As we moved forward to the First EV Fest and created EV Fest 2010 for October 2010, this time held at Toyota on The Park, again I focused primarily on finding, attracting, and booking Exhibitors, followed by using this information to share, post, and advertise the show via Posters, Post Cards, and Business Card marketing pieces to inform, present, and attract Guests and visitors to EV Fest.
With the move to Take EV Fest to a Neutral Location (Not held at a Dealership - as the first two events were done), and we found a Venue in The Evergreen Brick Works, that had a direct cost - and a need to fund the insurance and marketing efforts, I found myself at the very front of leading the way into EV Fest 2011, with Funding, Securing, and Covering the Venue and Advertising costs, personally! Not Necessarily - out of pocket - but the responsibility was moved onto my shoulders, and I focused hard on making sure the funding fell into place before creating expenses beyond the necessary minimum! I had a Simple Goal - Create a Show - and not go Broke doing so!
As EV Fest has moved forward, the idea to bring on Sponsors has gradually surfaced, and recent discussions have suggested - this should be done simultaneously with finding Committed Exhibitors!
As EV Fest is - in it's entirety now, Driven by me, and supported by Leading and Committed Exhibitors - as an event that either is developed by me after working hours, or takes away from my work in my full time job, it is obvious that additional skills will be needed to accomplish the new goals and plans for growth, and I personally would love to have the time to learn the skills, but a more pragmatic approach would be to bring people on board, with the particular skill sets needed to fulfill the new roles! (If you have suitable skills you think would help - this is your clue to contact us and discuss how we can work together!)
With the Current Venue having the ability to grow from one Arena Space (17,000 Square Feet) to two, and from one day to two, or three days, I Feel it is still the most desirable Location in the Greater Toronto Area and Southern Ontario at present! What remains is the talent, connections, and time to make these potential growth points happen!
Costs for Exhibitors coming and Exhibiting at the Event have had just one cost increase going from the Supported and Sponsored Event at a Dealership Group as we moved from EV Fest 2010, to EV Fest 2011, but have remained at the same price to Register as an Exhibitor since that time. For EV Fest 2014 and 2015 - a few additional and lower cost choices have been added! I have been quite happy to stay with the primary pricing structure created in 2011, and yet I see a variety of responses as to pricing: Advance Discounts bring on many players, if other conditions fit for them, but price alone is not the only element of motivation bringing Exhibitors to EV Fest: There is also - the Event Date, Location, and Exhibitors specific Vehicle Availability at that time! (OEM's want their Best Product on Display, and Personal Vehicles may be undergoing changes, particularly - if they are an EV Conversion!) For the most part - Price has not been as much as a barrier as I had expected, not as much as Venue location or Date!
In planning stages for EV Fest 2016, I am looking to set up a completely new approach to Working with Exhibitors, among some of the changes I am contemplating. As Dealerships and Auto Manufactures benefit the most, I have determined that the best arrangements for them are a combination of Static Exhibits, typically - inside a Suitable Venue, and Extra Vehicles for Ride & Drive Events - held in the parking lots, and the current Venue in Hamilton suits those conditions well! Yet there is some interest in coming back to Toronto!
Toronto had good spaces for the Early Years of EV Fest, but as the world of Electric Vehicles Grow, I have had a difficult time to find a Venue that exceeds the Flexibility and Value of the Hamilton Location: One that offers a Large Space at a high Value with Low Costs, Large Parking Space for Guests, and a high number of well positioned Electric Vehicle Charging Stations! There are other Arena's, for sure, even with Lots of Parking which often is even Free! However - these spaces still lack sufficient - in one spot - on site Electric Vehicle Charging Points, for our more current EV Driving Guests, and for Test Drive Activities!
Your Eyes and Ears are appreciated as you look for Venues in the Greater Toronto Area that suite these needs, and any leads you can point me to would be appreciated!
I can be reached via the Contact Points listed on the EV Fest Contact Page if you have input or points you wish to share!