January 23-25, 2018 • Riviera Palm Springs
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 Tradeshow 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, Gala Dinner, and after-hours in the Hospitality Suite

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

Rock Star Strategies for Sponsorship Success (Lunch included)
6:00 Welcome Reception
January 24:
8:30 – 4:00 pm Break-out Sessions
Networking Lunch & Expo
Gala Dinner Party & Auction

January 25
8:30 – 4:00 Break-out Sessions
CalFest Celebration Awards Lunch & Expo

Special Event:
Thursday, January 25
Beginning at 5:00 pm, The City of Palm Springs hosts VillageFest, an every-Thursday-evening event, held year-round.  VillageFest is a street fair featuring arts & crafts, commercial vendors, food, street musicians and a Farmers Market.

The Convention will take place at the Riviera Palm Springs, 1600 North Indian Canyon Dr., Palm Springs, CA 92262.  Attendees are entitled to a special room rate of $149+tax, single/double occupancy, per night.  Resort Fee is waived.  For reservations call 1–800 961-3785.  You must identify yourself as part of CalFest to obtain the group rate or click on the following link:

To register for the convention:
Online registration
To download a convention registration form: 2018 CalFest Convention Registration Form

To register for the Sponsorship Workshop
Online registration:
To download a Sponsorship Workshop Form:  Sponsorship Workshop Registration

To register as an exhibitor at the CalFest Tradeshow:
Online registration:
To download a CalFest Tradeshow form: CalFest Tradeshow Registration Form

Entertainers!  Showcasing is available this year:

DSC_6481edit (2)One of the benefits of your CalFest membership is your opportunity to enter your materials into the CalFest Celebration Awards. Entries, for a possible 19 awards, are based on three budget classifications in categories ranging from Event Photos to Best Newspaper Ad, 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 18-20, 2017, at the Grand Sierra Resort in Reno.

To enter: CalFest Celebration Awards Entry Form

Updated as information becomes available

One Day Workshop requires separate registration                                                                           

Stephanie Donoho, CFEE; Owner,
Stephanie Donoho Consulting, Honokaa, Hawaii

Rock Star Event Planners know that the key to successful sponsorship development, acquisition and activation is to use your event’s assets and the sponsor’s goals and objectives to create imaginative opportunities that benefit both the sponsor and your attendees.  In this session, you’ll learn the basics of sponsorship sales and service, learn how to identify and build unique assets and selling points to your event, and learn how to create customized packages that will make your proposal stand out from the crowd.  In this full-day session, you’ll also have a chance to hear directly from a panel of business owners on what they are looking for when partnering with events.  You’ll then work to create a customized offering for those businesses that can only happen at your event.  At the end of the day, it’s your chance to shine, with a Shark Tank style pitch session to those businesses.

Keynote Presentation                                                                      

Active Shooter & Workplace Violence Preparedness Discussion                                       
Kelly Wilson, Protective Security Advisor, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, San Diego, CA

This interactive session focuses on management activities that occur prior to an incident to save lives.  Activities include creating a plan, training and exercising the plan, security and emergency management activities, coordination with external stakeholders, and the recovery process.

Kelly Wilson is a Department of Homeland Protective Security Advisor (PSA} assigned to Southern California, and previously the National Capital Region.  She serves as a security and resiliency subject matter expert and is the link between state, local, tribal, and territorial organizations and DHS infrastructure mission partners.  PSAs perform vulnerability and security assessments on a variety of Critical Infrastructure to identify security gaps and potential vulnerabilities as well as coordinate training and supports special events and incident management.

Keynote Presentation

Communicating in Times of Crisis
Michael Berry, President & CEO, Kentucky Derby Festival, Inc., Louisville, KY                        

When the unexpected happens, how you communicate with your audiences becomes even more important.  You will hear examples from one of the country’s largest civic celebrations who, in a span of 4 years, dealt with major national and local security issues.  Learn how to create a plan for addressing all core constituencies:  participants, spectators, media and the general public.

Eventology:  Opportunity!  Access! Big Experience!  If You Can Buy It Online, It Doesn’t Belong in Your Live Auction
Darren Diess, Auctioneer Specialist, Strategic Fundraising Solutions, Temecula, CA
Do you know the top 100 grossing auction items for 2016?  Darren Diess does, and he will share with you how he takes a ho-hum, same ol’ thing auction into a phenomenal fundraising event that engages the guests and gets the bid paddles raising.  Darren will share his many secrets to raising the revenue to record highs.

The Keys to a Successful Volunteer Management Program
Stephanie Donoho, CFEE; Owner, Stephanie Donoho Consulting, Honokaa, Hawaii
This session will first help event planners and organizers to understand the reasons why people volunteer, and then help them design a successful Volunteer Management Program to meet those volunteers’ needs.  We’ll review the steps of the Volunteer Management Cycle; review industry standards used to measure the ROI for a volunteer’s time; and explore how lessons learned throughout the year can be incorporated to create an even stronger program moving forward.  This valuable session is a great overview for those new to volunteer management, as well as division heads, committee chairs and management staff responsible for supervising volunteers in action.

Are You Prepared for When Your Sunny Day Turns Stormy?
Anjila Lebsock, Emergency Services Coordinator, City of Palm Springs
Every special event is about fun in the sun, but what happens when the dark clouds come.  Are you prepared for the worst?  Do you know what resources are available and where to get them?  Have you coordinated with external resources, so everyone is prepared to respond as one?  Come learn about tools and resources that can help you plan for the “just in case.”

Gloom & Doom – Is the Apocalypse Upon Us?
Dale Johnson, CFEE, CIC, Francis L. Dean & Associates, Ft Wayne, IN

With the state of the world today…It would be easy to crawl under a rock and hide, but that’s not what event people do.  We can be proactive in our approach to keep the public’s safety foremost in our plans.  We will discuss Critical Infrastructure Protection, and we will address ways to distance yourself from critical situations that could harm your organization.  Come share concerns and ideas

Eventology:  Digital Marketing – Formats to Success and Expanding Your Audience
Melody Brunsting, President, Melody’s Ad Works, Inc., Wildomar, CA
62% of smartphone users have made a purchase online using their mobile device in the past 6 months.  One third of all eCommerce purchases during the 2015 holiday season were made on a smartphone  Digital Media is how you find your prospective and returning guests, follow them on every app they visit, communicate and engage them to push that “Buy Tickets” button.  Discover the various methods and formats of the Digital Marketing world from social media, to streaming videos and ads that show up in games and apps on mobile devices,  Learn how to integrate these methods with traditional media for the “non-digital” guest  Joining Melody will be CBS local Jamie Villalobas and Pandora specialist Kristen Stanley.

How to Keep an Event Fresh after Three Decades
Mike Whan, Executive Director, Hot August Nights, Reno, NV

With so many special events to choose from, every special events promoter must look at ways to keep visitors coming back while also reviewing ideas to bring new attendees to the event.  This session will discuss finding out what people want at your event, whether you need to target a different demographic to keep the event fresh and ensure longevity, how to engage attendees, new trends, how to add new events and what you can offer that no one else has.

Eventology:  Creating the Enhanced Guest Experience from Start to Finish
Jan M. Smith, President & Founder, Inland Management Group, Temecula, CA

Are your guests your brand ambassadors – spreading the GOOD NEWS and GREAT VIBES experienced at your event?  From the minute your guests click “buy” online to the second they leave your event, are they getting the best “feel good” guest experience?  We will analyze the guest experience and what today’s festival attendees want in the over-the-top experience.  This workshop will outline a communication and relationship strategy that starts with the ticket purchase and never ends, turning guests into your best festival ambassadors.

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