Frequently asked questions

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Frequently Asked Questions Full List


How are we going to fund this?
  • Who is going to do the work? We’re really not sure we can get volunteers.  We all seem to be too busy already.

  • How are we going to pay your fee?

  • Not sure people in the community will support it.

  • And the behind the scene question:  Some people are on boards for reasons of self interest only; how do we get them on really on board?

 

The answers are in a decision, “We are going to do this.”

These are the obstacles and questions we see every place we go.  Notice these fears and doubts come after everyone’s recognized it’s a good idea to do this.  After a few weeks every town that has worked with us agreed this was a great idea and wished they had started sooner; obstacles became nothing

It takes good leadership, and part of good leadership is recognizing an opportunity for what it is rather than what you want it to be.  Yes, it takes a team and details are important, however; the details are what we offer after you’ve made the decision to move forward.  The drive a leader takes should be to keep the momentum going and not give in to the naysayers and worry warts.  

f it’s agreed it’s a good idea feed thoughts of how to move forward.  Let’s come up with ways we’re going to do this.  (It’s never a good idea to feed your doubts and fears.)  If you have a team that only sees obstacles, you will not move forward and are wasting your time.  If people are in it for themselves only, these people will be exposed for what and who they are.

These are events to strengthen a community and in turn strengthen business as well.  These events are community driven first.  Leaders will become stronger and want to pass on their learned skills to others.



Other frequently asked questions:

Do you play a role in finding sponsorship for funding the event?
We guide you in the how and who to approach with information that will greatly contribute to your success in attaining sponsors.  It is important that the person making these connections is from your city.  It’s much harder to say no to someone you’re familiar with or share a connection with.  Some sponsors have budgets and this is a perfect time to start asking to be included in those budgets.  We help show you how to do this and give you valuable information to bring to them to influence their decision.

What role do you play in actually starting the event?

There are many ways we help to get you started, including timelines, permit information, band and vendor contracts, templates for banners, and so much more if you choose to use them.  We guide you through specifics to organize, start, and sustain the event.  In addition, we will be there for the first event.  We want you to own the event and know how to maintain and grow it to benefit your community for years to come.

How do we get entertainment?

We have a database of bands we offer access to and will also guide you in information when choosing bands. Some of this will be decided after you make the decision on how many weeks you want for the season.

    • Do we contact bands?  
      We can help you with this in order to save money or you can take this on yourself.  We recommend you let us help you with this.

    • Do we have a say in who performs?
      Absolutely! This is your event.

    • How do you get a better price on our local bands than we do?
      Our experience and connections gives more value; more bang for the buck.  Having other cities where we recommend bands, we can often work with a routing that makes it more efficient for a band go to certain areas where they might not have considered doing so at a lower price otherwise. There is specific criteria we require from bands that we recommend. This is also information we make available to you as a client of DownTown Events. 

How do we deal with city/police officials?

    • Is there direct involvement with the police?  We recommend direct involvement and we will help you guide them to see the positive aspects that will help their jobs be easier.  This is an opportunity to put a positive face on law enforcement.  (Please read Rapid City Police Chief’s quotes. One is listed below.  Steve Allender made these quotes while Police Chief, he is now Mayor of Rapid City--2016)

    • Should the city itself be involved?
      “Community engagement is a big aspect of an officer’s job, and far too often people think of civil service workers as only showing up when there’s a large problem.  Having an outdoor event series allows an opportunity to civil service workers to be a part of the community with a friendly face, or not, if necessary.” Steve Allender, Mayor of Rapid City (former Police Chief of Rapid).  We have recommendations for you and real-life experiences to show you on how cities have been involved.  

What do we do for vendors?

    • What is an appropriate fee? We have very specific information to help guide you in your first year and following years including fees, space, competition, and much more.  This is part of what you pay for so that you don’t have to try figure all this out.

    • How do we find more/better vendors? Some will approach you, some you will approach, others will begin to come out of the woodwork as word gets out and we’ll help you know how to have the best mix of vendors. 

How do we do beer sales?

There are several ways you can go with this.  We will go over all options with you and assist you in making the best decision for your city.  We have budget information for your review and use as well.

How do we keep our event family friendly?

Once you begin as an DownTown Events partner, we make available the many ideas we’ve seen work to make the event family friendly.  We also pass on new ideas that come from our connection with many cities each year.  We have seen cities forget about this aspect and wander way from this; only to wish they hadn’t.  Having families together brings excitement, enthusiasm, laughter and smiles. This, as well as consistency, will set your event apart and be a contributing factor to your success.  There are balances that will occur and areas that will become known as the kid-friendly area, others as the older-people’s area, etc.  People love moving around from one area to another.

How quickly do we need to go through the steps to start?

Making the decision to do something new is the hard part.  You should make this decision as soon as possible.  After you make that decision, the constructive thinking kicks in, “Okay, what do I need to do next?” This is when the productive and useful steps start.

    • Step one is to come together; agreeing you want to do this and decide who signs the contract. (Decide which entity will be the umbrella entity, which they may have done by this point; this would be the sponsoring organization as the umbrella organization; i.e. chamber, downtown association, visitors convention bureau or a city).  

    • We have the steps and guidelines for you to follow.  We’ve had towns start their event in as little as four weeks.  We prefer not to do it that way, but it is possible.

What do you do for us on our first night?  
We are there to support you and be your gophers on that first night.  We’ve been at the opening of many events.  We are completely confident you will be pleased as the first night gets under your belt.  There’s not much we haven’t seen at these events and experience is a big part of what you need.  The preparation we guide you through before the event will prove itself useful as you take ownership of your event.


What do you do after our first night?  
We have many guidelines to help you make a better event each week and each year, however, some cities only take on a little at a time, others want to do more and more each event.  We are consultants to coach you on what works and what doesn’t.  We continue to offer guidance from learned experiences through our work with events and also to share what others have learned or started new at their events.   We want your success, and your success means your communities success.

How do you know we’ll get people? 
You are going to be providing a free great music related event; it will draw people.  The reason people hire a consultant for anything is to maneuver through the unknown using experience as a guide.  To minimize risks businesses use sensible data and information.  When you follow our guidelines it contributes greatly to your success.  There are plenty of newspaper articles that back this up; we’ve included some of the links on our website.

Within a couple of years, weekly free music events become a part of the culture of a community. They create a sense of becoming and belonging to a community.  Many citizens know where they will be going that evening and communicate it to their social network inviting others to join in; often conveying the message, anyone who is anybody, will be downtown.    

    • Most see this as a wonderful venue for new people in town to get to know their downtown and mingle; experiencing a very inviting and inclusive place.

    • These events create a catalyst for public health impacts; breaking down barriers and encouraging people to engage.

    • It gives all community members an inexpensive event to bring their friends, family, and extended social contacts to; resulting in repeat visits and new members to the community.


What kind of turnout can we expect our first year?  
This is information, along with many other questions you may not have thought of yet are in the presentation we’d like to give you.  We have very specific information about what you can expect year one through year five. (i.e. We have information on expected revenue and tax revenue for year one through give we give you in the presentation.)

This information, along with many questions you may not have thought of, will be answered.  You will get plenty of people and make a positive impact on your community.  This is part of the experience that will receive to support your success.  (You can also visit our website and go to “the Power of Word of Mouth Strategies to Increase the Impact of Your Events.”)

How do we grow the event? Our guide eliminates the uncertainties and guides you through the many steps required to produce a successful event first year and how to grow from there. We provide many thriving ideas that work; however, it would be difficult to incorporate them all the first year.  As we get new ideas from different cities each year, we share them with you.  We are always looking out to help make a better event for the success of your community. We are here to guide you through the maze of starting and growing a weekly free entertainment event.

How many weeks should we do?
As consistency is a key factor to the success of your events, we recommend a minimum of 4 to start with a maximum of 8 the first year.  There are many factors we will discuss with you that will help guide you in this decision.


Who of your company will be involved with us?
Your Event Specialist will be your main contact, however, we are a team and work together as one.  Terri Dunwoody is the President of DownTown Events and heads up our sales force. Together with Scott and Mary Temple they work on everything that needs to be addressed. Depending on the specific requests, each will work on differing needs that will arise; often working together.  Scott is also a software engineer as well being experienced in many areas of the arts and entertainment.  Mary is a communications director and is also a freelance writer, experienced emcee, and performing musician.

What relationship with your company do we have the rest of the year/years to come?  
We make new ideas available to you each year.  Some clients choose to seek out these new ideas with us and others simply choose to use our contracts and band booking services.  The level of involvement is up to you.  We have found that cities that use what we offer them are more successful.   

Do we have to pay for extra involvement/advice after the first night? No, there are no additional charges; we are here to support you.  We are there the first night for you; however, we do not send someone each week.  We prepare you to know what to expect and how to make the correct decisions as different situations present themselves.   We continue to offer our consulting services to bring success to your team and ultimately to your community.


How is your fees determined?  
Our fee is based on the population of your city.

Do you have references from towns that have worked with your company?
Yes, we do.  We have references from City Counsel, Law Enforcement, Sponsors and many others.  You can also visit our website and read the many links we have to newspaper articles that have written of cities we’ve consulted with to get their events going
.

Who are they, can we talk to them?  
We have mayors, police chiefs, presidents of Chamber of Commerce’s, heads of Visitors Bureaus and others.  Yes, you can call them, however, we recommend you read what they wrote first and then call.

How many cities have you worked with?  
We have worked with 10 cities (as of 2018) and currently have many others coming on board.  Each city has seen success.  The hardest part for any of these cities was to commit to a decision to start.  Most have said they wished they hadn’t waited so long.  Cities that hold these events consistently make our fee back within 1-3 years.  The steps we guide you through are proven to work.  It took years and was very expensive for us to become skilled at the things that work, and also what doesn’t work.  We pass on the savings of money, time, and energy to bring success to your community.  We would have loved to have had a company like ours to guide us when we got started and this is why we offer it to you.



 




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