SANTA CLAUSE IS COMING TO TOWN
Posted on 21st September 2021 at 19:51
In September 2020 a fellow industry friend rang me to talk me through an idea she’d had.
Santa, Covid-19 safe, drive through, elves, a workshop, a grotto, happy kids.
I’ll admit a part of me thought she was a complete nutter and that there was no way this idea could become a reality in the space of 3 months. But after a bit of research we found that drive through events were happening but not in Yorkshire so there was a space in the market. I spent half an hour drafting an email outlining the idea and fired it off to venues ranging from Hull to Huddersfield that I knew had good outdoor spaces. At this point my expectations were that the idea wouldn’t even begin to breathe but boy how wrong I was!
Mercure Hull Grange Park responded. Positively. I popped in to chat to the Sales Director who took the idea to the General Manager and then on the 28th October 2020 Larissa and I walked into a meeting to pitch a crazy dream. We left that meeting with the green light to go ahead and convert their car park into a Festive Wonderland – opening night was due to be 28th November, only one month later. Later when we were sat in the pub with a celebratory gin I think I can safely say we both wondered if we hadn’t bitten off waaay more than we could chew….
Planning, Baubles, Fairylights and more Planning
Jack of all trades, master of none….. That’s the saying isn’t it? Nope. It’s not an insult and in its entirety the saying is:
“Jack of all trades, master of none, though oftentimes better than master of one.”
This was the perfect description of me during the crazy months of November and December 2020. I have been working and performing in events of one kind or another since the age of 14 and this event was drawing on every bit of knowledge hidden away in my brain.
Finance and budgets.
Ticket sale admin.
Operations and logistics.
Experiences ranging from being part of a professional orchestra’s management team, administration skills from various roles, sales and event management. Performing to a crowd but this time dressed as an elf and not with my French horn to hide behind!
I’m not ashamed to admit that there were some definite moments of winging it especially in effective marketing, but I am proud of how my brain works. I am a hard worker and not scared of a challenge. I like order and I am organised. I’m one of those rare people that goes to Aldi with a shopping list and buys just what’s on the list. You can’t suck me in with special buys (unless it’s Harry Potter month)! Those skills meant that we got picked up by local papers and radio stations. Ticket buyers with queries had quick responses. Budgets were kept to. Outside power supply was negotiated to include a sponsorship to keep costs down.
Then came the gut kick of Lockdown 2.0 and we had to lose the first weekend of event dates. But despite all of the hurdles and challenges… Tickets sold out and we added additional dates!!
Santa Clause was most definitely in town and the planning is in full flow for doing it all again this year....!
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