Sunday, March 05, 2006

Part II of Perils and Pitfalls of Small Town Event Planning

Jubilee updated: the Town of Mountainair is now the “big dog” putting on Jubilee. Informal accounts suggest that the effort is already falling into the usual event pits: interminable meetings that accomplish nothing; territoriality; and so on.

Is then the Town of Mountainair getting into the event game? This past winter, the town sponsored (took over) the Christmas Crafts Fair abandoned in the snows by the Arts Council as too much to keep doing, drawing locals rather than daytripper arts spenders, and besides too craftsy - not sufficiently artsy. The town added a last minute all but impromptu parade that was small but fun – with the proverbial good time to be had by all. The same could be said of the crafts fair. Neither was well promoted or had sufficient lead time for more than the ubiquitous town flyer – still the most effective local promotion strategy as long as the print is big and the vocabulary small. I learned of them only accident and was surely not the only one. Others learned of fair and parade only afterwards. Still, the event survived because local residents wanted it. There is an important message – and clue to event viability – in that simple detail.

Although comparing events and bones could strike a dissonant chord, the analogy is more apt that not. Events become bones of contention. There will be as many dogs as there are mangers or committees within an event. Already turf wars are springing in both Arts Tour and Jubilee committees over bone management rights. So far, Sunflower is safe from these doggy conflicts, but it is early yet.

Sunflower won’t even be up for discussion until next month, at which time it may come as a surprise to some arts council members. Burying bones (secret decision making and not sharing information) in so competing dogs (other committees) can’t find them is more canine behavior that interferes with event production.

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1 comment:

artislife said...

It is just magical what comes out the ends of your fingers onto your keyboard! Yuo have this town figured out, no easy task! Keep the words coming..


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