Interacting with guests is a daily occurrence for those of us in hospitality jobs. Serving needs and providing information is on most job descriptions. Promoting Exit Zero Jazz Festival November 6-8 (little over a month away) fits into that job description.
On my front desk sits a stack of rack cards for the Exit Zero International Jazz Festival. You may or may not already know about it, but my concern is that you might not know that Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at the Lincoln Center Orchestra are the main stage headliners.
Yesterday, during a meeting with internal auditors from Linwood New Jersey, it became apparent to me that these young professionals had no idea such a festival existed-less than an hour from their office and home. That bugged me.
Rather than complain about it to the founder and promoter Michael Kline, I thought what can I do to help? What can any of us do to help a privately produced festival that has the potential to pack Cape May on an otherwise quiet November weekend?
The lineup for the festival is staggering. I am not aware of a bigger headliner/performer ever playing to an audience in Cape May. And I think people will come, if they know about it.
The festival, Michael tells me, will be spending a huge sum of money on targeted jazz playing radio stations in the New York, Philadelphia and Baltimore markets. But he needs to do more in my opinion, and he can’t do it alone.
Here’s where I think Cape May business operators play a part. A sustained social media blitz of both business and private social media channels and platforms.
Sure, a privately produced festival’s goal is to turn a profit. Successful festivals have a tangential positive affect on local business. Attendees eat, drink and sleep when they travel more than an hour to hear a show.
Many of you have Facebook pages, Instagram accounts and a few are on Twitter. Those communication tools are crucial to providing information about our own businesses. They can also play a part in promoting the Jazz Festival at little or no cost.
This is not a question of whether you personally are a jazz fan or not. A major event is taking place in Cape May exactly in the time of the year when Cape May needs it most. Helping to promote the Festival promotes your business as well, and we can all do that with some small investments in smartly targeted Facebook ads. Cape May has the potential for over 4,000 people to attend Festival performances.
Join me in supporting Michael Kline and his team promoting what should be an amazing weekend in Cape May.
PS: That rack card on my front desk…here is a jpeg if you would like a copy.