Montrose ACT to Host Event Seminar
by Beverly Corbell
Oct 22, 2011 | 1267 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MONTROSE — Two years ago, the City of Montrose acquired a portion of East Main Street from the state, allowing the street to be closed off for special events. This created a need for more coordination among event planners.

To help facilitate all the events in Montrose, both downtown and elsewhere, the Montrose Association of Commerce and Tourism is holding an event-planning workshop on November 1, from 12-1:30 p.m.

Jenni Sopsic, director of marketing and public relations for Montrose ACT, said this is the first time an event like this has been offered.

“It’s not so much of a workshop as it is a networking opportunity for meeting planners and organizers,” she said. “We partnered with the Downtown Development Authority to create opportunities for event planners to see if there are any partnerships out there.”

By partnerships, Sopsic is referring to coordinating events that might have formerly competed. For example, last May, the Montrose Wine Festival, the Black Canyon Ascent, and Mission to Ride were all held on the same weekend, and ended up promoting each other.

“They recognized the benefits of working with events the same weekend,” she said.

Large calendars will be placed around the room, so that event planners can mark down when their event is scheduled, and how it coincides with others, she said.

The meeting will also be a good opportunity for event planners to find out how to apply for funding from Montrose ACT. Sopsic said the organization has a Special Events Council that makes recommendations for funding to the board of directors. The budget for 2012 hasn’t been finalized, she said, but Montrose ACT will probably set aside about $32,000 to help event planners.

“This year we funded 17 different events,” she said. “We encourage them to use it for marketing, to help grow their numbers and draw people into Montrose.”

The workshop is free and lunch will be provided, Sopsic said. For more information call 970/249-5000.

Sopsic will speak at the workshop, as will Scott Shine, director of the Downtown Development Authority, but the meeting will be informal, she said.

But Sopsic has one surprise up her sleeve: she plans to unveil the new Event Resource Guide, compiled by her office, which answers many questions event planners might have, such as where to go for local photographers, how to get a liquor license, or how to reserve a city park for an event.

“We’re not going to answer every question, but hope that it will answer many questions,” she said. “It will also have tips on fundraising, seeking out and retaining volunteers, as well as caterers and venues.”

Shine said that he will be talking chiefly about holding events in the downtown area.

“Hopefully we’ll get a critical mass of events downtown, so that when people go downtown they expect something to be going on,” he said.

Being able to close off Main Street is a big impetus to having events downtown, Shine said, which in turn helps downtown merchants.

“We are learning a lot about how to coordinate events so it is beneficial to all downtown businesses and will continue to keep that focus,” he said.

In June of 2010, the city held a ceremony to celebrate the transfer of a portion of East Main Street from the state to the city; it was also the first year that Main in Motion, the weekly summer festival, was able to expand to the entire street instead of being restricted to sidewalks.

A closed-off Main Street also brought the Montrose Wine and Food Festival downtown for the first time this past summer, according to City Clerk Lisa DelPiccolo, as well as new events like the All Color Car show, and two city-sponsored garage sales last spring and this fall.

The Fall Fun Festival will be held for the first time on closed-off East Main Street on Oct. 29, DelPiccolo said.

“It used to be just a preschool Halloween contest in Centennial Plaza, but it’s also being planned as a fundraiser, with all proceeds going to (Montrose) elementary schools,” she said.

During the past year, the city has issued permits for almost 60 special events, which doesn’t include 12 Main in Motions, about 26 Farmers Markets on Saturdays, and another 12 Farmers Markets on Wednesday afternoons, DelPiccolo said.
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