Just a few comments about the Festival - which was GREAT!
- Great first event - exceeded my expectations
- Overall, very nice
- Great event
- Well Organized
Click on the following link and read all about it!
This is the week leading up to the Prince George's Spring Book Festival which will be held on Saturday, May 23 from 10 am to 4 pm at the Wayne Curry Sports & Learning Center, 8001 Sheriff Road, Landover, MD. This has certainly been one of the busiest weeks I've had since retiring in 2010! Yes, I truly love what I do - because if I didn't, I wouldn't have made it this week!!!!
- Tuesday, I started the day being interviewed about the Festival by Bobby Gailes, the WHUR on-air personality who hosts the "Taking it to the Streets" segments during the Steve Harvey Morning Show. Great vibs - the spot will air on Wednesday, May 20th.
- From there I traveled to Radio One in Silver Spring to be part of a Women's Business Conference. Great information and I learned that you have to be serious about your business and have "cash money" to advertise on commercial radio.
- I've been retired for 5 years and getting up in the morning and dressing for success isn't something I do every day (lol) ~ so Wednesday was a "take a breath" and get ready for Thursday day!
- Thursday I am awake and in front of my computer by 6 am - so many loose ends to tie up and emails to answer. At 9 am, I am at the Wayne Curry Sports & Learning Center for a meeting with my partner there - the awesome Cynthia Kelly, Event Manager for the complex. At 10:30 am, I've left the center and am in my hair stylist's (the awesome Anita Hampton) chair - cause for sure I needed a fresh "do".
- At 1:30 I arrive at Radio One for an interview with their News and Community Affairs Director, Ebony McMorris for a 25 minute taping that will air on 104.1 Saturday morning (May 16) at 6:00 am. Ebony made me feel right at home and we discussed the Festival and so much more about being an advocate for the written word and reading!
- I came home, regrouped and by 7:00 arrived at Busboys and Poets for a Literary Mixer which was put on by my other partner, Rhonda Dallas, Executive Director of the Prince George's Arts & Humanities Council - with special host Tressa "Azarel" Smallwood, publisher of Life Changing Books. I was allowed speaking time on the program to talk to about the Festival! Awesome affair!
- By 10 I was home - exhausted but VERY happy!
Today was a laid back day during which I was able to reflect on my week - and now I would like to share a few things I either learned or was reminded of this week.
- Retirement is just a state of mind - live your dream regardless of your age.
- Being open and honest is one of the keys of success another is keep your word and commitments.
- Stay in your lane - share what you KNOW but don't speculate on what you don't!
- Embrace life!
Now to get mind, body and an outfit (lol) ready for the "Local Delta Authors" from 3-6 pm tomorrow at the Prince George's Community College!!!
That's all for now friends!
I'm learning a lot as I've worked to plan and coordinate The Prince George's Spring Book Festival.
- It's a lot of work!
- I say Book Festival - vendors hear "bazaar"!
There are several differences between a book festival and a literary conference like the Black Authors and Readers Rock Weekend:
- A literary conference targets a specific group of readers, a festival is open to the public and one must target the community - all ages and races.
- Tickets are usually sold to literary conferences ~ a book festival is usually open and free to public.
- When tickets are sold, you know how many people to expect; you can not predict how many people will attend a free, open to the public event.
- Repeat attendees who recommend an event they enjoy to their family and friends are the backbone of a literary event; publicity is the key to a successful Festival.
- Radio advertising is very expensive in this market - even though most stations have "Community Affairs" departments - there is very little they will/can do free of charge!
Pictured - Sharon with Bobby Gailes of WHUR's "Taking it to the Street" community segment!
Planning a book festival is so different and in some ways more complicated than planning a luncheon or conference. The Black Authors & Readers Rock weekend is all about the authors! I do invite a few vendors whose products are related to the literary world - no cosmetics, jewelery, etc.
To be effective, a community driven festival should include
others who promote the written word such as local government officials, the public school system, the local community college, the public libary system and health care screeners.
I am exhausted!
Today I was the guest on a local radio show - The Thornton Business Hour- to promote the upcoming Prince George's Book Festival. It was a great but somewhat harrowing experience. Though Ms. Thornton and I had exchanged emails and entered into an agreement that if she would feature me on her show to promote the Festival, I would her with a complementary vendor's table at the Festival. But we had not set a date!
Yesterday she called about 6 pm to ask if I could be there today - the scheduled guest had an emergency and could not be there! Not wanting to miss an opportunity for free advertising - I of course accepted.
She asked that I be there by 10:40 am for the 11:00 am show so that we would have time to discuss what would be covered. All was going well until she got stuck in traffic and called to see if I had arrived and if I COULD START THE SHOW WITHOUT HER! ME! START A SHOW!
Oh well - she arrived at 11:03, the
engineer filled in with commercials until then - and the show went on! I've heard from several people who listened that it went well - but I would love a re-do! Just kidding - I'm sure I got all the important info in about the Festival and
the Black Authors & Readers Rock Weekend! I am bushed but pleased!
Tip: Contact the Community Affairs offices of your local the radio and television stations and arrange to be interviewed about upcoming events that you or your club are sponsoring in the community.