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By Karen Hendricks, Festival PR/Marketing Director
Beautiful Downtown Indianapolis

Beautiful Downtown Indianapolis

Indianapolis is playing host this week to hundred of festival executives from all over the globe!  I am thrilled to be blogging from the IFEA Convention (International Festivals and Events Assocation), and I am honored to be representing The Gettysburg Festival at this week-long event, in the company of my counterparts from numerous wonderful, world-famous festivals, many of them considered the “best of the best” in the festival and events industry. 

In a week that’s chock-full of seminars and information, interwoven with fun events and net-working, my first impression is that festival organizers are an extremely friendly bunch.  The standing joke among festival folks is that, for once, we are around people who actually understand “what we do the rest of the year,” outside our festival schedule.  There’s definitely a lot of year-round work that goes into all the fun our attendees have during our events!  This is an event designed to re-charge our batteries and help re-tool our festivals, taking us to greater heights.
Here I am, happy to be juggling three Gold Pinnacle Awards!

Here I am, happy to be juggling three Gold Pinnacle Awards!

Speaking of heights and “pinnacles,” I am also excited to report that The Gettysburg Festival has won five industry awards in international competition here at the IFEA Convention.  Recognizing the top festivals around the world in numerous categories, the IFEA has awarded three Gold Pinnacle Awards, one Silver Pinnacle Award and one Bronze Award to The Gettysburg Festival! 
 
But the focus of the week is about how we, as festivals, can learn from one another in constantly striving to improve our events for you as attendees.  I am bringing lots of nuggets of knowledge back to Gettysburg on topics such as:
  • How to make Gettysburg Festival a “green” or environmentally-friendly event, taking tips from the wonderful Kentucky Derby Festival staff

    Remember the incredible Opening Ceremonies of the 2008 Beijing Olympics?

    Remember the incredible Opening Ceremonies of the 2008 Beijing Olympics?

  • How to integrate educational components into a festival, from the friendly fleet of Indianapolis 500 Festival workers
  • Inspirational ideas and behind-the-scene stories from Ric Birch, the amazing producer of five Olympic ceremonies (talk about the WOW factor)
  • An incredible performance by the high-energy Purdue University Varsity Glee Club
  • Heartfelt words of wisdom from IFEA Volunteer of the Year Gayl Doster, who was surprised (we were too!) by the sudden appearance of an enormous high school marching band who heralded him for his efforts with the Music for All organization based here in Indiana
  • Word of wisdom in a roundtable discussion from fellow arts festivals all over the country, from San Francisco to De Moines, from St. Louis to Pigeon Forge
  • Social media tips, hot-off-the-press, extremely timely, and vital to the success of festivals everywhere (score one point to The Gettysburg Festival for having this blog!).  Look for updates and improvements soon, on the Festival’s Facebook page, Twitter profile, and much more!
  • Whew, so much information to absorb and process… and there are still two more days, jam-packed with additional festival festivities – stay tuned!

Additional links:

The IFEA website:    http://www.ifea.com/joomla1_5/index.php

The Indianapolis CVB website:   http://visitindy.com/indianapolis/web/jsp/index.jsp?p=1

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