While the Fiesta in the Park event series has been around for 45 years, our committee is always working on ways to improve it and its efforts to be a true partner in the local community.
Over the past couple of years, we’ve committed to giving back to the City of Orlando’s Community Youth Trust Fund with a required donation after each event. If we reach our revenue goals, the Committee adds an additional percentage to the bottom line donation, which we did after the Spring Show for the first time.
An overdue addition we implemented last year was an online application to what originally was a paper-only format for over 40 years. That’s not enough as we’ve been behind the curve of technology and other local events, so beginning Spring 2016, our application and payment process will be 100% online! That means no more paper, envelopes, stamps, checks and endless volunteer hours wasted on these outdated procedures. Along with our new flat fee, we are now in line with what other events have been doing, and it means no more artist percentage payments at the end of the event and the Committee dealing with cash. Everything is electronic now, which makes things so much easier and safer for everyone involved.
We created a Facebook page in 2010 that is nearing 10,000 Likes today. This has become our hub of information sharing with participating artists, food vendors, sponsors and attendees on all things Fiesta in the Park. One cool new aspect of our Facebook page is we have installed a Facebook Beacon at Lake Eola Park. This gives us the opportunity to send out instant notifications to smart phones in the park for our event, which is a really cool advancement (and brand new for Facebook).
Lastly, we made the decision this year to include a beer and wine garden in the southeast corner of the park. Similar to what the Farmers Market does in the same location every Sunday morning throughout the year, Fiesta in the Park needed a boost in revenue to cover rising event-related expenses, charity commitments and unforeseen surprises (one year we had a golf cart stolen!). Instead of running the bank account on empty after each event, the plan is to begin a rainy day fund to make sure all commitments are met each year, no matter the situation (bad weather, damage or vandalism, rise in rental costs).
If you attend this November’s event, take a look around and let us know what you think. We are always open to critiques both positive and negative, as we continue to find ways to improve. We hope to see you in a few weeks!