What’s in an event?

2015-07-23 06:00

WE often receive a number of funding inquiries from throughout our district and in many instances we provide sponsorships within certain key criteria.

Our job is to attract as many visitors as possible to the Greater South Coast so if an event locks in many and mostly overnight paying tourists that is a good indicator for support.

Secondly if an event has the potential to secure extensive media (electronic and hard copy) with a quantifiable value of exposure, the publicity worth is also factored into the funding mix.

If a sports, cultural, lifestyle arts, entertainment occasion creates an element of value adding for visitors during their stay, we believe the enhancement of visitor experience is critical in impressing our markets and securing repeat visitations. It is for this reason that we fund seasonal campaigns and add on events around our busiest holiday periods.

Funding cannot be on a never-never basis and as such, events have to show some sort of trend towards sustainability. We usually reduce funding over the short- term which then releases budget allocations towards new event initiatives. This approach I believe results in our destination having one of the busiest event calendars around.

One of the difficulties we face is the assessment of applicant budgets which are not as definitive as we would expect. One poor budget plan can blow the event profitability out of the water. We assist where we can but if we are not convinced that an event has financial legs we cannot render support.

There is the ever present assumption that government departments, municipalities and organisations like us are a treasure trove for grant funding and our concern is that a lot of event promoters are too ready to tap into taxpayer monies as opposed to going the private-corporate sector.

Some iconic events (Sani2C and Splashy Fen (in the Drakensberg) evolved from an idea that was pursued with passion and then the sponsors came knocking. Today those events do not require government funds and yet they are great success stories.

We would like to think the private sector drive coupled with some input from us and substantive support from corporate sponsors is an ideal meld for event success.

We are an eventing paradise so I am all ears to hear from those with a dream, the drive and the wherewithal to make things happen - it all benefits our tourism at the end of the day

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