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PO Box 7547
Tahoe City, California 96145
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Phone: 530-583-5605
Fax: 530-581-5101
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California/Nevada Festivals & Events Association

Helping members to achieve the goals of their festivals and events by providing networking, education, and leadership development opportunites.

We do this to enhance the quality of life in our communities and promote a better understanding of special events.



CalFest 21st Annual Convention

January 20-22, 2015
Hyatt Regency Hotel & Spa -  Monterey

Get into the Swing of Things with CalFest!

CalFest is pleased to be hosting its 21st Annual Convention in beautiful Monterey, California.  Situated on the Central Coast of California, kayaking, scuba diving, surfing, whale watching and golf are just some of the activities to be enjoyed in and around Monterey.  It's the home to the world-renowned Monterey Bay Aquarium that delights and educates millions of visitors every year.  Other areas of interest, to visitors, are Cannery Row, Fisherman's Wharf and the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary where you'll see harbor seals, sea otters and pelicans in their natural habitat.

The CalFest Convention, scheduled for January 20-22, 2015, will feature sessions on public relations, social media, sponsorship, working with volunteers, risk management, and almost everything else you need to know when putting on a festival or event in your community.  Additionally, the CalFest Convention is The Place for the best networking opportunities with your peers in the State of California and Nevada.

Convention Registration is now openTo make your hotel reservations, click on


CalFest Celebration Awards

CalFest Celebration Awards are your opportunity to share your best promotional campaigns and marketing ideas.  As a winner, you can promote your event to your community, sponsors and attendees as "an award winning event."

The 2015 Celebration Awards will be announced at the 21st Annual CalFest Convention & Expo

To enter, click on CalFest Celebration Awards


Separate Registration Required
Constance Aguilar, Strategic Communications Director
The Abbi Agency - Reno, NV
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Hyatt Regency Hotel, Monterey, California

This day-long workshop will cover the ins and outs of digital communications to promote an event and empower its brand recognition amongst new and exisitng audiences.  It is designed to approach social media strategy, as a whole, and will give tactical advice to attendees on how to harness the power of social media, blogs and other forms of engagement online to lend recognition to your event.  It will teach how to leverage strategies and trends online such as Hash tags, cross-channel compaigns and social contesting to engage fans and gain notoriety for an event.  The presentation will feature stunning examples of event success using social media and takeaways to implement the tactics for any budget.

To register:  Digital Commnications and Social Media Workshop


CalFest Convention Sessions
Tuesday, January 20


One-day Workshop
Separate registration required (see above)

Expo Setup

Welcome Session
Gary Gilligan, Mtn. Mandarin Festival, Auburn, CA

Welcome Reception

CalFest Expo & Showcasing

The 19th Hole - Sponsored by Valley Decorating

Wednesday, January 21

Powering Your Future
Ty Polastri, President, Entersport, Zephyr Cove, NV
Many times it's not what we know, but how we speak about what we know that mobilizes our actions, resources and relationships to produce our intended outcomes in very powerful ways.  In this fun and non-traditional experiential process, you will be invited to take a fresh look at your organizational goal and then share it with others.  You can expect high energy, clarity of purpose, and new friends and colleagues to help power your future.

Connecting to the Guest and Staff to Create Loyalty
Dr. John Avella, Executive Director of Hospitality Programs
California State University, Monterey
Have you ever considered the benefit of loyal guests?  Dr. Avella will lead you through a session about how to create unique emotional experiences, the most important connection points, reaching the guest with verbal and non-verbal clues and how to set a positive tone.

Expanding Existing Events
Gina Dart, Marketing and Special Events Manager, Downtown Long Beach Associates

This session will address how to determine high performing events through surveys and data collected, help you develop tools for expanding and improving upon them each year and make an event a signature for your town.

Sponsorship:  The Basics
Toni Bodenhamer, Toni Bodenhamer & Co., Santa Rosa, CA
Just starting out?  New to the sponsorship sales/service role?  Trying to figure out why you aren't having the success you'd hoped for?  This session is for you!  We'll identify how sponsorship and fundraising differ, what sponsors want today and how it works for community level events.  We'll talk about designing and pricing a sponsorship program, and how to set things up so you can renew 75% or more of your sponsors.

Controlling Security Costs
Kurt Svardal, Police Captain, Gilroy Police Department/Past President Gilroy Garlic Festival
What's the best way to keep security costs down?  Captain Svardal will present the history of the security plan for the Gilroy Garlic Festival and ways they've managed to control the cost of security while maintaining a trouble-free event.

Creating Community Through Event Sources
Sunday Minnich, Executive Director, Morgan Hill Mushroom Mardi Gras
Learn the benefits of sharing resources, co-op marketing and advertising and public policy with other organizations and event planners who hold events in your community.

Networking Lunch and CalFest Expo
CalFest Membership Meeting

Hands-on Decorating
Ingrid Lundquist, The Lundquist Co., Sacramento
Gail Stewart, Special Event Consultant, Valencia, CA
With the Hyatt Regency Monterey located on the Del Monte Golf Course, the theme for this year's convention is golf related.  You can help transform the ballroom into a golfers' paradise as Gail and Ingrid lead you through decorating tricks and tips.

Revitalizing Your Event
Kathleen Sheridan, Hollister Downtown Association

Using Hollister's "Lights on Celebration" as an example, thie discussion will explore how to refresh your event and mot it forward into the future while building consensus and buy-in from the community.

What Happens IF:  The Stage Collapses, Horses Run Wild, the Black Powder Shoot Backfires, Little Johnny rides off on your Golf Cart; and Grandma gets Food Poisoning
Dale Johnson, CFEE, Francis L. Dean & Assoc., Ft. Wayne, IN
This session will share some ideas and concepts, you can use, regarding loss control, risk management and insurance guidelines.

Conversation Group:  Marketing
Melody Brunsting, Melody's Ad Works, Wildomar, CA

Conversation Group:  Sponsorship
Carol Popejoy, Temecula Valley Balloon & Wine Festival
Brian Bowe, Gilroy Garlic Festival

Putters' Dinner and Costume Contest
Monterey and championship golf go hand-in-hand, just like the CalFest Annual Dinner and Costume Contest.  Come in your favorite (or vintage) golf attire and be ready to collect your trophy.  Here's your chance to show off your short skorts, traditional plaid and ugly golf pants.  You can also use the dinner as an excuse to buy a logo golf shirt from Pebble Beach, Spy Glass or the Del Monte Golf Course.

The 19th Hole
Sponsored by Valley Decorating, join your host "Mr. Tall," James Offen, at the after-hours gathering spot in the President's House.  Reconnect with old friends and meet newcomers.  You're guaranteed to hear the latest scoop on what's happening in the events industry.

Thursday, January 22

Keynote Speaker

Patrick Gallagher, Executive Vice President, Marketing, Partnerships and Communications
San Francisco Bay Area Super Bowl 50 Host Committee

Thursday, January 22, 2015

In his role with Super Bowl 50, Gallagher is responsible for all of the marketing, partnerships and communications related to the planning, operations and delivery of the 50th anniversary Super Bowl and the activities leading up to Super Bowl Week in the Bay Area.  Super Bowl 50 will be held February 7, 2016 at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara.

Gallagher, one of the longest serving executives in San Francisco Giants history, is credited with being among the most creative marketing and business minds in professional sports, entertainment and the visitor industry during his 40-year career.

Pat was the Giants first Director of Marketing in 1976, coming to the club from posts at Marine World/Africa USA and Sea World theme parks, where he got his start as an hourly seasonal employee.

As the Giants senior vice president/business operations during 23 of the "Candlestick Park" years, he gained national recognition for promotional flair with legendary thematic marketing campaigns aimed at selling tickets and generating a personality for the notoriously cold and windy ball park.

He was a major contributor to the design and development of the Giants acclaimed waterfront ball park, AT & T Park, creating the park's original marketing plan, and securing the naming rights, key corporate sponsors and establishment of the Charter Seat License concept.  Among his other contributions to the ballpark were the Coca-Cola "Fan Lot" with landmark Coke Bottle and three-finger baseball glove, the "Splash Landing" feature on McCovey Cove, and introduction of the first technology-based secondary ticket market in sports, the forerunner to StubHub and variable ticket pricing.

He served the City of San Francisco as chairman of the San Francisco Convention and Visitors Bureau, first chairman of the City's Tourism Properties, on the board of the California Chamber of Commerce, and president of Big Brothers/Big Sisters of the Peninsula.

Advanced Sponsorship & Success Stories
Peter Bellas, President, All Access Entertainment, Los Angeles, CA
Bill Kay, Executive Producer, All Access Entertainment, Los Angeles, CA
Live events and festivals, especially those that are free to the public, require sponsor revenue to underwrite their production and profitibility.  Securing, soliciting and successfuly closing these sponsors are paramount.  AAE will share tips on advanced sponsorship and some of their success stories.

Cloud Based Event Management
Dan Green, CEO, The OMG Group, Monterey, CA
See how the Gilroy Garlic Festival is using the cloud to manage volunteers and vendors, maximizing social, broadcast and print media coverage and integrating mobile to streamline operations and provide an interactive guest experience.  See the view from the cloud!

Mobil 101:  Demystify Apps
Allan Isfan, CEO, MyEventsApps,
Smartphones are everywhere and festivals have begun to take notice.  Several case studies will be presented to help attendees learn about basic terms and trends, why festivals need apps, engaging youth through mobil, how apps are created, integrating sponsors into apps and generating new revenue,launching mobile apps, getting your board....on board, and the future of mobile and apps.

Radio Communications - The Most Efficient Way to Run a Safe and Successful Event!
Ann Martin, National Sales Manager, Communication Rental Service, San Jose, CA
Two-way radios are vital to the safety and security of any event.  Learn the new technology available to make your event a success.

How to Keep Downtown Merchants from Rebelling Against Your Event
Melody Brunsting, Present, Event Producer /Promoter, Melody's Adworks, Wildomar, CA
Discover the secret to keeping downtown merchants happy and willing to support your local events.  Simple techniques in demographic profiling, logistics and communication can maintain friendly open channels while enhancing the economics of your downtown district and make
cash registers ring.

How to Secure Rockstar Interns for Your Event Production
Fawna Ferguson, City of San Jose Office of Cultural Affairs 
College students apply for internships in every state and every year.  Whether it's for the learning experience, school credit, or a desire to get a foot in the door, interships are in high demand.  For organizations looking for a way to attract qualified college students to help them with their event or to save a little money by eliciting entry-leval help, developing an internship program can be a beautiful thing.  Simple steps will be provided to help you identify the needs of your organization, and how to recruit and secure the new Generation Y to provide you a new cutting edge to enlighten your organization.

Contracts (Details to be added)
Mike Rea, Haas & Wilkerson Insurance, Fairway, Kansas

Let's Have a Parade!
Ray Pulver, Upbeat Parade Productions, San Jose, CA
Are you thinking about starting a parade in your community or wondering how to upgrade the parade you have and make it more exciting?  This session will answer all of the questions you have about developing a first-class parade.

How do you get Things Done?  Municipality One-Stop-Shop Permitting
Jasmine Sullivan-Waits, Special Event Coordinator, City of Palm Springs
Whether you're looking for a permit for a marathon, parade, a bike ride for 10,000 riders or a festival downtown, the City of Palm Springs has a one-stop-shop permitting process. Learn about the reviewing process and how at the end of every Special Events Planning Meeting, the organizer leaves with a detailed outline of what the city will require in order to hold their special event.

Volunteers: Who They Are, Why They're so Important and How to Manage Them
Jarrett Bachman, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, California State University, Monterey Bay, College of Business
Volunteers can often be the lifeblood of a stellar event.  Find out more about who they are and how to successfully recruit, manage and retain effective volunteers and enhance your own event!

Conversation Group:  Parades
Bob and Maureen Hunt, Morgan Hill Independence Day Parade

Schedule subject to change


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