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Festival or Event Planning Guide

How to Organize a Birding or Nature Festival

Nancy S. Millar   See more about Nancy Millar

Vital Partnerships

Identifying Partners

Certain groups and individuals will be critical to the success of a festival. These will include a funding source or sources, an office support system and someone strong in marketing techniques. Begin with anyone you know or are aware of who is interested in nature. Ask for help and for contacts. Call a meeting of a number of these people, and solicit support. Then, ask questions about key government and business leaders to find some who are supportive of nature or conservation related topics. Solicit their support in speaking to those who you feel will be key to the success of the event.

If you are with a Chamber or CVB, find one or more key volunteers who will champion the idea among the others. Involve these people from the beginning so that they have a real proprietary interest in the project.

How to Sell Them on the Festival Idea

Selling the various businesses and groups on the viability of the festival will increase the credibility of the event from the beginning as well as offer possible funding sources.

What you want to do is to elicit their enthusiastic support.
  • Customize your approach to the groupsí primary interests, always playing to the conservative. Your credibility will be shot before it is established with inflated, unsupportable claims on tremendous economic benefits or unbelievable environmental goals the first year. This is a project that will grow in strength through the years as it grows in popularity. Meeting or exceeding conservative goals is much more impressive that falling far short of inflated goals.
  • These groups and organizations could be approached for support:
    • Chamber/convention and visitorsí bureau (emphasize publicity value, economic impact)
    • Local environmental organizations (emphasize environmental value to community)
    • Media (emphasize economic impact)
    • Local businesses (emphasize economic impact or environmental impact, depending on circumstances)
    • City government (emphasize economic impact, positive publicity value)
    • Volunteers (emphasize it all-and make it fun)

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