City Festival - Children & Adults: The Atlanta Science Festival
City: Atlanta, Georgia
Date: March 29, 2014
Atlanta’s first ever Science Festival was a week-long celebration of local science and technology involving schools and colleges, community groups, museums and businesses. It culminated in a free, interactive day of demos, hands-on activities and stage shows. During planning, we were faced with the challenge of working not only with a large volunteer committee, but one with no experience in events. Additionally, we were forced to make the call to take the event indoors due to heavy rains. This required an incredible effort by management both to mobilize the rain contingency plan and inform the public of the change in location. With approximately 72 hours to doors, we were able to create a brand new floor plan and load-in schedule, make numerous changes with vendors, inform all exhibitors of the new plan, produce new signage and implement the “change in location” media campaign.
We assembled and managed the event team, and developed a sponsor program outlining levels of financial or in-kind participation. We also built a unique exhibitor package from scratch, to help the inexperienced and incredibly varied exhibitors successfully navigate the process. We developed strategies and procured services for lane closures; security; waste management and sanitation; entertainment; food and beverage; rentals; logistics; production schedule and budget management, among many other tasks. For marketing and volunteer management, we provided consultation and liaison to ensure proper communication and a solid plan to build upon in future years.
The result was a success beyond the hopes of all involved. Far from the hoped 5,000 attendees, approximately 15,000 attended – an unprecedented number for a first-time event. Particularly considering this last-minute change in plan we were flabbergasted when we achieved three times the goal for guest attendance and received rave reviews both from guests and exhibitors. Post-event media was extremely positive, showcasing Atlanta as a forward-thinking city, united in its dedication to the community and future progress.
2015 ADMEI ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS WINNER
BEST CREATIVE EVENTS – BEST PUBLIC EVENT