Summer's here and it’s the season of festivals. Seafood festivals, food festivals, music festivals … you get the idea. But did you ever wonder who creates all those events, bringing together the food, music and vendors?
For one of Southern California's new festivals, it's Howard Mauskopf, a former advertising exec who's making a living at putting together festivals all over the state.
The New World FEST (for "Festival of Eco-friendly Science and Technology"), scheduled for Oct.7-9 in Santa Monica, is a three-day celebration of eco-friendliness, sustainability, and technological innovations that work toward those goals. Mauskopf said the New World FEST is different from other events he has produced because of its greater sense of purpose.
“We must learn to live smarter, healthier and more sustainably, and this event presents that in a fun way. It can really make a difference,” he said.
From coast to coast
Mauskopf has come a long way since owning a small New York advertising agency in the 1980s. Back then, he never dreamed it would lead him to producing some of the most talked-about events in California.
But after getting involved with helping the New York Mets improve their event production, he realized he had a knack for it. In 1995 Mauskopf moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in event production. His first event, a food show called the Los Angeles Garlic Festival, drew 26,000 people over three days.
Amid his early success, Mauskopf had to learn the ups and downs of the event planning business, which include having to guess how many people will show up and, therefore, how much money you have to spend.
“The question becomes whether you spend money early on promotion to drive content procurement, or wait to use that money to get people through the turnstiles with ads and marketing,” Mauskopf told BusinessNewsDaily.
Thinking social and strategic
The Internet and social media, of course, have changed the way Mauskopf does business.
The wide exposure and low marketing costs they offer have been invaluable to event producers. Leveraging search engines and social media, which allow people of similar interests to interact, spreads the word about festivals and increases pre-event sales.
Mauskopf also develops strategic marketing alliances with companies that can help publicize his events. These arrangements involve branding, exposure, and reciprocity between an event and its corporate sponsors, many of which have a product or service that fits the event’s theme.
“I like alliances with high-trafficked retailers that involve the placement of literature in their many locations,” Mauskopf commented. “I believe it adds credibility to an event and its brand to see it promoted in a famous coffeehouse or bookstore.”
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