2017 ANNUAL CONFERENCE - Making Memories - The business of Festivals


Sunday, March 12, 2017 Pre-Convention Workshop & Lunch Requires separate registration
9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. SUPER SUNDAY SPONSORSHIP WORKSHOP with Melissa A. Jurcan, CSEP, Principal-Agency M & Sylvia Allen, President-Allen Consulting, Inc.

9:00am - 11:45am
See Green:  100 Revenue Generating Ideas for your Festival 
Melissa A. Jurcan, CSEP, Principal-Agency M

Slide down our rainbow as we deliver your pot of gold!  Need ideas for creative sponsor inventory and revenue generation?  New programs, initiatives, campaigns, activation...We're kicking off Super Sponsorship Sunday with ONE HUNDRED ideas that you can incorporate into your festival or event.  From trends to digital media, unique experiential marketing, branded items and more...we've curated a list of things we've seen and implemented.  You don't need luck, you need this interactive session!   Need another reason to get out of bed early on this daylight savings time Sunday Morning?  This will NOT be your average 2 hour 45 minute session!  Games! Prizes! Treats! Special Guests! And, get in the St. Patrick's Day spirit.  We've covering it all in this fast paced, pack-it-all-in session! 

Networking Lunch
1:15pm- 4:00pm
Building Relationships:  The Key to Sponsorship
Sylvia Allen, President-Allen Consulting, Inc., Holmdel, NJ
So much of life is not only what you know but who you know AND how you nurture that relationship.  In sponsorship (and we really call them marketing partnerships) it is not a "hit and run" experience but, rather, a long term relationship of people cultivating synergistic goals and objectives.  During this session you will learn various communication elements for both pre- and post-event success with your sponsors leading to on-going partnerships and renewals.  In addition you will be introduced to a process that is guaranteed to give you more sponsorship.  Taught by Sylvia Allen, the "Queen Mother of Sponsorship". you will not only learn but have fun.

Sunday, March 12, 2017 Convention & Expo


Industry veterans moderate rotating roundtable discussions on timely subject matter.

"How to Go with the Flow" 
Stephanie Allestad, Festival Creator/Coordinator-Chocolate on the Beach Festival  
"Music Festivals" 

Erika Olsen, Festival Director, Winthrop Rhythm and Blues Festival; Peter Dammann, Artist Director, Waterfront Blues Festival

"Event Production: 

Mike Prebezac, Owner, Event Management Services


Brian Twiggs, Festival Director, Issaquah Salmon Days/Issaquah Chamber

"The Latest in Event Merchandising"
Sonja Mejlaender, Community Relations and Events, City of Renton

Free Internet Non-Profit Resources
Lisa Elder, Showcase Management Group, LLC    



Welcome Reception, Dinner & Entertainment " A Little Bit Country"
Entertainment: Jeff Evans, Cooley, Marlin James Band
Sponsor:  Honey Bucket, Pacific Rim Talent, AVR Productions, LLC, Grand Event Rentals
Attire:  Western, Boots and Jeans
8:30pm - 10:30pm
Hospitality Suite -
Sponsor:  Western Display Fireworks,  LTD

Monday, March 13, 2017

8:00am - 8:45am
WFEA General Membership Meeting
Jon Stone, Chairperson, Washington Festivals & Events Association
Meet your board of directors, hear about plans for 2017 and express your thoughts about the organization.
9:00am - 10:00am
Sponsorship Creativity
Keynote - Sylvia Allen, Allen Consulting, Holmdel, NJ
How do you get sponsors?  Put on your creative hat, set aside all previous notions and start selling creatively!  Yesterday you learned a process that will differentiate you from your competition...creating your own "blue ocean"...this time you will be given examples of sponsorship creativity as well as determining a process/system for developing a more creative approach...develop your own "took kit" for success.  Taught by Sylvia Allen, The "Queen of Sponsorship" you will not only learn but have fun.      

10:30am - 11:45am

Cracking the Codes of Alcohol and Marijuana
Commander Jennifer Dzubay of MIW & Marijuana, Washington State Liquor Control Board
Update your organization on the current rules and regulations and connect directly with the top  operational authorities in the state on this very important subject.         
Sponsorship 101
Bruce Skinner, CFEE, President/Author, Bruce Skinner & Associates
Although the selling of event sponsorship has changed over the last decade, the basic tenants remain the same.  Learn how to build relationships and to increase your bottom line.       



Staging Entertainment
Craig Cooke, President-Pacific Rim Talent; Stephen Dilts, CEO/Partner-Pyramid Staging & Events; Star Moser, Electrical Services Manager-Hollywood Lights; Kevin MacCulley, Owner-AVR Production Services LLC.
You've invested in a great lineup of entertainment.  Now you will need to give your guests the best and safest way to view the production.  This session will focus on the proper placement of staging as it pertains to surface, fire lanes, accessibility by bands and crew, ADA compliant and  your sound and lights.  Learn about acoustics, proper amount of gear, input lists and stage plots provided by artists and others.  Then learn about the proper amount of power, placement of generators, grounding rods, spider boxes and other items.      

Cashless Payment Solutions
Brenton Webster, CEO-Fastbar Technologies
The way attendees purchase food, beverage and merchandise at festivals events is undergoing a massive shift.  These days, consumers are carrying less cash and expect to be able to pay with a credit card or smartphone, just like they can at a retail store.
Cashless payments provide the perfect intersection of speed and convenience for the consumer and help the event organizer increase revenue by 20-40% (or more) while reducing or eliminating theft, loss and fraud.  However, implementing a complex technology solution in the event environment is challenging.
In this session we'll cover the benefits and pit falls of cashless payments, which events should and should not go cashless, and key lessons learned from over 50 successful payment deployments.      
Host:  Craig Cooke, Owner, Pacific Rim Talent
Entertainment:  Kevin Wolfe
Sponsors:   Pacific Rim Talent,  AVR Productions LLC, Alexander Party Rentals     

Q & A from Corporate Sponsors
Melissa A. Jurcan, CSEP, Principal-Agency M  
How do companies determine the ROI on sponsorship?  How do they decide what sponsorship opportunities are better than others, or better suited for their company?  What kind of data do they need before and after the event?  What makes them deem the partnership a success?  Here's your change to connect with them directly in this panel discussion as we go right to the source.

Working with your Vendors
Robin Kelley, CFEE, Executive Director -FISH (Friends of the Issaquah Fish Hatchery)
What do different vendors need?  What resources and support can you offer?  Explore how to create an event and environment that is a win/win.  Collaboration and coordination.    

How to Maximize your Auction
Jeff Stokes, President-Stokes Auction
Maximize your fund raising efforts through auctions.  The beauty of an auction is it is elective and participation is a choice.  But the key to their success is not from competitive bidding but from competitive giving that leads to collective community giving.  Does our auction have a purpose and create an environment that is conducive to giving?  Through proper planning comes purpose, heartfelt giving, education of your mission and a celebration that optimizes your next event.
Harm Reduction for Events 
Jon Stone, Partner, CEA Partners
Policy, logic and best intentions merge sometimes haphazardly in the leading-edge thinking that is harm reduction.  Learn about successful efforts for events, and discuss the challenges encountered.  


Strategic Partnerships        
Jayme Powers, Executive Producer/COO-2018 Special Olympics USA Games
From your George Bailey list to your most demanding sponsorship partner, building strong and diversified external team is critical to success.  Leverage your partnerships to drive revenue development and elevate your event's impact.              

Generating Media and Publicity for Your Event
Delaney Berreth,  Moderator, Marketing & Communications Specialist-Pacific Science Center ;Teresa Kenney, Editor-Northwest Meeting & Events Magazine; Margo Myers, ACC, CHIC, Margo Myers Communications; Nicole Sanchez
Extra, Extra, read all about it!  So you have a great event planned - how can you work with the media to cover it?  From timing to pitches, releases to press conferences, to contacts- the who and the how, we'll cover it all with the panel of local TV, radio and print members of the media!        
More than a Sporting Event
Victoria Jones, CEO-North Olympic Discovery Marathon
It's all about the experience!  Learn about the benefits of adding a fun run to your event.
Learn how to make your event fun and memorable for all your participants so it isn't just another race and it is tied into your entire event.      

Working Effectively with your City and Other Community Partners
George Sharp, Chief Experience Officer-Sharp Strategies and Solutions
Learn what goes into building good relationships and what city staff and elected officials want you to know about putting on events that use city resources.  Learn how to approach other community organizations and how they can support and promote your festival or event.        

Creating Spectacle Moments at Events  
Audrey Fan, Producer/Manager/Events-ARF Productions; Amanda Korb, Co-Founder/Chief Design Officer-Blue Ink; Pete Moran, President-Rezin Sports Marketing; Steven Jones, Owner-Balloon Designers

Can't think of that special "wow" moment to dazzle your attendees at your event?  Do you need unique and fresh ideas to energize your event and build audience engagement?  Come to this interactive session of expert panelists over 50 year years of experience collectively.  Come to this interactive session of expert panelists with over 50 years of experience collectively.  You will take away great ideas to enhance your next event.


Mastering the Steps of Managing an Emergency
Chief Dennis Benn, City of Westport Fire Department
Stephanie Allestad, Grays Harbor Fired District #8 Community Liaison
Working with emergency services at an event can be daunting, especially when dealing with panicked crowds.  This class will walk you through how to deal with small and large scale emergencies, how to work with our local public services and more importantly, how to have a plan in place.

Peanut Butter & Jam -Choose your Words Wisely
Michael Brennan, Grant Manager-Workforce Training Board, State of Washington
Clear and understandable communications are an absolute necessity for any event producer.  Join with us as we participate in a fun and yet tactical exercise in advanced communications skills.        
The Most Important Demographic
Jon Stone, Partner-CEA Partners
Conscious Entertainment Group has for over 20 years accomplished the impossible-connecting directly and deeply with young adults in masse.  You are invited to a conversation on how this is accomplished not through the marketing of products, but by the creation of a community.

WFEA GALA - Auction Dinner & Entertainment " A Little Bit Rock N Roll"
Entertainment: Deems Tsutakawa, Scott Lindenmuth, Steffon Moody, Blues Power Revenue
Sponsors: Pacific Rim Talent, AVR Productions LLC, Alexander Party Rentals, Pamplin Media
Fast Bar Technologies
:  Black and White

8:30pm - 10:30pm
Hospitality Suite
Sponsor:  Western Display Fireworks,  LTD

Tuesday, March 14, 2017


8:00am - 9:15am

AWARDS BREAKFAST - Champions by Design
A celebration of excellence in the special events industry 
Pacific Northwest Summit Awards

Host:  Jon Stone, Chairman
Washington Festivals & Events Association


9:30am - 10:45am


Creative Event Revenue Generation
John Thorburn, Marketing Director-Bold Hat Productions; Jillian Briggs, Sponsorship Manager-Bold Hat Productions
 It's time to think beyond ticket revenue and sponsorship dollars.  We'll explore fun ways to create new revenue for your events, motivating your audience to spend more and maximizing vendor relationships to increase your bottom line.        


Effective Timeline Management
Jon Stone, Partner-CEA Partners

Today's tools for timeline management are a giant evolutionary step beyond calendars and spread sheets, as are the underlying techniques and philosophies.  Explore the fluid and staggeringly customizable Asana cloud platform with a power user.
Farm to Festival, Creating an Agriculture Event
Trevor C Lane, County Director/Community Economic Development-WSU Ferry County Extension Office
Learn about Agritourism and harvest festivals and how to develop and market them.  Discover the importance of direct marketing and WOM (word of mouth)             
The Science of Social Media
Josh Dirks, Co-Founder/CEO-Project Bionic
The tem "social media" has become ubiquitous over the past five years, but for many, the term rings hollow and engenders images of just one or more business-related headache facing people today.  However, social media is changing the web right before our eyes, evolving to how we communicate online and once again, changing the balance of power between consumers and the brands that serve them.  Join us for an in-depth look at the human science behind social media and how it can benefit your event or festival from one of the Northwest's leading social media firms, Project Bionic.  Co-Founder and CEO Josh Dirks will walk us through several social media event case studies, the most common misconceptions about social media, and simple ways to enhance and empower your social strategies today.
Effective Event Budgeting
Susan Den, Director of Finance-On the Boards; Jon Stone, Principal-CEA Partners
Explore a variety of winning tools and techniques for maximizing the accuracy of event budgets of all sizes and complexities.  Learn about leveraging the power of budgeting to gain deeper inefficiencies and benefits.   
"Confessions of a Serial Sponsor"
Alex Schirer, Director of Field Marketing, KIND-West

Alex Schirer is the Director of Field Marketing for KIND and has been negotiating successful sponsorships and meaningful partnerships for over 12 years.       

Mr. Schirer will be presenting on “defining a successful partnership” from the sponsor’s point of view.  For those of you that heard him speak during the 2014 conference, this will be a revised version with new insights and key learnings that have come from the growth of KIND, as well as taking these opportunities to a national scale.  The goal of this presentation is finding out how you can get into the Sponsors brain and offer them an enticing venue for their marketing experience.  This should be an exciting and interactive conversation!                         

12:30am -1:45pm

Social Media Strategies
Josh Dirks, Co-Founder/CEO-Project Bionic

Why does one event or festival rave about the impact of social media while others struggle to find any measurable results?  Why are some boasting huge ticket sales or ROI numbers while others are only seeing social as a cost?  The answers to these questions lie in whether or not there was a strategy created and followed leading up to and through the event.  Josh Dirks, from Project Bionic, will delve into building an event-based social media strategy, how to measure your efforts, and the reasons that social media should be seen as a year-round effort.  After this 45-minute session you will leave motivated on how you can get social media working for your event and the "How To" portion of it solved.




Jeannette Brennan, Executive Director
Washington Festivals & Events Association
mailing address
6035 Everson Goshen Road
Bellingham, WA 98226

Membership Rates

We offer 3 different membership rate levels. For students, individuals and organizations - each based on annual budget.

$75 / $100 / $150

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