Session Descriptions

Festivals & Events Play a Critical Role in the State’s Tourism
Kevin Triplett, Commissioner of TN Tourist Development

On average there are 800 festivals across the state of Tennessee annually. Whether it’s Bonnaroo or a main street event in a rural community, the impact is great not only for our partners, but the state.  Commissioner Triplett will discuss the role of festivals and events on the tourism stage.

Happy Birthday Experience Economy
Phil Bruno, Treat’em Right

It’s been 21 years since we learned that customers were way beyond accepting satisfaction for services and products. Routinely Exceeding Expectations is what gains loyal customers 21 years later. Festival and event organizers must therefore embrace the principles of the Experience Economy to stage ever-more engaging experiences. Phil will take you through those principles that matter the most for your festival and show you how to create greater economic value for your customers. SFEA members will learn the difference between producing events vs. the value of staging experiences. Current winning examples will be shared from other related industries. Audiences walk away with insights on experience innovation as well as a rich set of tools for staging such experiences.

Creating Magic… Activities, Events, and Programs for Our Kids           
David Belote, Executive Director, The Tennessee Soybean Festival, Winner Kaleidoscope Award for Best Children’s Programming last 2 years
Camille Noe, serves a dual role as the Marketing Director, Martin Businesses Association & Executive Director for the City of Martin, Office of Economic and Community Development

“Play is the work of children… It is very serious stuff…” Captain Kangaroo. The Tennessee Soybean Festival values providing quality opportunities for the children of our community. Creating meaningful programming for the children who attend our fairs and festivals is a heartfelt, strategic process. In this session we will present and discuss key factors in programming award winning children’s activities and events. Topics include community resource analysis, the marketing of programs, securing contracted events, and creating a magical atmosphere. Join us and together we will create some magic!

Making a Festival Real, Fun, and Family Friendly                                                         
Gloria Christy, Former Director, Uncle Dave Macon Days Festival

Ben Wilson, Director, Uncle Dave Macon Days Festival

Whether the event is new or old, session attendees will learn valuable information which includes how to keep an event vibrant, relevant, and sustainable in an era of competitive, constant, and continuous change.      

Partnering. Not Just Vendor-ing                                                
Phil Bruno, Treat’em Right

This session is based on feedback from current SFEA members with a desire to develop partners who add value to their staged experiences. Take a break from the phone and booth space to engage with peers in a self-discovery tool where you’ll discover your natural strengths and how to use them to transform from vendor to valued partner.  Providing a service or product is not the same as partnering with a client.

Development, Execution & Evaluation: Programmatic Cycle for Sustainability
Erika Burnett, M.Ed., Founder & Principal, The Burnett Group, LLC

Great idea? Dedicated team? Ready to press “Go?” Not quite yet. The most strategic way to ensure programmatic goals are met is to start with the end in mind. Thorough planning is inclusive of not only the exhaustive list of action items, but a understanding how shared values and goals exist as an undercurrent. During this session participants will explore critical attributes of the programmatic cycle necessary for successful execution, and overall sustainability.

The Dog’s English: Understanding Your Unique Vantage Point for Effective Networking
Erika Burnett, M.Ed., Founder & Principal, The Burnett Group, LLC          

Left brain right brain, Myers-Briggs, DiSC. Whether you are conflict averse, an extroverted introvert, INTJ or an assertive communicator, life is essentially one big game of fetch! Explore your unique wiring in relation to the variety of shapes, sizes and colors surrounding us daily at work and play. Learn how to recognize and leverage your innate communication & behavioral assets and manage your blind spots in order to more effectively network and achieve collective goals for deeper impact!

No More Excuses! The Easy and Best Way to Measure and Merchandise Your Festival
Greg Fuson, Chandler Thinks

We all claim to not have enough time to measure the impact of our festivals. But each year when our resources are being questioned, we wish we could prove the value and impact that is being created. So, let’s do it. Let’s use the time in this workshop to easily identify the basics of measuring economic impact for your festival. This session will outline “why measuring matters”; how to do your own study; and most importantly, how to merchandise it to others.

Confident Communication
Anne Savarse, Principal &  Founder, Composure Communications

Confident communication is critical to successful interaction with others. Within the first seven seconds of meeting someone, nonverbal cues fuel perceptions! Make a positive impact with confident posture, a firm handshake, and engaging eye communication. Learn how to dissipate nervous energy and channel it into effective communication by making that emotional connection with the audience! When you make that emotional connection, you build trust and credibility. Building trust and credibility is your #1 communication skill!

Event Security Best Practices
Adriaan Valk, Special Agent, Federal Bureau of Investigation

The recent attack on a country music festival in Las Vegas highlighted the worst-case scenario for local festival and event planners. While uncommon, recent attacks in the US and overseas against similar events show an emerging trend. This session will provide an overview of these incidents and their effects. A discussion of best practices for event and security planners will provide a variety of tools and methods to make your event is as safe as possible.

Q & A with Kaleidoscope winners (Panel discussion)
Nancy Kring-Rowan, Jekyll Island Shrimp Festival, 2017 Best Festival Over $75,000 Budget
Anthony & Michelle Courter, Remembering WWII Festival, 2017 Best Festival Under $75,000 Budget
David Belote, TN Soybean Festival, 2017 Best Creative Idea
The winners of the 2018 Best Festival Over $75,000, Best Festival Under $75,000 and Best Creative Idea.


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Southeast Festivals & Events Association, PO Box 720152, Atlanta, GA 30358

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