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Focus on Festival & Event Management

The Tourism Center is a collaboration 

of the College of Food, Agricultural 

and Natural Resource Sciences and 

the University of Minnesota Extension.

January 2013
About the Program
Benefits of Community Festivals
Festival & Event Management
Customer Service at Events
Social Media & Events
Spring Offering
Quick Links
Festivals & Events
Fun Fact

The Minnesota State Fair is the second biggest in the country!


Festivals and events can bring more than just fun and celebration to your community or organization - they are an integral part of the Minnesota tourism industry. True to our mission of leading, preparing and supporting the tourism industry for success and sustainability, the University of Minnesota Tourism Center offers an online course in Festival and Event Management to help organizers run successful festivals and events. 

Read on for more information about how festivals and events can benefit your community or organization and to learn more about our Festival and Event Management program.


If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact us at tourism@umn.edu or on our Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and website!   
Ingrid Schneider, Ph.D.

Community festivals - Big benefits, but risks, too   

"What does Minnesota celebrate? Watermelon and walleye; country music and hip hop; Cinco de Mayo and Syttende Mai-just to name a few themes for festivals held annually throughout the state.


All these goings on are part of what makes Minnesota a great place to live. Besides being fun, well-managed festivals and events offer a host of economic and social benefits to communities..."


Community festivals can foster community pride, grow local economies, and educate visitors about unique community features. Read more about the benefits of hosting a community festival in the Vital Connections newsletter.  

Festival & Event Management

Festival & Event Management is a comprehensive online course which covers management systems, tools and applications that are relevant to festivals and events. The course teaches strategic planning, site management, budgeting and financial planning, marketing and sponsorship, human resource management and volunteer recruitment, and event evaluation.     


The online format is interactive, engaging and facilitates support networks of event professionals to help you succeed. Course instructors will provide you with resources including videos from industry professionals, instruction, feedback, and case studies to help illustrate concepts and also be able to answer questions specific to your festival or event.     


Upon completion of the course, participants can earn a Certificate in Festival and Event Management to demonstrate their accomplishments. Mitch Menchaca, the Chief Operating Officer at Chorus America, completed a Certificate in Festival and Event Management while working with the Arizona Commission on the Arts. "My certificate is proudly hung on my office wall," says Menchaca, "and in my current work I utilize much of what I learned from the program."  

Timely Topic: Customer Service at Events

Festivals and events are all about the experience. Delivering great service is essential for festivals and events seeking to provide attendees with rewarding experiences and develop long-term relationships with staff, volunteers and vendors. Knowing how to create these positive interactions through quality customer service is an essential skill for festival and event managers.

A Timely Topic special session will help participants understand how culture affects the service exchange and explore the link between customer service and business profitability. Participants will learn to identify opportunities to adapt service to cultural differences and build customer service strategies that create positive customer relationships. This session will cover service before, during and after events with your staff and volunteers, vendors and performers, and festival attendees to create positive experiences.

Timely Topic: Social Media & Events
From Flickr to Pinterest, social media sites are growing in popularity and changing the way festival and event organizers think about marketing. Knowing how to effectively use social media is an essential skill to run successful events.


This Timely Topic special session will help participants understand the prevalence of social media use by festival attendees and vendors, learn how to evaluate various social media outlets and identify ones that are most relevant for their needs, and develop an effective social media marketing plan. Knowing how to use these tools lowers marketing costs while increasing reach to a broad audience of potential festival attendees.


For participants who are new to social media, there will be an introductory session to help them understand what social media is and what sites are out there, why social media has become so popular, and the basics of how to set up and effectively use some of the most popular social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. This introductory session will give participants the confidence to use social media for business and learn how to apply it to their own festival or event.

Spring 2013 offering  

The online course will be offered from February 11 to March 23, 2013 followed by the Timely Topic on Customer Service from March 25-29. The extra session on Social Media & Events will run from April 1-5.  

The deadline for registering at a discounted price of $499 is January 31; after the deadline, the cost of registration is $599. The Timely Topic on Customer Service is included in the full price of registration. If you only want to join us for the Timely Topic session on Customer Service or Social Media & Events, the price is $99 apiece.  

For more information about the course or to register, please visit our website at www.tourism.umn.edu or email us at tourism@umn.edu.