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  1. #1
    Advanced BHUZzer Christina K's Avatar
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    Community calendars and overlapping events

    As an event producer, I understand how hard it can be to nail down a date with a visiting teacher and a venue to hold an event in. We producers all work very hard to create wonderful dance events for the community, sometimes juggling dates to avoid planning for a weekend that already has a local event going on.

    The question is, do we have a responsibility to the community to not plan events for weekends that already have events planned? I'm not talking about a local teacher's 2 hour workshop for her students, but ones where instructors are being flown in, hotels and venues are being booked, shows are being planned, and advertising dollars are being spent.

    Should we be mindful of the community and risk either postponing or canceling an event if the date we want is "taken," or should it be every promoter for herself (or himself) no matter what's going on during a particular weekend? After all, we are running a business, right?

    I ask this because of the three events I've had a hand in promoting over the past year, two of them have had a competing event placed on the same weekend after our dates were confirmed, announced, and advertised. Is this the norm or acceptable or am I just being overly sensitive about it because of how much time, money, and energy I invest into my events?


  2. #2
    Official BHUZzer sblanck's Avatar
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    Re: Community calendars and overlapping events

    I think its a 50/50 problem. I grew up in this activity and sat by and watched while some event coordinators worked together as not to overlap and others who just plain scheduled on top of someone else deliberatly. I think you could easily avoid schedule conflicts with big shows with flown in stars. But there will always be someone who will stomp on your flower garden to be spiteful. You have to do the best you can.


  3. #3
    Advanced BHUZzer Christina K's Avatar
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    Re: Community calendars and overlapping events

    I honestly don't think the other events were scheduled maliciously. I barely even know the other event producer and have no bad history with her. I think it's just a question of checking calendars and staying in the loop as to what else is going on in the community.


  4. #4
    Mega BHUZzer indigostars's Avatar
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    Re: Community calendars and overlapping events

    In this recent incident, do you think that everyone in the community should check all calendars? I ask, because while I know there are some people who like both tribal and cabaret, I would say that the people who attend your workshop are going to be largely different than the people who attend the other one, regardless of when they're held.

    However, I do understand in this economy the few people who might overlap may make the difference financially.


  5. #5
    Advanced BHUZzer _Tanya_'s Avatar
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    Re: Community calendars and overlapping events

    I think if the events in question are targeting the same demographic as you are then a polite note may not be a bad thing. You can send her a complimentary email and let her know that you would love to avoid double scheduling. Give it a tone that is non-accusatory and is more helpful for both parties involved.

    If the other event is not really effecting your turn out (ex. a gothic bd workshop weekend on the same weekend as a folkloric workshop weekend) I would let it go.


  6. #6
    Ultimate BHUZzer Tourbeau's Avatar
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    Re: Community calendars and overlapping events

    I think it is good business sense to take into account whether you are going to conflict with another major event in your area or even a MAJOR! event in a nearby city (by the latter, I mean not just plain workshops, but dance retreats, established annual events, or workshops with cream-of-the-crop teachers where you would find a much bigger draw than normal). There are only a finite number of dancers in any given area, and most of them have a finite budget to pay for events, to say nothing of the inability to be in two places at once. It is not only unprofessional and inconsiderate to intentionally schedule something opposite another dancer's event, but it just creates unnecessary drama by forcing potential participants to choose between you. Of course, if someone is habitually and intentionally scheduling things to conflict with what you are doing, that is a problem, but the only thing you can do about it is put out good publicity in advance of your event and be civil about it. It doesn't benefit your image in the community to sink to complaining about it to other dancers or trying to lure people from her event to yours. You can try to talk to the offending promoter in advance of planning your next event, but if she has been doing this on purpose, you probably won't be able to reason with her anyway. You'll just have to hope that eventually people will see it for what it is and decide that they'd prefer to support what you are doing because you don't look like a vindictive nutball.


  7. #7
    Master BHUZzer andalee-oriental's Avatar
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    Re: Community calendars and overlapping events

    Quote Originally Posted by mihri View Post
    As an event producer, I understand how hard it can be to nail down a date with a visiting teacher and a venue to hold an event in. We producers all work very hard to create wonderful dance events for the community, sometimes juggling dates to avoid planning for a weekend that already has a local event going on.

    The question is, do we have a responsibility to the community to not plan events for weekends that already have events planned? I'm not talking about a local teacher's 2 hour workshop for her students, but ones where instructors are being flown in, hotels and venues are being booked, shows are being planned, and advertising dollars are being spent.

    Should we be mindful of the community and risk either postponing or canceling an event if the date we want is "taken," or should it be every promoter for herself (or himself) no matter what's going on during a particular weekend? After all, we are running a business, right?

    I ask this because of the three events I've had a hand in promoting over the past year, two of them have had a competing event placed on the same weekend after our dates were confirmed, announced, and advertised. Is this the norm or acceptable or am I just being overly sensitive about it because of how much time, money, and energy I invest into my events?
    I think people should be mindful of others within a specific community, but not state-wide or anything. In our area we have many groups who host stuff and everyone is really good about planning things as to not conflict with others. We even have a special calendar where you can look before hand, in addition to several list servs. It works really well and it is great for community morale.

    Maybe if you came up with a good system...Like a yahoo group or google calendar where the event planners in your area you could cross-check and cross-promote events.

    I mean sometimes there really isn't much of a choice, but if people plan early enough ahead, they should be able to elimnate conflicts like this.


  8. #8
    Mega BHUZzer aazura's Avatar
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    Re: Community calendars and overlapping events

    Quote Originally Posted by Tourbeau View Post
    I think it is good business sense to take into account whether you are going to conflict with another major event in your area or even a MAJOR! event in a nearby city (by the latter, I mean not just plain workshops, but dance retreats, established annual events, or workshops with cream-of-the-crop teachers where you would find a much bigger draw than normal). There are only a finite number of dancers in any given area, and most of them have a finite budget to pay for events, to say nothing of the inability to be in two places at once. It is not only unprofessional and inconsiderate to intentionally schedule something opposite another dancer's event, but it just creates unnecessary drama by forcing potential participants to choose between you. Of course, if someone is habitually and intentionally scheduling things to conflict with what you are doing, that is a problem, but the only thing you can do about it is put out good publicity in advance of your event and be civil about it. It doesn't benefit your image in the community to sink to complaining about it to other dancers or trying to lure people from her event to yours. You can try to talk to the offending promoter in advance of planning your next event, but if she has been doing this on purpose, you probably won't be able to reason with her anyway. You'll just have to hope that eventually people will see it for what it is and decide that they'd prefer to support what you are doing because you don't look like a vindictive nutball.
    I agree. Whenever I plan events, I always check around to find "open" dates. It depends on your community, but if you're friendly and respectful to the other producers, then they will likely be the same towards you. It makes no sense to schedule major events on the same day/weekend. It's a lose-lose-lose situation: both you and the other producer lose out by cutting your market in half and the participants lose out on the opportunity to attend both events if they so desire and are able.


  9. #9
    Advanced BHUZzer Christina K's Avatar
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    Re: Community calendars and overlapping events

    indigostars and Tanya....

    Our event is a tribal fusion one while the other event is purely Egyptian, so you're right in that we're not targeting exactly the same demographic. There are several dancers in the area (myself included) who cross genres though and who will be having to make a choice, if they go to either event. I do know that there were some who chose the other event over ours the last time this happened though (they emailed and told me so), and that's what worries me about two-events-one-weekend thing becoming a trend.

    Our Sunday workshop is universal though... a wonderful one on how to take care of your bellydance body from a qualified person. There is also a Breast Cancer Benefit that afternoon, which is why I am offering only a morning workshop and my guest instructor is performing in the benefit. The benefit will be primarily Oriental performers and I'd hate to see it suffer because of the competing workshops as well.

    As for a community calendar, up until recently there was one in our area (and by area I don't mean state... I mean a major city metro area). Many promoters do list their events there and also check for open dates before planning events, but there's no way to police it or require all promoters to do so. Some promoters go so far as to directly contact everyone they know in the area who plans events to "clear" their date before booking it.

    I know my original post and my circumstances probably sound whiny and I know that I'm not the first person to deal with this (not even in our community). I'm really and honestly looking for open discussion about the subject of scheduling competing events. Should we be more community-minded, more business-minded, or is there a happy medium?
    Last edited by mihri; 02-27-2009 at 01:55 PM. Reason: added some stuff


  10. #10
    Mega BHUZzer indigostars's Avatar
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    Re: Community calendars and overlapping events

    I think being mindful of what else is going on is not only community minded but also business minded. People can't be at two places at once!

    As a student, it would be way easier to find out things from one big calendar than have to keep my eye out on Bhuz, tribe, and the dance studio I attend.


  11. #11
    Advanced BHUZzer _Tanya_'s Avatar
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    Re: Community calendars and overlapping events

    Speaking as a dancer, I would say we absolutely need to be more community minded. We are considered "fringe" by most standards and the only way for such fringe ventures to thrive is to band together to strengthen the group and the individuals. Your events in question, though not directly targeting the same demographic, are closely related. Like I stated before a carefully worded email is probably in order, it may have been a mistake the first time but if a pattern starts to develop then you have a problem.

    As a person whose main income is in the business world I would have to say sometimes you have to suck it up and take the punches where they land. Try to not take this type of thing personally, even if the other event promoter did have a problem with you, treat it as a business dealing and often times in business there is no room for emotion and feeling. If this other event is impacting on your revenue, step up your advertising, offer more bang for the buck and give participants more reasons to come to your event then the other one. Make your event invaluable, even though it already sounds pretty great.

    Lastly I do think we need to be aware of local events when scheduling for our area. I think it's bad business to step on someone's toes. I also think it's bad business to pick a weekend with a conflicting event because you are forcing your target audience to choose and there's a chance that they won't choose yours. My business and dance thinking is that in order to ensure a successful event (and money making opportunity) event promoters should be aware and mindful of the community schedule. But like undercutters and 6 week wonders there are some things that we can't control and knowing how to deal with the situations when they arise is almost as important as avoiding them all together.


  12. #12
    Master BHUZzer casbahdance's Avatar
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    Re: Community calendars and overlapping events

    When Mom and I started our festival 11 years ago, it was simply common business sense that had us make sure we weren't in conflict with other long-time, major events!

    This was the calendar of major events in SoCal at that time:

    Feb: Tonya & Atlantis' BDUC (Los Angeles)

    June: MECDA's Cairo Carnivale (Los Angeles)

    July: SAMEDA Faire (San Diego)

    Oct: Bedouin Bazaar (San Diego)

    In addition to these really big events, Anaheed in Los Angeles hosted one or two big "swap meets;" usually one was in March and the other in September.

    These were events I knew about at the time and could plan around. We selected early April because it was the greatest distance in time between major events and didn't run into holidays. Over the past few years, as our festival became known, I've had representatives from other groups in the region call me to confirm my date so they wouldn't plop something on top of it -- to their benefit as well as mine.

    When we make the effort to avoid date conflicts, everybody wins. I can't possibly know 9-12 months in advance about every show/showcase/workshop/hafla/you-name-it in the area -- and neither can anyone else -- I think we just have to get as much info as we can, from as many sources as we can, when planning relatively major events.

    Deborah


  13. #13
    Mega BHUZzer Anjela's Avatar
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    Re: Community calendars and overlapping events

    Christina, I am sad to hear that you have had such frustrating experiences in scheduling. :(

    It seems like the larger the community, the harder it is to avoid scheduling things at the same time. When I lived in Iowa, it drove me crazy that a month or even two months could go by without a hafla or workshop to go to. That was never a problem for me living in Chicago or the Twin Cities--there's something pretty much every weekend. There are only so many weekends a year, and several of those aren't great options due to holidays, so it must be hard if there are many people all vying for those coveted Saturdays and Sundays.

    Reading about this makes me grateful that the Twin Cities has a Guild that maintains a fairly comprehensive calendar. I don't think there are ever any haflas or workshops that aren't listed there, because all of the working dancers and many of the students know that it really is the "one-stop shop" for TC bellydancing events. If you look at February, you can see that pretty much every Saturday has "competing" events.
    Guild Calendar


  14. #14
    Official BHUZzer safiradokos's Avatar
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    Re: Community calendars and overlapping events

    What I would do is reach out to the other producer that I didn't know very well and have a giggle about it. Laugh about how funny it is that you both picked the same weekend, great minds think alike and all, and then suggest that you keep in touch in the future to avoid the same problem. Make it friendly and about business...you don't want to run the risk of cutting into each other's profits.

    If you make efforts with other producers in the area, it will make you look friendly and open and start the communication flowing. It won't be a perfect fix, but it should help.


  15. #15
    Fotia
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    Re: Community calendars and overlapping events

    Mihri, I think these events are far enough geographically and in the nature of the events that it will not particularly effect either the benefit or the tribal workshop. As a whole though if people can stagger these events, I do think that is the ideal way to do it, if it is possible. I know you are particularly mindful of that yourself.


  16. #16
    Advanced BHUZzer Christina K's Avatar
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    Re: Community calendars and overlapping events

    Although my own situation is the reason for my posting this, I would like this thread to be about events in general being over the same weekend, not about my event being scheduled over by another one. I know this issue is not unique to me and I would like to know how everyone feels about this as a community issue, not as my issue.


  17. #17
    Fotia
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    Re: Community calendars and overlapping events

    I'm sorry, Christina, I didn't mean it that way. You have a very, very valid point.


  18. #18
    Advanced BHUZzer Christina K's Avatar
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    Re: Community calendars and overlapping events

    Quote Originally Posted by Fotia View Post
    I'm sorry, Christina, I didn't mean it that way. You have a very, very valid point.
    No apology necessary. I've already decided to just let it go due to the two events being of two different styles and the fact that I just don't think the other sponsor consulted a community calendar before planning her event. Not much I can do about it now. I just wanted to start a conversation about it here and see what others thought about these kinds of things happening, how we can avoid them, and even if we should avoid them.


  19. #19
    Kimahri
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    Re: Community calendars and overlapping events

    Quote Originally Posted by mihri View Post
    No apology necessary. I've already decided to just let it go due to the two events being of two different styles and the fact that I just don't think the other sponsor consulted a community calendar before planning her event. Not much I can do about it now. I just wanted to start a conversation about it here and see what others thought about these kinds of things happening, how we can avoid them, and even if we should avoid them.

    "if we should avoid them"....absolutely! In addition to the business standpoint there's an important perception standpoint. A one-off scheduling conflict could be a coincidence, but organizers that repeatedly schedule head-to-head with competing events aren't doing themselves any favors in the reputation department.

    "how can we avoid them"....much trickier! There are situations where the other organizer knows of other events and truly believes that they are far enough apart in distance or different enough in content that the same date doesn't matter. There are also organizers don't participate in the greater dance community, so the fact that other events are going on and that maybe they should do some groundwork first doesn't occur to them. Also, with so many newbie organizers out there the whole idea that their event may be perceived as crashing in on another or that with every event they are building a reputation sails over their heads. I love that line from Bull Durham "the world is made for people who aren't cursed with self awareness" ..l;,

    Unfortunately like so many other situations where you can't make the other person care and/or get a clue all you can do is focus on the things you can control, promote the hell out of your event, and make sure it is a positive experience for the participants.

    ~~Kimahri


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