Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Planning Events In Norristown

Yesterday at the Norristown Business Association meeting, it became very apparent that Norristown is a place where things are happening. During announcements we realized that there are 3 big all-day events in town this Saturday: History Day at Selma, the international Gran Festival on West Marshall St, and CADCOM's Community Day at Oak Street Park.

I'm don't really think they'll compete with each other. They're in different parts of town and we have enough residents that no one event should lose out. We could even encourage visitors to festival-hop from one to another. Hey, if you're out and about Norristown for one event, why not check out the others, too?

But the comment was made that we end up with major events on top of each other because our groups don't communicate.

The thing is, communication is hard enough in Norristown when you're trying to get the word out in the weeks before your event takes place. When you're planning your event, maybe months before, in most of the organizations I'm in, it's hard enough to find a day all your members are available. Everyone's relieved when you finally hit on a good day. You tend to not even think about every other group in town.

So I'd like to make 3 suggestions.

1. If your organization has a major annual event, try to have it on the same day each year. For instance, the Arts Hill Festival is the 1st Saturday in May. Riverfest is the 3rd Saturday in September. Ghost Tours at Selma is the Friday night before Halloween. Everyone should know not to schedule other events those days. If your group claims a day and sticks to it each year, it helps other groups who are planning events.

2. Next, post your events to the OIC/TNP community calendar at AS SOON AS YOU KNOW THE DATE. Shae Ashe has set up this calendar so that it's incredibly easy to use. You can post your event at the bottom of the page. Even if you don't know all the details, reserve the date and email all the information when you have it.

3. When your group is planning a new event, chances are someone at your meeting has a smart phone or tablet or something that connects to the internet. Take a moment to check the OIC/TNP calendar before setting your date. Don't get discouraged if other events are planned the same day as yours. Ask yourself if the audiences they attract will be the same. Or partner with the other group -- maybe have your event right before or after theirs, so the attendees can be encouraged to go to both. Or combine the events and get twice the attendees.

Now, take a moment to realize how amazing it is that so many great events are taking place in town this weekend. If you've been checking out my weekly event blogs on Friday, you know our weekends have been packed for a while now. Start telling your out-of-town friends that Norristown is a place where good things are happening.

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