Friday, April 18, 2008

Kicking into high gear.

When we started planning, here was the thinking (I have a thing for alliteration): 
  • 4th Quarter ‘07—prepare: Seek major sponsors, upload skeleton website, prep/write/design marketing/collateral materials, complete comprehensive plan, finalize performers/times, find workshop locations, information to Union Station
  • 1st Quarter ‘08—prime: Promote as background (mention, don’t highlight), seek major and minor sponsors/ad sales, build volunteer base, plan fundraisers if needed, get detailed info from troupes and instructors, update site with more details
  • 2nd Quarter ‘08—preview: Increase promotion by troupes, info to long-deadline media (magazines), aggressive ad sales, class promo and registration begins, information to web calendars
  • 3rd Quarter ‘08—promote: Confirm information in web calendars, monthly-to-weekly press releases, aggressive class and show promotion, posters and handbills out
The good news is, we're only behind on a couple of things: 
  • The marketing materials (with the exception of sponsor sheets and ad rate cards) aren't as far along as I'd hoped. Setting up a meeting with design folks this week to get things moving again.
  • We don't have the information we need from all of the troupes. Still.
We can make up the time on those...I may just have to take a couple of vacation days to do it.

Our first all-troupe meeting is tomorrow. We're asking for more active participation from the performing troupes this year, for a few reasons. It takes the pressure off our planning committee—so they're less likely to burn out. The more engaged the groups are, the more likely they are to promote the festival to their audiences. And honestly, every troupe who performed last year got something out of the festival—whether it was exposure, respect from other troupes, opportunities to study, getting to know other local improvisers, or partying with the national acts. 

Because of that, all the groups that still exist are coming back: ComedyCity, CounterClockwise Comedy, Improv Abilities, Hype 7 and The Trip Fives. Most of Tantrum performed as 2 Much Duck—we lost Steve and added Nikki and Michael this time around. Roving Imp and Makeshift Militia were just getting started and Exit 16, Full Frontal and Scriptease (aka Fakers) were around, but didn't play. (We've also added a Sunday show.)

And Improv-Abilities has taken over as the sponsor. That feels really good to me—Spontaneous Combustion (two names ago) started off as a way for Lighten Up members to meet others passionate about the same things (uh...beer and improv). I like the idea of a troupe taking ownership of the festival, and Improv-Abilities is absolutely the right one to do it. 

So, here we go...

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