Learn from leading experts in the events and festival field at WFEA’s first fall conference



(Requires Separate Entry)

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Effective Event Administration, Management and Operations**

9:00 a.m.–3:45 p.m.

Managing the Future

Paul Jamieson, Sunfest of West Palm Beach, Florida

How much has management changed and what does the future hold? Have people, and the world, changed so much that everything you thought you knew is out of date? While these questions could generate dozens of discussions, this session will create a ‘top ten’ list of ideas to help you navigate today (and possibly at least into next year).


Eric Corning, Seattle Seafair

Now that you’ve come up with the ideas that will set your event apart from the clutter of the myriad of entertainment choices in your community, it’s time to implement them. Learn how you can do that in an effective manner, including using the latest in technological ideas.

Strategies for Superlative Sponsorship Service Through Your Operations Team

Bruce Erley, Creative Strategies Group, Denver

As difficult as it is to find a new sponsor, one would think more time would be spent on keeping the ones we have happy, fulfilled and ready to renew. Yet many event managers don’t have a protocol and process in place to take care of their sponsors. In this presentation, you’ll learn about ten key steps before, during and after the event that provide the essential elements of service and fulfillment to assure that sponsors keep coming back.

Update on Liquor and Cannabis Laws for Festivals and Special Event Organizers

Beth Lehman, Customer Service Manager, and Kevin Milovac, Cannabis Licensing Manager

Here’s what all event organizers should know about this very important subject. The WSLCB Licensing and Enforcement Visions will educate you on how to have safe and legal events with alcohol, the deepest dive yet at a WFEA conference on this important subject. They will cover types of licensing permits, ways to obtain and sell alcohol, and relationships with alcohol industry members at events. Although cannabis can’t be sold at festivals and other related events, they will discuss the new world of cannabis related events such as trade shows.



2019 WFEA Fall Conference

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Round Table Sessions

4:00 - 5:45 PM

These sessions are held for professionals on a specific topic 1.75 hours. Held in a roundtable setting, attendees can pick their topic and ask questions in an informal setting. It’s a great opportunity to get to know people in your area of expertise.

Building Strong Relationships With Your City

Britnee Christen, Director, National Lentil Festival, Pullman

From permits to sponsorship, event planners often find themselves working with their city. Join us as we discuss the do’s and don’ts of working with city entities and how you can build a strong working relationship. 


Trevor Lane, WSU Ferry County Extension

Social Media

George Sharp, Thurston Economic Development Council

Opening Session and Trade show

6:00 - 8:00 PM

Thursday, October 17

9:00 – 10:00 a.m.

Opening Keynote: How Much Was That Again?

Paul Jamieson, Sunfest, West Palm Beach Florida

In an era when costs and competition are increasing at a dizzying pace, so have the challenges related to festival operations, risk management, and safety. This case study will show how one festival – that also suffered catastrophic financial losses in recent years – found creative ways to maintain and improve the quality of the experience for the patron. And the lessons they learned about themselves along the way.

10:15 – 11:15

50 Money-making Ideas

Bruce Skinner, Executive Director, WFEA

As the former CEO of the International Festivals and Events Association, Bruce Skinner got to know many of the world’s top event organizers and was often the first person to hear about their new ideas. He’ll present the ones that will help your bottom line.

Connecting the Arts With Events

Monica Miller, Executive Director, Gallery One, Ellensburg

A member of the Washington State Arts Commission, Monica Miller has worked with arts organizations for 20 years on fundraising, grants management and professional development for artists. She currently is the Executive Director of Gallery One in Ellesnburg, which is dedicated to the creation, exhibition and appreciation of visual arts in Central Washington. The organization hosts many great events including Paint Ellensburg, Art About, Jazz in the Valley wine tasting, Brewfest and several more.

11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Selling Ideas & Solidarity in Small to Medium-sized Markets

Britnee Christen, Director, National Lentil Festival, Pullman

Join us as we dive into selling ideas, how to leverage the unique benefits of sponsorship, what’s stopping potential sponsors and how you can best prepare yourself to make the sale and create a long-lasting relationship.

Tourism Marketing Through Events

Amy McGuffin, Kittitas Chamber of Commerce, George Sharp, Thurston County Economic Development

Events are an effective way to put heads in beds, particularly during the off peak season. Learn how two people have done that and how they have helped brand their communities by staging exciting spectacles.

12:30 – 2:00

The Future of Festivals in a Virtual World

Bruce Erley, Creative Strategies Group, Denver

With the proliferation of social media from Facebook to Twitter, YouTube to blogging and an ever-evolving proliferation of new technology designed to capture the time and attention of the public, what will happen to the local community festival and hometown fair? Will it become passé or perhaps be held virtually over the Internet? And will sponsors still find events and festivals a viable marketing and communications option or think of us going the way of the 8 Track? Bruce Erley, President and CEO of Denver-based, Creative Strategies Group, one of the largest country’s leading full-service sponsorship and event marketing specializing in festivals and special events, will share his insights.

2:00 – 3:00 p.m.

Community Branding — Lessons Learned Across the Country

Tripp Muldrow, Partner, Arnett Muldrow

Community branding has emerged as a tool for communities to better communicate who they are with their citizens, visitors, and investors. The term “community branding” brings up many different thoughts and misperceptions. Learn how Chambers of Commerce, Local Governments, Tourism Agencies, and Downtown programs have partnered to create branding systems that include community involvement while avoiding the pitfalls of “design by committee.” The presentation will share examples from across the country and in Washington State. If you are contemplating a new marketing campaign for your community, looking at a fresh identity, or exploring partnerships to promote local pride then this session is for you.

Effective Volunteer Management

Trevor Lane, WSU Ferry County Extension

Recruit, retain, serve – those are the key messages that you will hear in this session. Learn from someone who has managed over 1500 volunteers, and emphasizes that you have to manage them but be respectful, especially of their time.


Manuel Cawaling, Inspire Washington

Passed and signed into Washington law in 2015, the Cultural Access Program authorizes any county or city in the state to put before the voters a measure to provide sustainable funding to increase access to Cultural, Arts, Science and Heritage programming. Substantial funding is available for the entities, including non-profit festival and events. Hear from Manny Cawaling the Executive Director of Inspire Washington, who will tell you how you can benefit from the law and other cultural advocacy efforts across the state.

3:15 – 4:15 p.m.

Ask the Experts Panel

Bruce Skinner, Washington Festivals and Events Association Executive Director

Bruce Erley, Creative Strategies Group, Denver

Amy McGuffin, Kittitas County Chamber of Commerce



Bruce Skinner, Executive Director
Washington Festivals & Events Association
Mailing Address
1015 Georgiana Street
Port Angeles, WA 98362

Membership Rates

We offer 3 different membership rate levels. For students, individuals and organizations - each based on annual budget.

$95 / $125 / $195

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