October’s Panama City Beach Seafood, Music & Wine Festival was in my opinion a huge success. Now, some of my readers may think that I’m taking after many of the local media outlets in reporting things successful just because the TDC said it was, even though the numbers don’t support it. *cough- Summer White Sale -cough* But, I do believe it was a success because it was good for our area, and did something that was never before done with an event on Panama City Beach – provided good solid numbers that are irrefutable.
You see, some may scoff at the attendance of 9,526. But I say, what do you have to compare it to? Previous Indian Summer Music Festivals? You mean the events where 30,000 attendees were estimated, but never substantiated? You do know those numbers were pulled out of the air, don’t you. What about the Thunder Beach numbers? I was told by a reliable inside source that those numbers were also pulled out of the air. 60,000 attendees is VERY pie in the sky. But of course, to their credit, how could they determine their rally attendance – they don’t charge for anything. What has made it a success has also created limitations as to determining what it really is.
The single element that made the PCB Fest a success was that they came back to the table with real figures. The end result is clear and concise. Although the numbers aren’t what some had hoped, they are real none-the-less.
Jack Bishop said in the TDC meeting last week when he presented these numbers that they made some mistakes and learned a lot and to his credit, this is the first time he’s pulled anything like this off. Of course, he had help, but still, I think this is the most promising event we have right now for our area.
I attended and talked to countless people – many of which came down from Alabama and Georgia just for this event. In many instances the goal of this event, actually worked. I know Lee Sullival was critical of this event, and you know I was in the beginning as well, but kudos to Jack, CJ, and their team for not only putting on a good show, but bringing back some solid numbers that are real and will help us build not only this event, but others in the future.
Please enjoy the stats below:
- First festival in area to offer advance discount tickets online
- First tickets sold online were to Troy, Missouri
- Total attendance over the 3 days = 9526
- Zip Codes of Pre Sale Tickets were 62% out of Bay County
- Parking lot surveys taken during the evening hours of the festival reflect a 40% non Florida attendee!
- The Largest supporting areas outside of Florida are Alabama & Georgia respectively
- Percentage of all tickets sold were sold in advance online = 28.21%
- Percentage of tickets sold that were 3-day = 15.3%
- There were 17,566 unique visitors to the official festival website: www.panamacitybeachfest.com July-Oct 2008
- In-Kind marketing partners provided an estimated $300,000+ in advertising of the event between July-Oct
- Marketing efforts were focused on drive-to markets and included an emphasis on AL, GA, TN, MS, LA and Florida and included radio, television, outdoor, print, internet and over 2.25 million e-mail blasts between Sept 4-Oct 1
- Local marketing included 9 radio stations, 4 television/cable outlets, 6 print media outlets, outdoor media, internet campaign
- The organizers of the festival will be forming an advisory committee made up of hoteliers, food vendors, retail vendors, volunteers and others