RYAN WILLIAMS: Quinte Craft was great. What’s next?
What a party. Quinte Craft: Beer by the Bay was everything the organizers hoped for: great weather, vendors, attendance, and most importantly, a pick-up of people to Downtown Belleville at a time when downtown was meant to be showcased.In short – it showed what we knew all along: there can be multiple events, all year long downtown, and the results are far reaching.
More than 3,000 people descended on the core throughout the day, and then were left to visit downtown when the main event was over.
Restaurants were full, bars were bustling,
It was great! What’s next?
(Eddie Murphy once coined a phrase during his ‘80s comedic tour when he quipped his girlfriend would say “what have you done for me lately?”)
Let us raise the bar for how we do events in the region, in our downtowns, and in general.
Let us challenge each event, year after year, whether a staple, or new, to become bigger and better.
There is a formula that worked: partnerships make events go round. Quinte Craft was a partnership with the Quinte Restaurant Association, Bay of Quinte Tourism, and the Empire Theatre.
Each did what they did best. Empire was the event guro, set it up, rip it out. Bay of Quinte Tourism the promotion specialists. And the Quinte Restaurant Association, the go-to guys and gals for business-to-business connections – the vendors, the beer, cider, and wine, and the food!
(Mother Nature was a partner as well, and we do give her special mention).
Partnerships for the future need to be sought, and in similar fashion, to start raising the bar across the field.
We are seeing that, with the Empire Theatre’s new partnership with the Trenton Scottish Irish Festival and the announcement of Alan Doyle headlining the Festival in September.
Quintelicious also continues through this weekend, with restaurants partnered with local produce, meat, beer, wine, and cider, chocolate makers in the region.
Enhanced food festivals, and increasing our local cider, beer, and wine festivals and raising the bar will do nothing short of fill all of our mugs to the brim with great local entertainment.
Ryan Williams is vice-president of Williams Hotels and former chair of Bay of Quinte Tourism.
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