Concerned Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism (NMBT) chief executive, Mandlakazi Skefile, has lashed out at local event organisers for their poor planning and execution of events – imploring them to make sure they have enough financial backing, sponsorship and capacity for planned events.
(Scroll down to see the MyPE Editor’s Lashing!)
Skefile said that failed or cancelled events are damaging tourism to the city and impacting on confidence people have in the city to pull off events.
This was after a local promoter on 17 March cancelled a concert featuring jazz and pop icon Simphiwe Dana and jazz musician Feya Faku, both Eastern Cape-born international stars.
Event promoter, Michelle Campbell from Massive Event Management, sent a Facebook message mid-morning yesterday saying that a “business decision” had been taken to cancel the event.
“Although all marketing and promoting efforts have been more than extensive, the market has simply not responded with the anticipated support and this has been reflected in the ticket sales with Computicket. It would therefore, simply not be viable for us to proceed with the event, putting our business at risk,” said the organisers. Campbell added that the event was funded internally not from sponsorships.
Skefile said that this situation was unacceptable – and is perpetuating the conception that Nelson Mandela Bay cannot pull off events. This comes after the city has had a string of failed and cancelled concerts, like Busta Rhymes, Keri Hilson and most recently the Zim Ngqawana jazz event at The Boardwalk – all high-profile artists.
“We cannot allow the city to be punished like this – we need credible and able event organisers who do their homework. We lend our support to events across the board and cancellations both negatively impact NMBT as an organisation and the image of the city. Simphiwe Dana is an award-winning national asset. Her shows everywhere are booked out, so to fill the Nangoza Jebe Hall in New Brighton should have been easy.”
This recent cancellation is the cherry on top for NMBT, which has said it is going to be more stringent about which events they are seen to be supporting, even if only from a synergistic marketing angle. It is NMBT policy to support all events in the city by assisting with marketing. The tourism body does not give monetary support to events, but promotes events as a tourism leveraging tool, added marketing manager Titus Chuene.
“NMBT uses events as a tool to market the destination, we do that for each product, including events. When we advertise that these are the events happening and then they get cancelled, people lose confidence. If people have planned to come to Nelson Mandela Bay for an event, they lose out and won’t be coming back,” said Chuene.
“Before we have worked on trust that event organisers have the capacity to actually host their events, but experience has now taught us that we need to be more selective. We encourage event organisers to plan properly and well ahead of time, lobby sponsors and the city structures for support, and have enough financial backing,” said Skefile.
“Without these firebreaks in place we will be unable to attach our name to events we assist in marketing,” added Skefile, noting that the municipality’s event policy has been adopted and would now be actively used by the organisation when screening events it supports.
Editor’s Notes: A quick search for Massive Event Management on Google reveals NO WEB SITE, NO DIRECTORY LINKS, niks, nada, fokol.
Learn ONE thing from only being on Facebook sister: Those masses of so called friends that you accumulate DO NOT turn into paying customers and your anticipated high life without the other support services being properly covered – press releases, paid for adverts, classified ads and masses of forward planning. There are any number of local Port Elizabeth web sites willing to help promote your event if you just ASK.
Facebook is a CLOSED environment and only accessible to those who sign up – don’t believe all the hype unless you are armed with the tools to make a complete success of your online marketing.
Next time you want to stage an event speak to a REPUTABLE Port Elizabeth PR Practitioner FIRST.
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