Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Yes, Virginia...It is a full-time job

When people find out I book entertainment and plan events at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, many have this reaction: “Ooh, that sounds fun! Do you guys work year-round, full-time?” My response: “Yes, most of the time, it is fun, and yes…we do work more than three months out of the year.”

Most people don’t know exactly what goes on day-to-day at the corner of 38th Street and Fall Creek Parkway, but with anywhere from two to five events each weekend, Fairgrounds staff supports the respective promoters with things ranging from publicity to setting up tables and chairs. After the events, buildings must be cleared and cleaned, which is especially a lot of work following livestock shows what with taking down stalls, tie-outs and removing any…um…unpleasantness…left behind by the animals.Up in the Presentation & Development Department – particularly my position as a Special Event Planner – our involvement is less with day-to-day operations and more looking ahead…WAY ahead. We begin searching for the next year’s entertainment immediately following the annual State Fair, and sometimes even before the Fair has ended if the show or attraction is a large, popular one desired by several other fairs around the country. There are promotional packets to review (which is a blog entry in and of itself), emails to read and websites to visit. Artists to track down and “entertainers” to avoid. Then performance offers to be made and “ding” messages to send. Dreams to be made and hopes to dash.

And we do it 365 days a year. Wait…make that 351 days a year. State workers receive holidays off, including Columbus Day and Washington’s Birthday. Employment has its privileges.

Submitted by Bobbi Bates

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