So You Wanna Go to a Party?
What’s it like to help promote the biggest party every year in Alaska? We’re talkin’ a 12-day-bring-us-your-gigantic-vegetables-just-try-and-decide-which-fun-thing-to-do-first-300,000-guest-list-kinda party. Well…it’s BIG. At the Alaska State Fair it’s go big or go home and the team there can’t do all of it by themselves. That’s where I come in.
Four years ago, Brilliant Media Strategies started working closely with the State Fair. Initially, I began by the making promotion and radio recommendations for the daily concerts in the Borealis Theater, television production for overall attendance/events and TV commercial placement for the concerts. You know, the usual advertising agency projects.
The relationship has progressed the past couple of years into writing more than 12 marketing plans (12 concerts – 12 target audiences), taking on project coordination, working closer with artists’ management on behalf of the Fair and all media planning and placements. It’s dozens and dozens of tasks to make it a success. It’s media placement, public relations, budgets, media vendors, showbiz and so much more. That means in July and August I can work 10- to 15-hour days.
It’s a lot of work, but it’s also a labor of love and a match made in professional heaven for me. Born and raised in the Mat-Su Valley, I grew up working the fair with my parents, going with friends and generally eating my way through the fair with friends! The Fair has been a part of my life for a long time; the only thing that’s changed is they’re a client as well.
It’s a close working relationship where we have each other on speed dial, and one where being available 24-hours-a-day can take on new meaning. Last year when Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo canceled on a Sunday night three weeks prior to the concert (which by the way, had been confirmed the previous December), we collaboratively wrote and executed a new game plan in five days later resulting in Jason Derulo taking the spot. Oh, and that was one of the most successful concerts of the whole series. No big deal.
The mission each year is to enhance the fairgoer’s experience. All advertising and marketing decisions are made with this in mind. Whether it’s creating and producing new digital ads, e-newsletters targeting specific groups or hosting pre-concert parties where fans have opportunities to meet their favorite artists and gain early entry into shows, we’re all about giving everyone the best fair experience possible. And yes, you can thank me for winning those front row seats to Jim Gaffigan last year!
Right now, it’s approximately T-minus 306 days (but who’s counting, really?) until the guests start arriving again. I am more than ready, and beyond that, I’m excited for the party.
Meg Voss is Brilliant’s Associate Media Director. She’s our tourism and promotions extraordinaire, with over 28 years of experience. She’s forgotten more about agency media buying than most in her field have ever known.