Chrilynhawk's Asheville VegFest - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 01-21-2009, 04:15 PM
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***My "Meatout Day Planning" took an amazing turn and has developed into an entire vegetarian festival...Asheville VegFest. If you want to read from the beginning of it all then check out comment #6 on. For more information on Asheville VegFest check out http://www.ashevillevegfest.com !!***























I decided to just make one thread to keep everything about my event planning in one spot. Hopefully some of you will be able to help me over the course of the next two months if I need it!



After calling a lot of places I have figured out that the cheapest, but still great, option for me is to do more of a Meatout FEST rather than the MUSIC FEST idea that the ever-lovely MrFalafel suggested. I still really LOVE that idea and may use it next year, but after figuring out how much bands were going to end up costing it's easiest for me to just use one or two bands.



So far here is what I have accomplished:



1. I have found a band. It is a great local raggae band that is comprised of all vegetarians. They have offered to play as long as I need them to for $150. The truth is that if I bring in any money from this event I will probably give them a little extra for being such kind people! If you're interested in them, you can check out their myspace page:

www.myspace.com/bittergemma

2. I have called the county and state permit offices to find out what permits, if any, I will need. If I don't make over $15k from the event (ha like that would happen!!!) and it's only a one time event then I don't need a permit. If I hold this event and decide to do it again next year I have to pay a $25 application fee to get a business permit. I hope it goes well and I end up needing to do that!

3. I have found the place it will be held which is my church gymnasium. It was really REALLY expensive to have it at any venue I could find, as in hundreds for just a few hours. However, the church will let me use their gym for only $15 per hour. I have also e-mailed someone from the church to ask if I can use their sound equipment if it happens to be that the band can't bring their own.





The things I'm working on now are:

1. Ordering more leaflets about various veg*an and animal rights issues.

2. Ordering food samples from meatout.org

3. Finding tables and chairs (this may be provided by the church as well, just waiting on a reply)

4. Contacting businesses about setting up tables there. So far I've e-mailed one girl I'm close to asking if she wants to set up one for her cafe. Since we know each other I also asked how much she typically pays to have a table at expos and events. I won't charge as much as many events, but I will need table fees in order to cover the few costs I am going to have.

5. OTHER - anything else that comes up.
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#2 Old 01-22-2009, 05:16 AM
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Right now I'm trying to figure out how much to charge for an exhibitor fee for businesses who want to table since I've had a couple of people contact me. I'm looking at various websites to try and find out a good price to charge, but all of the events I'm finding are much larger than what I'm throwing - I feel no need to charge companies over $1k for a table plus benefits lol.



Here is what the exhibitor fee would include:

1. Table, 2 chairs, personal trash can. (table will be draped if I find table cloths)

2. 1 meal provided

3. The companies logo included on the flyer and link to their business included in large advertisements (such as posting the event online)

4. Badges with company name and person's name (not sure if this will happen yet, waiting to talk to my vendor)





That's what I have so far. I will also have rules about exhibits (height limits, etc etc.) but those aren't needed to figure out how much to charge. Any ideas on how much I should charge for this? Thanks so much!
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#3 Old 01-22-2009, 08:18 AM
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Alright more great news...



I now have tables and sound equipment, free provided by my church!



I have also decided to hold a raffle for prizes at the event and the money will be donated to The Animal Compassion Network (http://www.animalcompassionnetwork.org/) a local no-kill shelter! I have also e-mailed them about bringing in some adoptable animals that day, I think that should help bring in even more people.



I now have a choice between holding it March 20 or the 21st. I'm thinking the 21st is best as it's on a Saturday.



----------------------

Alright just got off the phone with Earth Fare about baked goods. They said they can make me some sampling platters of vegan-goodies and it should equate to less than a couple of dollars per person. I also spoke with a local veg*an friendly restaurant (they even have raw foods) called Rosetta's Kitchen. The manager said that he will contact me sometime next week with ideas for catering the event with some food sampling from their restaurant and they may want to also set up a booth with take-home menus and more information on their food. They also directed me to a local company that sells eco-friendly materials to businesses such as disposable forks, napkins that are actually somehow made from sugar cane (how cool is that?!).



Whew lots more work to do but I'm getting PUMPED!
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#4 Old 01-22-2009, 10:33 AM
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No one is probably even reading this thread lol, but if they are can you give me feedback on my sample e-mail to potential sponsors?

--------------------



Hi there!



My name is Christina Hawkins and I am currently taking on a project of creating an small indoor festival to celebrate a yearly event called The Great American Meatout. TGAM is an event held each year where participants pledge to give up meat for just one day in favor of a vegetarian diet. This year also happens to be the 25th anniversary of the event. For more information on TGAM please refer to http://www.meatout.org. Although some choose to do things differently, we will not be using *ANY* graphic animal rights materials as we deem them inappropriate for this event. In fact other than at some point directing people to the meatout table (where we will have some vegetarian leaflets) we will not be pushing vegetarianism/veganism on anyone, just celebrating and supporting a compassionate lifestyle.



The reason I am contacting you today is because I am inquiring from various area businesses about sponsorships, donations, and setting up tables at this event.



I saw that you were a sponsor of the Children's Health & Harmony expo a while back and that is why I have decided to contact you today. I am currently seeking sponsorship only to help cover costs of things such as media coverage, printing out flyers, and the rental of our space and payment for bands and the food (unless we find someone to help us by donating food samples). I am not in this to make money, only to bring people together for this event.



If you are by any chance interested in helping out with sponsorship, donation of items for raffle prizes (proceeds will be going to http://www.animalcompassionnetwork.org/ The Animal Compassion Network, they are also hopefully setting up an animal adoption station at the event), or setting up a table for a small fee, please contact me with what you are interested in so that I can send you more appropriate information.



I thank you so much in advance for your consideration and support. Feel free to contact me with any questions by replying to this e-mail (*****@gmail.com) or giving me a call at ***-***-****



Thank you again so much,

Christina Hawkins
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#5 Old 01-22-2009, 11:14 AM
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it looks good...I am impressed you really have the ball rolling on this thing. Where is this event going to be?
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#6 Old 01-22-2009, 11:47 AM
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it looks good...I am impressed you really have the ball rolling on this thing. Where is this event going to be?



Asheville, NC







But I have new developments:

I called a woman who was the co-director of a great children's expo (very alternative-friendly event) to ask her tips and found out she is actually an event coordinator. Long story short she advised me that trying to do this, and have it be successful, is basically impossible in the time frame I want to do it in. She told me that she has heard of meatout and that in other cities it is a HUGE event and she said that this town is a great place to decide to hold an event like this because of how eco and veg friendly it is.



Long story short they don't take on all event inquiries but she said that this is one of the best ideas for an event for Asheville that she's heard of! I've been to a couple of different events she has helped to throw and they have all been HUGE and SUPER successful. Anyways so we have decided that this first meatout event isn't going to be on the traditional date just because we really want it to be successful. Instead we're looking for a date closer to May. She said that if/WHEN it's successful I can do it again next year on the more traditional date (March 20) and if the first one works out really well then we'll have sponsors knocking on our door to help the event.



I'm pretty psyched at this point. She is coming by tomorrow to bring me some sponsorship forms and to get the ball truly rolling.



Big plus? She actually complimented me on being able to get so much done in such a short amount of time - but then when she started mentioning the things that usually go into an event I realized I was no where near the point I would need to be at to finish this in time.



***I will still be using this thread as I spend the next months until May setting this up, wish me and the event luck!***



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#7 Old 01-22-2009, 11:56 AM
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Forgot to add that she also hosted a event for David Wolfe if you are familiar with that person, he's a raw foodist.





-----------------------------------------------

Just got this e-mail from her:



Greetings Christina,



It was a pleasure talking with you this afternoon.



I look forward to meeting you tomorrow and talking with you more on how we can help you make this an successful and profitable event.



I attached to this mail the flier for the last event we did in Dec so you can get a better idea of the magnitude of our events.



As per our conversation, our minimum fee is $750. As discussed I will be happy to start our working relationship with a $250 Retainer Fee. We can work out a payment plan for the remaining balance tomorrow when we meet.

The $750 fee includes:

Professional Sponsorship Forms an Application

Press Releases to all major local publications (when sponsorships and booths have been filled)

Help you with a timeline of production & marketing the event

3 - 1 hour consultations

Professional Email Blast sent to over 4000+ people that have attended our events

(I will be sending you an email blast for David Wolfe at we just sent out yesterday. As I told you on the phone, most of these people are into things like holistics so it's a great crowd for this event.)



If you have any questions please feel free to give us a call.



Warmest Regards,

Nicole Bookman

Co-Director | 108 productions

***-***-****
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#8 Old 01-23-2009, 10:15 AM
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Wow, this all looks pretty great! I'm totally inspired! And it's wonderful that you're working with a professional event coordinator, especially one who seems to be excited about Meatout Day too.



Keep us posted! I'm fascinated to see how things progress, and I may pick your brain a little as well, if you don't mind.



Thanks!
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#9 Old 01-23-2009, 10:52 AM
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Wow, this all looks pretty great! I'm totally inspired! And it's wonderful that you're working with a professional event coordinator, especially one who seems to be excited about Meatout Day too.



Keep us posted! I'm fascinated to see how things progress, and I may pick your brain a little as well, if you don't mind.



Thanks!

Definitely going to keep everyone posted, in fact here I go (and pick away!!)







Just finished meeting with Nicole. We have set our date to June 20th unless a venue we want is taken. Since it's in June we've also decided to make it an outdoor event and it will probably be held at the local MLK park. BUT that is still yet to be determined until I can go check out venues. She wants me to spend the next week finding local eco- and veg-friendly businesses that I would like to contact about either sponsoring OR setting up tables. She specifically told me not to call anyone yet! Just find names and numbers and the name of the owner or marketing department head if it's listed. I should also look for local talent/bands that I would like to come.



She has also made it clear that I need to find AS MANY AS POSSIBLE of the businesses, as it seems that for about every 10 you call only one wants to sponsor or set up a table. She gave me suggestions of doing things like going to Earth Fare and Greenlife (local healthfood store) and ask them if they have a list of their locally produced products. I can also walk around downtown, especially on one street that has tons of eco-friendly stores, and just ask them if they carry any locally made items and if so write down the company name and do some investigating.



I should also see if there are any national veg* companies that would like to set up tables with or without a representative. We have to get everything together and then 6-8 weeks before the date we'll start official promotions with flyers, press releases, etc.



Let me tell you, if you ever think of doing something large : HIGHER AN EVENT PLANNER OR PROMO COMPANY!!! It's worth the price, I could have never in a million years done all of the things she is helping me do. NEVER.





EDIT:

We also have decided since having it outside we'll bring in multiple veg- friendly restaurants/bakeries and will also serve locally brewed beer

We are still looking for possibilities but also want to set up a children's area so that parents can bring their children.
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#10 Old 01-23-2009, 05:58 PM
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That sounds really neat and GOOD LUCK!!!
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#11 Old 01-29-2009, 10:21 AM
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This is in NO WAY an official logo, I just had to make something to put as a default image on MySpace. But I did this:





Also check out the myspace and feel free to add it - http://www.myspace.com/avlvegfest
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#12 Old 02-02-2009, 07:17 AM
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I'm waiting on a call from the person in charge of booking the park we want to hold the fest at. I have made a list of a ton of local businesses to call and I have another meeting with my planner on Wednesday morning
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#13 Old 02-02-2009, 07:42 AM
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I wish I were closer to Ashville. It sounds like it will be a very cool event. I would go
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#14 Old 02-04-2009, 12:26 PM
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Just ordered some business cards to hand out over town and also a sticker about the event to go on my car.



http://www.ashevillevegfest.com

Still under construction, but working nonetheless!
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#15 Old 02-04-2009, 07:19 PM
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That is such a great idea! And well planned out! Good luck with all of this!



If only I was closer, I would love to go, but it's 657 miles and would take 10 1/2 hours to get there. :x Hah.

korrakorrakorrakorrakorra
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#16 Old 02-04-2009, 09:15 PM
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I think I'm going to try to go!!! I live in Boone most of the year, but in June I'll be in Myrtle Beach, so what is that, like a 5.5 hour drive??? Sort of long, but I can stop in Raleigh to visit my parents on the way. I'm really excited about it though, and will continue to watch for updates. I'd love to actually meet you Chrilynhawk, so i'll PM you closer to the date!
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#17 Old 02-05-2009, 05:00 AM
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I think I'm going to try to go!!! I live in Boone most of the year, but in June I'll be in Myrtle Beach, so what is that, like a 5.5 hour drive??? Sort of long, but I can stop in Raleigh to visit my parents on the way. I'm really excited about it though, and will continue to watch for updates. I'd love to actually meet you Chrilynhawk, so i'll PM you closer to the date!



That would be awesome!

I take it you go to App since you said you're in Boone most of the year? That's where my husband went, we lived in Boone back around 2004-early 2006 .



Okay now an update:

We're trying to officially set up the venue. I have one that I like, but the event promotion lady says I need to visit it and figure out where I want to set up booths, the stage. etc. I tried explaining to her that I went to an event there once and I liked how they had things set up so I'd do it the same, but she insists I still go look at it (btw I go to this park literally multiple times a week when it's not cold because it's my son's favorite place to play). So I guess I have to go look at it even though I've been there a gazillion times AND have been to events there lol.

She likes another place called MLK park, so I may look there again. The only issue there is parking because it's in the middle of the city.



I'm pretty psyched at this point. It's gotten to that great point where I have people add THE EVENT myspace rather than ME adding THEM. That's pretty great! I need to put a hit counter on the website I think
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#18 Old 02-06-2009, 09:33 AM
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Well I had originally come here with news that we had booked a place for the event - but now I have bad news that will hopefully be not-bad-news on Tuesday.



Something or another is going on, I didn't quite understand it all, with the Buncombe County recreation department and they are starting to talk about closing ALL PARKS (especially MLK where we were going to have it) for special events. Of course this would still leave private properties, but along with that comes more fees and more permits. They are having a meeting on Monday to discuss all of this and then John is going to call me back on Tuesday morning to tell me the verdict. He told me to call him that afternoon if I hadn't heard from him.

If this happens that's just going to be no fun.

Right now I can't do any work on gettign sponsorships (which I need to do) until I know the event location. I guess I'll start researching private properties "just in case" they do make this a final decision. It apparently has something to do with budget cuts, but I'm not sure why that would effect holding events there.



Grrr
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#19 Old 02-07-2009, 10:18 AM
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Argh. I hope it works out.



In my area, a local vegetarian coalition has had a similar event for the past two years; it's a bit out-of-the-way for someone who currently has no car, but I'll probably make it this year. If you wish, I can maybe arrange for them to let you know how they have made out. I know they based it in a city community center the past two years.

Peasant (1963-1972) and Fluffy (1970s?-1982- I think of you as 'Ambrose' now)- Your spirits outshone some humans I have known. Be happy forever.
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#20 Old 02-07-2009, 10:40 AM
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Argh. I hope it works out.



In my area, a local vegetarian coalition has had a similar event for the past two years; it's a bit out-of-the-way for someone who currently has no car, but I'll probably make it this year. If you wish, I can maybe arrange for them to let you know how they have made out. I know they based it in a city community center the past two years.

Well thankfully we have two great things:

1- We are choosing a central asheville location. Basically it will be easily accessibly by bike or bus.

2- I live in the city voted "best veg-friendly small city" by VegNews magazine, tons of people around here to come.



I'm in talks with people who throw two HUGE events here (That are actually co-sponsored by the city itself) one is OrganicFest and one is our insanely awesome Earth Day event.



I think if I lived even anywhere else in NC this would be a pipe dream, but as of now we're estimating at least 600 people coming. We're thinking it may be more as we're currently getting interest from people wanting to come from even other states (SC, Georgia, Tennessee) so right now this is actually getting much bigger than I even though it would lol
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#21 Old 02-07-2009, 11:11 AM
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I wish I could drive! It is only about 4 hours away from me.
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#22 Old 02-07-2009, 11:13 AM
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I wish I could drive! It is only about 4 hours away from me.



Oh wow, where are you at?

Too bad you can't drive, I'm pretty psyched to meet other VBers. I've had about 10 PMs from people saying for me to keep them "in the know" because they want to come
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#23 Old 02-08-2009, 06:02 AM
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I just found this thread. Wow, I am in awe of you for putting this all together! It sounds like it will be a great event. I wish I lived closer to NC!
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#24 Old 02-08-2009, 07:49 AM
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Best of luck with this - it sounds awesome.



A few thousand miles, a continent and an ocean are all that's stopping me from going!
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#25 Old 02-08-2009, 07:57 AM
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Best of luck with this - it sounds awesome.



A few thousand miles, a continent and an ocean are all that's stopping me from going!



Pfft you could TOTALLY make it lol (jk jk)

Thanks for the well wishes everyone!

So far things are going smoothly other than this whole park issue. I'm keeping it in my prayers and sending out good thoughts about it though so hopefully things will work out. If anything, like I said, I can use private property I'd just rather not
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#26 Old 02-11-2009, 08:56 AM
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Alright guys and dolls - it's on!

MLK park is set, I just have to print out a map of the park and draw out where everything will be (booths, stage, etc). Then I give John that, the application, and the app fee. Then it's official!



BTW - I need a company name. After this is all over, if this is successful I've talked to the promoter and we think it may be a great idea to make this an actual business. Basically throughout the year I would be able to hold small parties and other things. I could also use that company name to sell vegan products if I wanted, just whatever I chose to do.



Thing is I don't want it to be "VegFest" I want it to be a company name that I will use to plan next years fest if that makes sense.

Ideas?
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#27 Old 02-12-2009, 12:28 PM
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I was going to go get some materials printed up today when I realized - I have a printer in storage here somewhere. I hooked it up, but it won't print because it's out of blank ink SO I went and got some .



I haven't tested it yet but hopefully I can get it working because that's way cheaper than going to a printing place.

I've started gathering flyers from various organizations to have, and have written up a couple of my own that I'm still tweaking.



I can't do much now until I take a map of the park and draw out where the booths, stage, etc are going to be. The only other speed bump right now is that John said that he talk to the superintendent and was told that the limit for special events now is 1000 people TOTAL, including vendors. Mind you, I don't know if this first one will get even close to that big...but man, I like to dream big.



I also can't do much until I get this darn printer working!

I got a sticker today from vistaprint for my car that has the name of the festival and our website, so maybe that will help some with publicity. Also received my business cards, except I accidentally typoed the hours. It says 10-7 instead of 11-7. My original plan was to go correct them, but instead I'm going to take someone's suggestion and talk to the even planner about changing the actual even to be from 10-7.



Much easier.
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#28 Old 02-13-2009, 07:03 AM
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For some reason my printer's color ink won't work so I changed the logo from the carrot to something I actually like better:





I also made this video to go on the website, blog, etc. I was SO nervous and had to redo it multiple times. But figured I would share. It also isn't all that great of quality because I had to use my digital camera's video feature. Ugh and excuse my hair I just couldn't get it to look right - bah!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hHRgfjWrm-s



That's the link, but they are still "processing" it so its not officially up yet
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#29 Old 02-13-2009, 08:14 AM
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video is up
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#30 Old 02-14-2009, 03:27 PM
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Oh man so cool! I just got a call from someone in Florida. Someone from asheville's vegetarian group sent her an email. She is going to be sending in some free food, though we'll be putting up a donation jar there.



I'm so excited
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