your event or organization.

Like the myriad of other social networking sites (facebook, myspace, etc), its also a great way to stay connected with fans, customers and staff. I'll provide some more insight after I've spent a few days with it, but from the looks of the people that I'm following on twitter, it will either prove to be useful or yet another time zapper. Let you know in a few days.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Blogging simplified

I just found this post on Jodi Rudick's "Little Red's Big Ideas" site. Where was this a couple of days ago, when I started my session at the ISEN Convention on how blogging can help build your festival, event or organization. If you haven't seen it check it out.

Thanks Jodi! Great post!