This past weekend I (through Sidekick Media Services) had the pleasure and privilege to be involved with the inaugural Millvale Music Festival.  I joined the group of organizers a few months back upon invitation from a colleague.  Here are some thoughts about the experience.

I got in on the ground floor.  I was able to be part of the planning process heading into the event, and was able to work with the committee to tailor certain things.  To put it into perspective how important it is to get in early, the event was last Saturday.  Since then, the organizing committee has already held a wrap-up meeting and is discussing the amazing turnout for this year’s event as well as how to capitalize on that for next year.  As part of the organizing committee, I can be part of those discussions.  In seeing how things went with this year’s video feeds, we are already talking about hosting video feeds for next year, including a potential to expand dedicated video feeds to other stages.

Speaking of video feeds, services can go a long way when negotiating a sponsorship.  As part of the Sidekick Media Services sponsorship for the Millvale Music Festival, we negotiated services in lieu of a specific monetary contribution.  It saved the committee having to pay for our services, ergo finding a sponsor to pay our fees, and saved me having to cut a check to the committee in the amount of the sponsorship.  There is still a monetary figure the sponsorship and services balanced out to.  And, I had to deliver the various items I signed on for – which included a live stream of my company’s namesake stage.  (Yep.  That was one of the perks.  I got to have one of the stages named after my company!) It turned out pretty well.  Having a Facebook video with 1.6K natural views (no boosting…yet) and 4.2K reach is most definitely not a bad thing.  Not to mention the additional people who attended the event in person and saw my logo on signage. (You can check out the video here to see how it’s doing, how great our logo looks on the stage signage, and how we tagged the festival as well as the business the stage was located in in our post.)

It is important to know your limitations.  I was invited to join the group by one of the other committee members.  He was familiar with some of the work I have done organizing other events, and is familiar with the services Sidekick Media Services offers.  It was a smart move on his part to utilize that relationship.  However, I realized a couple of weeks before the event itself that my schedule of availability had shifted and I would no longer be able to attend the festival day-of.  While there have been events I have turned down involvement with due to scheduling conflicts, this particular one was one that met my pro/cons analysis, and I really wanted to do what I could for the event.

It is also important to specifically identify criteria for which events, and how many events, you wish to donate time and resources to. There are some local businesses, for example, that specify they only donate products and services to specific benefits.  Their information states that if you are contacting them outside of their specific donation criteria that they will not donate to your event and will not respond to your inquiry.  They’re not being mean in doing so – they are being practical.  If I said “yes” to every individual who reached out to my business for a donation of services, I would never have time to cultivate clients and work on client projects to grow my business.  The time and resources needed to fulfill a commitment need to make sense for your business development.

At the end of the day, my involvement with the Millvale Music Festival was well worth the time and resources put into it.  I met a great network of individuals, and expanded my relationship with those I already had connections with.  The event was a huge success, and I am looking forward to being involved next year as well.