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United Way of the Big Bend

unitedwaybigbendIdeas:

To coordinate the final five (5) Downtown GetDowns in 2011-2012, the United Way of the Big Bend brought Capital Events on as their primary event coordinator. CE was to be responsible for coordinating sponsors, bands/entertainment, logistics, police, vendors, volunteers and all aspects of the event. During the middle of the 2011 season, their event coordinator left to take another position, and CE was brought in with approximately one month to plan the final five (5) Downtown GetDowns of the season. The event happens each Friday before a home FSU football game and for more than 16 years has drawn upwards of 10,000 attendees to downtown Tallahassee. UWBB needed a proven coordinator who knew how to run things from start to finish, and ensure UWBB raised sufficient funds from food, beverage, vendor, sponsorships and sales to meet budget for the end of the year.

Solutions:

CE quickly reviewed all vendor lists and followed up with all potential vendors and recruited new vendors and new relationships. CE made personal contact with each vendor and ensured proper coordination, payment and maximized booth placements. CE lined up and negotiated contracts with bands, audio/visual, TV, print, radio and special arrangements for sponsors. CE updated website and provided social media content and revisions. CE was the spokesperson for the event, and CE lined up radio interviews for Jason Zaborske to promote the event, and provide quotes for newspaper stories and other promotions. CE worked with TPD to coordinate the proper security, road closures and special access and parking for vendors, bands and sponsors. CE coordinated the UWBB information booth, all event volunteers, and ensured the overall success of the event with all vendors and participants. CE developed a list of proposed updated and changes for 2012-2013 Downtown GetDowns to maximize budget, attendance and sponsorship.

Results:

The final five (5) 2011 Downtown GetDowns events were well attended, and monies raised were above budget. Vendor relationships were enhanced and at each event we increased the number of vendor booths to maximize vendor fees. Negotiating contracts with bands, A/V, media and sponsors helped the Downtown GetDowns maximize their event attendance and media exposure while also decreasing overhead and costs associated with each function. CE streamlined volunteers and stepped into a role of main coordinator to ensure a smooth transition of coordination with the overall event. CE requested and approved all invoices and payments and worked with UWBB to ensure appropriate tracking of all payments and expenses before and after each event. CE worked with UWBB to transition all planning documents and vendor maps, contact lists, budgets, etc. provided UWBB with 2013 proposed changes to maximize budget, attendance and sponsorship, which included working with police to set up additional vending booth space, developing a comprehensive sponsorship package, and implementing intensive sponsor and vendor outreach in 2012. This resulted in a smooth transition to the 2012 UWBB event coordinator and resulted in the Downtown GetDowns growing in attendance and attention again in 2012.