ESA Reopening Guide

The Event Safety Alliance Releases Guidance to Assist Event Professionals Reopening During COVID-19

As municipal officials begin to allow small groups of people to gather in public even while the fight against COVID-19 continues, there is a tremendous need for guidance how small events and venues can reopen as safely as possible under these incredibly challenging circumstances. In response, the Event Safety Alliance today released The Event Safety Alliance Reopening Guide.


The Reopening Guide addresses health and sanitary issues that event and venue professionals need to consider in order to protect both patrons and workers. Since there is still insufficient testing, no contact tracing, and no vaccine against COVID-19, this guidance is particularly detailed. The edition released today is tailored to be especially useful for event professionals reopening the smallest events with the fewest resources available to mitigate their risks, since in every municipal reopening plan these will be allowed to reopen first.


Other than emphasizing the importance of following authoritative scientific advice from organizations such as the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization, the Reopening Guide offers suggestions and alternative practices for consideration rather than claiming that any one practice is better than all others. Event Safety Alliance Vice President Steven A. Adelman, the head of Adelman Law Group, PLLC and editor of the Reopening Guide, explains how the document applies the legal duty of care.


“As a matter of common law, everyone has a duty to behave reasonably under their own circumstances. Consequently, there is no such thing as ‘best’ practices. There are only practices that are reasonable for this venue, this event, this crowd, this time and place, during this pandemic. Because few operational bright lines would make sense, The Event Safety Alliance Reopening Guide is designed to help event professionals think through their own circumstances. In the order than one plans an event, the Reopening Guide looks closely at the health and safety risks involved in reopening public spaces, then proposes risk mitigation measures that are likely to be reasonable under the circumstances of the smaller events and venues that will reopen first.”


The Event Safety Alliance Reopening Guide is the product of contributions from more than 300 professionals from all facets of the live event industry, from the smallest to largest producers and the many businesses that work to support them. As it says on the cover, “Please share this Guide – We all want to reopen safely.”


The Event Safety Alliance Reopening Guide is available as a free download at

Kids Festival

Reopening Guidance: Considerations for the Attractions Industry During COVID-19

Developed in partnership with attractions members and operators from around the world, as well as health-related guidance from government agencies and medical professionals, IAAPA’s “Reopening Guidance: Considerations for the Attractions Industry” outlines principles and approaches to consider for reopening once local government officials in your area remove “stay-at-home” orders, allow non-essential businesses to reopen, and say it’s safe for citizens to move around their community.


Click Below To Download The Guidance Document


COVID-19 State Of The Industry Expert Webinar Panel

The Rundown:

As the event industry has entered into uncharted territory during these uncertain times it has become apparent that many events especially those being run by volunteers and small staff needed some guidance as to what to expect and how to handle issues that are arising from cancellations and postponements due to COVID-19.  After being asked to appear on several event association webinars Ryan Kintz from ,Afton Tickets, Michael Bleau from ,Event Hub, and Teresa Stas from ,Green Cactus Event Sponsorships are working together to help other live events by sharing our first hand knowledge of dealing with the COVID-19 crisis and the feedback we are getting from our clients and other events across the country.

We are offering to host a totally free 45-60 min webinar for your group or association that offers information and advice on the topics of Sponsorship, Ticketing and Vendors. It’s our way of giving back to our industry at its most vulnerable time. We’ve conducted webinars for the Oregon Festival and Events Association, California Festival and Events Association, Colorado Festival and Events Association, South Carolina Festival and Events Association, Florida Festival and Events Association, among many others! We will provide you with all the tools you will need to help market this webinar to your membership base including providing you with some strategies on how to leverage this webinar to gain more members!

Feedback from one of our recent attendees!

Signup Your Live Events Organization or Association

Our fully hosted and customized free 45-60 minute webinar for your group or association will offer information and advice for your event organizers and event vendors to help make it through the corona virus crisis.

Topics will include:

  • How to handle Sponsorships during this uncertain time.
  • How brands are dealing with their event sponsorships and what it means for you.
  • Correct messaging for ticket holders, vendors, sponsors, etc. to prevent a negative social media backlash.
  • How to handle canceling or postponing events.
  • Refund policy.
  • Incentivizing customers to keep their tickets for next year’s event vs. demanding a refund.
  • Strategies to financially survive a decrease in revenues due to COVID-19.
  • And more!

How to SIGN UP for our Webinar: For Festival Organizations & Associations with a membership following, Contact Green Cactus at [email protected] to schedule a special expert webinar panel specifically for your association members.

Please include the following in your email:

  • Contact info
  • Include Two or Three dates and times that would work for your organization (we are finding that Tues-Thursday at around 10am or 11am seem to work best)
  • We encourage you to include one or two of your own experts on the panel. Such as an event who has had to cancel or postpone, a legal or insurance expert to round out your webinar. If you have suggestions of people to include please also include them in the email as well.

As soon as we get your email someone will get back to you within 24 hours.

We are doing our best to accommodate every organization’s schedule. But available slots are filling up quickly. Please contact us to learn more.

Sponsorship Panel OFEA 2019

From the Sponsor’s Mouth: Key Takeaways from the Sponsor Decision Makers Panel at OFEA

A few weeks ago before everything came to a screeching halt, I hosted a panel of Sponsorship Decision Makers for the Oregon Festival and Events Association Conference. This panel consisted of representatives from Safeway/Albertsons, Columbia Distributing, Spirit Mountain Casino and Hood to Coast all who are all involved in the sponsorship decision making process for their brand. This was a chance to hear it from the “horse’s mouth” so to speak on what they are looking for in a proposal and also what they want out of a sponsorship. From important reminders to keep in mind to insights on the decision making process to some keys to make a successful activation here are some lessons learned from the sponsorship panel.


Do Your Research

What you think is going to work for one brand is not going to work for another brand. Find the correct person to discuss opportunities with. You will have more success if you take the time to discover the right contact. This is why networking is so important. Also, this is why investing in a company or agency that already has a book of sponsorship contacts is helpful.


Remember it’s a Process, Be Patient

Once a submission is received, the brands on the panel typically go through the following process:

  1. Determine if they have the budget.
  2. Due diligence: review sponsorship proposal, check out the event in person, an overview of logistics/execution, etc.
  3. Clearance from the marketing director that it fits with the marketing plan.
  4. VP or higher-level approval to ensure sponsorship aligns with the overall goals of the company.


Customization is Key to Relationship Building

Avoid pre-created packages and mass, impersonal messages. Proposals with pre-determined packages do not take into consideration what the potential sponsor’s goals or needs are. Greetings that are too generalized are not good either, as it does not incorporate the brand into the proposal at all. The sponsors want to be listened to and heard before receiving a proposal.

Not including data (attendance, past sales, etc.) is another common mistake. Documentation and concrete numbers are key factors that brands take into consideration when determining to work with an event. Based on a survey conducted by Green Cactus, the demographics of attendees were the number one thing that sponsors wanted to see presented from an event.

When creating the proposal, the more you can tailor the proposal to the individual company, the better. This will allow you to build a closer relationship with the brand. “It’s a marathon, not a sprint”. Take the time to create a connection with the key decision-makers. This is done by truly listening to their needs and crafting a proposal that addresses them.


All About Activations

When running an on-site activation be sure to deliver on what is promised. Do not sell items in your sponsorship package that you can’t execute. However, mistakes happen that cannot be avoided sometimes. This is when follow up is key. When things go wrong, be sure to take ownership immediately. Address the situation with the sponsor and present solutions as soon as possible. nnWhen creating an activation, keep in mind the goals of the sponsor. Creative and unique activations are important but aligning with the brand’s objectives is essential. This is especially true if you are trying to sell them on a multi-year deal. The more you can deliver on their targets, the better chance you have of them returning. Also, creating a turn-key activation (one where the event does all of the work) is something that can be very alluring for a potential sponsor. Some brands may have their own set-up but for those that don’t, you having this as an option can be one way to secure the deal.


What to do When They Ask for More

Most of the times a sponsor is asking for more because they want to feel like the event is paying attention to them. However, at the end of an event, it’s important to assess the relationship to see if the extra work is worth the effort. This is also a good time to evaluate the sponsorship agreement. Oftentimes confusion results in not having a well-written, clear-cut agreement. Re-caps are also critical to create. Some brands will not even look at proposals without a recap from the last year.


How to Shift Demographics

Keeping with technology. A/B testing different promotions to new audiences. Geo-targeting and other avenues can help test on new sectors. Do not be afraid to try new things. The great thing about online marketing is that you can test without incurring a large cost. During the event, adding new programming can also help to attract a new audience that aligns with more potential sponsors.


Overall, the main takeaway from this panel is to focus on fostering a relationship with a brand. Whether they are a potential sponsor or a current one, giving them personalized attention and ensuring that an activation meets their needs is critical. nnIf you would like to see the video of this panel click here, or view it below.

The sponsorship panel referred to in this article took place on February 27 – 29, 2020 in Bend Oregon during the OFEA Conference. The panel consisted of Jocelyn Huffman, Sponsorship Administrator for Spirit Mountain Casino; Jaime Clary, Marketing and Promotions Manager for Safeway/ Albertsons; Christopher Stiles, Draft Manager for Columbia Distributing; and Dan Floyd, Chief Operating Officer for Hood to Coast and Hood.


Utilizing Data to Drive VIP Upgrade Purchases

This article was originally featured on XLIVE online on May 29, 2019 and written by Amanda Cosenza. Click here to read the original article. Photo Credit: Insomniac Website & XLIVE Online

According to an eventbrite survey, “Forty percent who have purchased VIP in the past are willing to pay at least double the price of GA for access to VIP restrooms and faster, private entry.” Some will not even attend an event if there is not an option to buy a VIP package. These added experiences can be as simple as expedited entrance to backstage meet and greets to glamping that puts hotels to shame. It’s important to not only offer VIP add ons but to price them at the right point. By leveraging technology and valuable data points, event organizers can greatly improve their VIP amenities. Since about 25% of revenue can be generated from these sales, they can also increase their overall bottom line.

Utilizing Data to Drive Upgrades

This year, the team a AEG presents, who puts on over 30 festivals and approximately 10,000 shows, created an initiative around Stagecoach festival (the country music three day event that takes place the weekend after Coachella on the same grounds) to differentiate their offerings for the 2019 rendition. “One of the biggest challenges for us every year is, ‘How do you outdo yourself? How do we create an experience for consumers that makes them feel like we know what they want and are trying to cater to those wants?'” Brooke Michael Kain, AEG Presents’ chief digital officer told Rolling Stone.

They began by rounding up all the data they had access to, which was a lot. Given AEG’s size they were able to draw from a huge network of event-related purchases, from tickets to merchandise. Once they aggregated all the data, which took months, they gathered ticketing directors and consumer behavior product managers to create algorithms that sent push notifications that were personalized based on the consumers past purchases. For example, if someone had bought a Stagecoach ticket two years in a row then they were offered $100 off a Saloon Pass (the festivals name for VIP) or if they bought t-shirts in the past they were sent a buy one get one offer for this event.

“We thought, ‘How can we take a fan’s history and offer them something we know they are going to want?’ The strategy unique to us is that we are rewarding our fans and trying to be loyal to our fans, and not expecting them to be loyal to us.” Kain also told Rolling Stone. While she didn’t reveal exactly how well the campaign went, she did indicate that it was not a failure. The best part is that this technology is scalable and can be used for other events in the future. By leveraging data, live event organizers can tailor their VIP add ons to the individual consumer therefore making them more likely to break out their wallets.

Creating More Offerings

Creating tiers gives an event more opportunities to capture a guest at a higher price point then just general admission. This can range from General Admission Plus to “Super Duper VIP”, which is offered at Firefly Festival at over $7,000 plus applicable fees. Ultra VIP experiences at festivals, like golden toilets and luxurious camping set-ups are nothing new to the festival scene but over the past year organizers have begun to create more offerings in the other direction. Many Live Nation festivals like Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC) Las Vegas and Music Midtown in Atlanta rolled out a GA+ option for festival goers. This package elevates the attendees experience with expedited entrance, air conditioned restrooms, and some time even a special viewing area. This allows those who do not want to spring for a full package but still have a little extra spending money to be able to splurge a little bit on themselves.

VIP can be tiered both ways and the upper tiers these days seem to know no limits. While these outlandish offerings are nothing new, major events like Coachella are upping their experiences to new heights this year. The sky seems to be the limit when it comes to crafting one of a kind, ultra luxury experiences for high paying patrons.

Coachella Ups the Ante

Not only do live events have to ensure that year over year they are offering the right kind of VIP options to their fan base but they also have to compete with other events in the space. As the market becomes more saturated, especially in the music festival industry where it seems like almost every lineup looks they same, organizers have to craft unique, out of the box experiences for their big spenders to take advantage of. It used to be that backstage access, front row viewing, and limited edition swag were enough. Now, event organizers are looking towards more exclusive and glamorous options like helicopters and over the top lounges.

To house their extravagant elevated experience, Goldenvoice created the Zenyara Estate, a 37-acre lot that is complete with a Helicopter pad, limo service by Rolls Royce, six-acre golf course, 40,000 square-foot residence, and many more luxurious amenities. Corso Agency was hired to help create this Bali-inspired ultra VIP offering.

“For the next two weekends, Zenyara Estate will bring together some of the most exciting performers, athletes and celebrities in a venue like no other,” David Corso, CEO of Corso Agency, told The Hollywood Reporter. “We have partnered with Goldenvoice to deliver an unmatched experience, hosting brand events from the world’s best, including the debut of the Adidas Sports Club, and an incredible late-night program from our nightlife partners Framework and Wynn Nightlife.”

There is no denying that offering VIP packages is essential to any successful live event. Aggregating consumer data and creating personalized experiences looks to be the next advancement when it comes to defining the right offering. Ultra luxurious and over the top experiences are also ways that live events are elevating their attendees willingness to splurge a the event.

Meeting 3

3 Tools To Help Make Sponsorship Fulfillment Easier

I don’t know about you, but when the month of July hits, we know we are about to head into the thick of our event season! This is the time that I begin to see the folks behind the scenes start to scramble to pull together all the things that they missed, or are catching up on, and oftentimes this includes sponsorship fulfillment. The trick to successful sponsorship fulfillment while not losing your mind is organization! I don’t say this easily because those that work with me know that I seem to have my own personal organization system that doesn’t always make sense to others, which admittedly in the past would cause me to scramble or cause unwanted extra work. After I realized this about myself, I took some very necessary steps to systemize our sponsorship fulfillment process behind the scenes, and I am going to share with you some of the tools that we have used to make our lives easier! The best part? Most of them have free versions!


Asana describes itself as “the work management platform teams use to stay focused on the goals, projects, and daily tasks that grow business.” I describe it has a great way to keep track of where sponsors are in the pipeline. It has great features like being able to tag team members, track notes, monitor deadlines for tasks and projects, as well as creating templates so you don’t have to recreate the wheel every time. You can get the basic version for free!


Think of Airtable like the way better looking and comprehensive version of Excel. This tool boasts that its “fields can handle any content you throw at them. Add attachments, long text notes, checkboxes, links to records in other tables—even barcodes. Whatever you need to stay organized.” We use it to manage the social media side of our sponsorships. It allows you to create easily understood databases that can list the event, sponsors, the approved copy and links, and even allow you to attach the files. Like Asana you can tag and categorize so that searching is easy. There is even a calendar feature so you can get a snapshot of what needs to happen on what day. They also offer a free version —


I don’t know about you, but we spend a lot of time tracking down agreements and getting them signed. So when we broke down and actually decided to use SignNow it made our life a lot easier, and saved us so much more time! There are many tools out there like SignNow, which allow you to upload your agreements so that you can get them electronically signed and filed. However, when doing the research it ended up being the most cost effective product for our needs at only $8 a month. It’s very simple to use, just upload your agreement and place the different sign or info boxes where you want them, and type the email address to where it’s going. You can even list in what order people will receive the file. This tool also will allow you to track where the agreement is at, and lets you send reminders if it’s been sitting with someone too long. Like we mentioned before, this isn’t a free tool but you can check it out with a free trial!

There are so many awesome tools out there so if you have any to share please let us know about them at [email protected]. The three we have listed above are actual tools that we use. We are not paid to endorse the products, but if you use the link provided we will get credit, and appreciate your support! Hopefully these tools can help you the same way they have helped us!