January 23-25, 2019 • Grand Sierra Resort • Reno, NV
Join CalFest for three days of educational sessions, motivation, innovation,
fun and the best networking in the
Festivals & Events Industry!

Sessions led by your peers and the best minds in the industry
CalFest Trade Show featuring the latest products and trends for Special Events
Showcasing with talent for every event
CalFest Celebration Awards recognizing excellence in innovation and creativity
Networking opportunities at Luncheons, Celebration Dinner, and after-hours in the Hospitality Suite
Gala Celebration   The social gathering of the convention where you get to dress in costume (or not) and there are prizes, food, live auction and surprises.

January 23
8:45 – 4:00 One-Day Special Workshop  (Separate Registration Required)

Ira Rosen, CFEE, Assistant Professor/Program Director, Temple University School of Sport Tourism and    Hospitality Management. Philadelphia, PA
Cindy Lerick, CFEE, Owner, Cindy Lerick, LLC, St. Paul, MN

This full day workshop will address the following three topics:
  Keeping Your Event Fresh – Utilizing Creativity to Grow Your Event
   Board/Staff Relationships – Understanding Roles and Responsibilities to Avoid Dysfunction
  Enhancing the Customer Experience – How to Keep Your Customers Coming Back for More

This all day session will deal with three essential elements of driving your festival or event into the future.  The first topic will provide you with a hands-on tool to evaluate current events and analyze the viability of proposed events.  The second topic will take an in-depth look at the often complicated topic of establishing functional relationships with boards and staffs.  The final topic will look at how to keep your customers happy and coming back for all of your events.  Learning outcomes will include the following:

  1. Participants will gain an understanding of the reasons why events fail and how to prevent that from happening.
  2. Participants will learn practical strategies for growing their events and attracting new audiences.
  3. Participants will learn how to apply creativity to the development of a future event plan.
  4. Participants will gain an understanding of the most effective ways to manage board/staff relationships.
  5. Participants will learn practical strategies for enhancing positive outcomes through the application of practical techniques to enhance customer service.

This presentation will not be lecture based but will engage the audience in vigorous discussions about their events, where their events are and where they want their events to be in the future.  A number of hands-on exercises will be included in the workshop.

Cindy Lerick, CFEE is an independent consultant, providing services to a broad range of festivals and events around the world.  Her most recent position was Executive Director of the Sausalito Art Festival in Sausalito, California; a position she accepted in 2017 to help the organization through an internal transition period.  Prior to that move, she served as the Executive Director/President of the Saint Louis Art Fair from 2009 -2017.  Before that she was the Executive Director of the Uptown Association and the Uptown Art Fair (1996-2007)  She also co-produced the Main Street Fort Worth Arts Festival from 2002 – 2004.

Cindy is a ZAPP on-site consultant, the Int’l Festivals and Events Assn.’s CFEE program coordinator and past chair of IFEA.  She has over 30 years experience in event management.  Events she has produced include art fairs, educational seminars, corporate meetings, marathons, triathlons, and various running and biking events for both non-profit and for-profit companies.  She received the NAIA inaugural MO Dana Distinguished Service Award in 2007 and received recognition in 2011  from Western States Arts Federation for her leadership, vision and commitment to the design of the ZAPPlication system

Ira Rosen, CFEE is an Assistant Professor with Temple University’s School of Sport, Tourism and Hospitality Management.  He teaches several event management courses and is the Program Director for the school’s award-winning Event Leadership Executive Certificate Program.  Additionally, for almost thirty years, he has owned and operated Entertainment on Location, Inc., a full-service event consulting company based in New Jersey.  EOL has done extensive production and consulting work for major events and clients throughout the world.

Prior to opening EOL, Ira worked for almost 8 years with Radio City Music Hall Productions.  His production background includes multi-million dollar parades, major corporate events around the world and meeting management projects for many different organizations. He has spoken and lead training programs throughout the world, and has written extensively on topics ranging from risk management to sponsorship to the financial and operational management of events.  He has been a featured speaker at conventions and conferences and is one of the instructors for the CFEE program.  In 2005, he was inducted into the IFEA Hall of Fame, becoming one of only 60 people to hold this honor.

To register: Organizational Sustainability Workshop

To register online:

6:00 Welcome Reception/Bowling

January 24:
8:30 – 4:00 pm Keynote & Break-out Sessions
Networking Lunch & Trade Show
Gala, Silent and Live Auction – 25th Anniversary Party….
January 25:
8:30 – 4:00 Keynote & Break-out Sessions
CalFest Celebration Awards Lunch & Trade Show

CONVENTION HOTEL ACCOMMODATIONS                                                                                                   
The Convention will take place at the  Grand Sierra Resort, 2500 E. Second St., Reno, NV 89595  Attendees are entitled to special room rates of $69.00/night for a Summit Room, single/double occupancy or $89.00/night, single or double occupancy for a A Room.  The  Resort Fee is an additional $26.50 + tax per night.  For reservations call 1-775-789-2000.  You must identify yourself as part of CalFest, using the code Cal-19, to obtain the group rate or click on the following link:

To register for the convention:
Online registration
To download a registration form
:  2019 CalFest Convention Registration Form

To register as an exhibitor at the CalFest Trade Show:
Online registration:
To download a CalFest Tradeshow form: 
CalFest Tradeshow Registration Form
Entertainers!  Showcasing opportunities are available 

Each year CalFest offers the most interesting, dynamic presenters at its convention.  Do you have some valuable information you would like to share or can you suggest an engaging speaker?
If so, we want to hear from you.
2019 Call for Speakers

One of the benefits of your CalFest membership is your opportunity to enter your materials into the CalFest Celebration Awards. Entries, for a possible 36 awards, are based on three budget classifications in categories ranging from Event Photos to Best Promotional and Commemorative Posters, Media/Press Kit, TV Commercial or PSA and many more.  Award recipients will be announced during the CalFest Convention, January 25 at the Grand Sierra Resort.

To enter: 2019 Celebration Awards Entry Form

Join in the fun!  This is the only fundraiser CalFest holds every year during the annual convention.  You are the donors—and the bidders.  We ask that you provide experiences, souvenirs, hotel stays, behind-the-scenes tours of your event, golf or vacation packages—Whatever promotes and highlights your community and your event.  Be creative!  Be generous!  Auction Form

CONVENTION SESSIONS  January 24 & 25 (Exact Schedule to be determined)


Kelven Tan                                                             
Kelven Tan has over 28 years experience in entertainment and events marketing and is a much sought after public speaker on the global festival circuit.  He has presented in Shanghai, London, Christchurch, Hong Kong, the U.S., Malaysia and Seoul

His career began in 1988 with the first “Singapore Show” drawing 20,000 attendees and continues today with roles in many successful and ongoing events, some attracting millions of viewers.  He was the first Singaporean to have served on the prestigious board of the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA).  In 2001, IAAPA awarded Tan with the Meritorious Service Award and the Director’s Award in recognition of his service to the association.  He also served two terms on the board of the International Festivals and Events Association (IFEA).

Along with his service to the festival industry, he is personally responsible for creating many dynamic festivals and events including “The Nation’s Countdown,” an annual beach party in Sentosa which continues to be Singapore’s signature New Year’s Event event.  He also created the world’s first Balloon Hat Festival.  This event held the Guinness Book of Records for 4 consecutive years for “Most people twisting and wearing balloon hats at one time.”

Beyond being a world-renowned thought-leader in the festival industry, in 2013 he created a new plan for the 18-year-old Festival DuBois in his own hometown.

In his own words, he has spent his entire career in pursuit of the simplest, yet most meaningful of tasks, bringing a smile to someone’s face.


Roy Tuscany, CEO, High Fives Foundation, Truckee, CA

A program based on the understanding of using the phrase “positive out of the negative” to understand that we are not invincible but can overcome any barrier in life when understanding the difference between being invincible and being real.

Roy Tuscany
Originally from Waterbury, VT, and after graduating from the University of Vermont with a degree in mechanical engineering, Roy headed out west to pursue the dream of being a professional free-skier.  In 2006 he suffered a life-altering injury that left him paralyzed from the waist down and was the catalyst to the creation of High Fives.  Roy turned the financial and community support of his own recovery into a “Pay-it-Forward” adventure with the creation of the High Fives Foundation, a non-profit.  He was named the “Spirit Inspires” award from Disabled Sports USA in 2011 and once held the world record for the most high fives in a 24-hour period.  He lives in Reno and enjoys finding fun in everything he does.

Mike Whan, Executive Director, and Volunteers from Hot August Nights, Reno, NV
Having enough volunteers for your event is crucial.  In today’s busy lifestyles, how do we find volunteers and what do we need to do to make sure they return the following year?  Almost 500 volunteers from Hot August Nights collectively work over 40,000 hours a year.  Many of these volunteers have been involved in the event for 10, 20 or 30 years.  Listen and ask questions of a panel of these Hot August Nights volunteers.  Why do they volunteer, what are they looking for, why do they keep coming back or why would they leave?  What’s the best way to take care of your volunteers?

How Do THEY Do It? Exhibitor Sales and Management
Michael Bleau, CEO & Director of Sales, events locker, Seattle, WA
A discussion of exhibitor and onsite sponsorship sales, management and placement best practices through the lens of real world examples from industry leading events, deliverables timeline and logistics.

Teresa Stas, Director of Sponsorships, Green Cactus, Event Sponsorships and Consulting, Fresno, CA
Move past the logo soup on posters and brochures!  With this session as we identify assets that your event can and should be selling, you’ll learn how to create unique activations that can bring in big dollars and take a look at some event case studies for what did and didn’t work.  As a bonus, you’ll also walk away with an Asset List that can be used for your events.

Dan Stark, School of Business Faculty, University of Phoenix, Las Vegas, NV
This session is an interactive discussion of key leadership elements such as effective leadership behavior, the differences between leadership and management, and how an innovative mindset impacts people and organizations.  Be prepared to participate!

Sunday Minnich, Executive Director, Morgan Hill Mushroom Mardi Gras, Morgan Hill, CA
Working together to share ideas, advertising and marketing with other large events is vital to the promotion, success and cost savings for your event.  Learn how Morgan Hill created a group, “Morgan Hill Presents,” to share resources including vendors, contractors and advertisers.

John Steffanic, CEO, Plumas Sierra County Fair, Quincy, CA
This is an entertaining presentation geared  towards smaller events.  Through examples and concepts, attendees will learn ways to make every corner of their venue an attraction costing little or nothing.

Sylvia Allen, Allen Consulting, Inc., Holmdel, NJ
This simple 12-step process is guaranteed to generate sponsorship dollars, whether you are raising $500 or $50,000!  You will learn how to price your sponsorships so they are realistic; you’ll learn how to find sponsors outside of your immediate geographic area; you will learn ow to approach sponsors; and you will learn how to service your sponsors so they want to return year after year after year.  Sylvia Allen sells sponsorship for a living.  Com prepared to learn and have fun.

Ira Rosen, CFEE, Assistant Professor/Program Director, Temple University School of Sport, tourism and Hospitality Management, Philadelphia, PA
We all face difficult challenges with our events every day.  This session will look at risk and crisis management, safety and security and how best to assess risks and protect our events as best as possible.  Participants will gain an understanding of the terms risk, crisis, safety and security, practical strategies for managing risk in a dangerous environment and industry best practices in the field.

Geoff Hinds, CEO, San Bernardino County Fair, Victorville, CA
With legalization in many states, cannabis is quickly becoming an item of main stream discussion throughout the United States and the world.  This session will try to provide an insight and discussion into how the legal landscape has evolved and changed regarding cannabis and what this may mean for event producers, venues and hosts.

Teresa Stas, Director of Sponsorships, Green Cactus, Event Sponsorships and Consulting, Fresno, CA
No more “menu” sponsorship one sheeters!  We’ll cover the process of how to create a successful deck that has the information that national sponsors want and need to partner with your event.  You’ll also learn a few tips and tricks to make the process easier for you in the future.

Dan Stark, Managing Director, Paladin, LLC, Las Vegas, NV
Cindy Gustafson, CEO, North Lake Tahoe Resort Association, Tahoe City, CA
Nina Brown, Special Events and Marketing Manager, Reno-Sparks Convention & Visitors Authority, Reno, NV
Panel discussion with destination marketing professionals that work with events.  Find out how best to approach them about assistance with PR, marketing and potential sponsorship, and what they specifically look for to determine if an event is a good fit for their marketing objectives.

Let the Good Times Roll…till the next Economic Slowdown…How to be fiscally prepared
Lucas Wilder, Events Manager, Redwood City, CA
Brian Bowe, Executive Director, Gilroy Garlic Festival, Gilroy, CA
Cindy Lerick, Cindy Lerick, LLC, St. Paul, MN
Does your organization have long term fiscal policies?  Join this roundtable and listen to organizations discuss their long term financial strategy.  Learn about how major events set aside rainy day funds, whether it be in investments or reserves.  Wondering how much you should put in reserves?  Or, how much of those reserves should be used when the economy tanks?  Discuss all of these thrilling topics to ensure your event has the financial sustainability needed to continue well into the future.

Shaun Gallant, Executive Director, The Blue Devils Drum & Bugle Corps, Concord, CA
Why building a team is crucial to the success of business!  Understanding a few key things you can do to build a team built on trust, empowerment and accountability, that will last forever.  I vs. WE and the power that comes from it.

Sessions will be added as descriptions become available




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