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In Any Event

September 15, 2009

Events,Public Relations

I love going to the Clothesline art festival each year. Partly to find my favorite jewelry artist, partly to see something new, and of course, there’s people watching. But this year I caught a different angle that had me distracted: that was the efforts of Rochester’s non-profits to market themselves at this event. Maybe you noticed them — the tables along the back road of the gallery. I happened to be manning one (volunteer) so I had a few hours to watch and reflect. My question to you all is, how does an organization make itself relevant at these gatherings?

I watched my neighbors across the way: Cobblestone School was trying to entice kids over by handing out little pipe-cleaner animals; a breast cancer survivor group was handing out calendars. I wouldn’t call any of this terribly engaging. How about the Finger Lakes Burn Unit (no disrespect, but really?). I put this question out there, because I believe that event marketing is really important. People at events usually have money, they’re in a location for a period of time, therefore somewhat captive, and it’s a great time for face-to-face communication, which is rare. Thoughts?