Posts Tagged ‘Color Mob’

Doing business with the public comes with great social responsibility. In 2012, many new businesses commenced, each with their own backing and marketing. “Survival of the fittest” never shone brighter, as mainly the strongest businesses survived the year, while those without a proper business plan closed. Entrepreneurs can seek out help from third parties, who usually would not hesitate if they receive some benefit in return. In order to garner more publicity to these businesses, event planners hold festivals for the public that contain multiple similar businesses. Some of these fests turn out well, while some others fall hard. When some people do not like the event purely because it does not fit their likings, those reviews can slide by. But when an event causes problems for lots of potential attendees, you have a social issue at hand. While 2012 saw many terrific public events, 2012 also saw a handful of events that did not live up to the expectations of the guests of the respective event. As an event-based marketer, I narrowed down my catalog to a semi-top 5 list of fests that flopped this year. These fests did not only affect me – they affected other guests too, taking into consideration how many others felt the same way I did. On a side note, none of these events carry an associated Twitter account.

5. TIE: Taste of West Orange County and Harvest Moon Festival

Both of these events clock in at number five for the same reason: putting corporates before the mom & pop shops. The Taste of West Orange County originally claimed to boast over 40 of the finest local restaurants for a $30 admission. They ended up only carrying nine different vendors, mostly consisting of corporate businesses like Chick-Fil-A, Starbucks, and Sam’s Club. The Harvest Moon Festival also promised to feature plenty of local shops at their fest. I had to plow through the long lines of people at booths for McDonald’s, Starbucks, Hyundai, Toyota, Wells Fargo, Verizon, and more before I discovered the so-called local businesses tucked away at the back, where few people even realized those booths existed. Why host a fest to grant marketing privileges to established corporate companies? The people already have heard of these companies, and most have gone to or consumed from one. For anyone hosting a fest like this, pay attention to the local businesses, and give less attention to corporates, since the corporates have a plan and know what to do to continue their success.

4. Long Beach Sea Feast-ival

How the mighty have fallen… Here you see an example of what happens when progress goes south. The Long Beach Sea Feast-ival originally started two years ago as a food fest for all of Long Beach. Many local food businesses in Long Beach set up at this fest on the pier and sampled their food to guests for free. Although the tickets cost $50 per person, they proudly held the title as the official Long Beach Food Fest. Fast forward to this year, and their decision to overhaul the fest has downsized the fest by leagues, as the extent of the fest reduced to only the end of the pier. Admission decreased to $20 per person, but in exchange, all guests still had to pay for food. Speaking of food, no longer about Long Beach local businesses, a local fisherman provided all the seafood for the day: lobster, crab, shrimp, scallops, and more. Unfortunately, the exorbitant food prices coupled with the bad quality made for an uneasy trip to the restroom afterwards. What happened to servicing the local restaurants of Long Beach? The original food fest setup worked wonderfully – why change to this tiny little “fest” that essentially marketed just one guy? Follow the phrase “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” and you shall succeed with your goals.

3. The Chocolate & Art Show (Experience)

Every event promoter needs marketing to have a successful event. Unfortunately to the public, you cannot always identify the legitimacy of marketing sometimes. The organizers behind the Chocolate & Art Show (Experience) marketed more than they delivered. If you use ALL CAPS to market something, one should expect to clearly witness such a thing at the event, correct? From their event website, they claimed these in ALL CAPS: DJ’s & bands all night, gourmet artisanal chocolate, nude body painting, and tons of art. We can already get the art out of the way, since this took place at an art gallery anyways. As for the music, only one band played the entire night, and they had to take occasional breaks, leading to periods of silence throughout the gallery sans the expected chatter among the guests. I hate the word gourmet as much as I hate the word foodie because of the desensitization of the definition. I mean, to some people, they can call mini Snickers and Three Musketeers gourmet chocolate. But if you ask me, I would NEVER consider mass-produced candy as gourmet. Did the organizers really believe they could get away with giving away Halloween candy as their “gourmet chocolates”? Lastly, if you market nude body painting, I expect to see real naked bodies in the flesh. I expected to see women, but even men would have fulfilled their promise to feature nude body painting. I did not expect to see just paintings of nude people. Sadly, it appears that event organizers can get away with marketing something grander than reality. Heck I could even inform someone “You won a brand new car!” and give that person an unwrapped Hot Wheels car, as that qualifies my statement as true.

2. Manhattan Beach Beer Fest

When one man complains about something, most would simply discredit him. When hundreds of people complain, they may hold a valid argument. Entering the Manhattan Beach Beer Fest, guests immediately saw the problem. The fest itself ran fine, but entering the fest caused many headaches and swollen veins. The organizers decided to allow only a single file line to enter, but the entire time, only one security guard checked ID’s, and he started doing so at 3pm when the fest started. Because all guests could only purchase will-call tickets, the volunteer at the will-call table had to check ID’s once more. In addition, only one person worked the will-call table. Did they just not have enough volunteers? This food fest also hosted some food trucks, including the infamous Grilled Cheese Truck. However, some local business provided free food for the first hour. Gather all of this information together, and you will spot the frustration shared among hundreds of guests. For a beer fest lasting only three hours, the organizers ought to maximize the guests’ time within the fest, not waste their time checking them in. Also, why invite food trucks when someone else provides free food, and why provide it for only the first hour if it took longer than an hour to check everyone in? To avoid amateur mistakes, event organizers need to attend similar events to learn from them. Event organizers should never operate solely on research without real experiences – these real experiences teach infinitely more than research ever can.

1. Color Mob

No, I do not even have my own picture of the event because I simply never made it, as did thousands of ticket holders. The organizers of Color Mob perhaps got a little too excited to throw their first event that they overlooked one exceedingly important factor: transportation. They picked a venue far in the mountains away from civilization due to the nature of a color run – fine, we get that. However, know that only one road leads to that location, which stretches for miles before entering a city again. Also consider that the location could hold no more than 3,000 cars, excluding camper vans, motor homes, trucks, and other large vehicles. Why would you still sell over 10,000 tickets? Did you honestly expect all tens of thousands of ticket holders to carpool to this remote location, a place that has no cell phone reception because of its far proximity from the city? For selling that many tickets, they still only ran one start time instead of staggering it – if they had a few thousand per hour, traffic would not have frustrated so many people as it did. And apparently many people did carpool, as I witnessed many people leaving their cars to run to the venue. As many of them passed, I shouted at them to demand refunds, which I eventually discovered that many had done, but to no avail – the Color Mob organizers firmly stated all sales final, no matter what happened. Enraged, hundreds of ticket holders ranted on their Facebook page. Showing lack of professionalism and social responsibility, instead of acknowledging this issue, they chose to never address it and delete all negative comments from their Facebook wall. They also somehow removed their tag from my post about them a few weeks ago. Nobody should ever have to tolerate or give money to a group as irresponsible as this. I humbly bestow Color Mob the 2012 Badge of Shame.

The first annual Color Mob took place this past Saturday morning at Irvine Lake. A spinoff of the highly popular Color Run, this colorful 5K saw thousands of runners wearing white while traversing through dirt and other rough terrain while getting pelted with handfuls of colored corn starch. All participants enter wearing all white and leave looking like a rainbow threw up on them. As a fun run, the organizers do not actually keep time – they simply provide an outlet for participants to run wild and free. As such, participants seek out these color runs for the experience and memories rather than setting personal records.

As the first color run put on by these organizers, one should expect some mistakes or miscalculations to occur. Typically, I can forgive beginner mistakes when holding events, and I gladly provide constructive criticism. However, I did not expect a mistake this large as I approached the area. Nothing irks me more than a mistake that wastes people’s time. Earlier this year, I wrote about an event’s poor handling of managing the entrance. Suffice to say, a mistake on a greater scale occurred the morning of Color Mob. Observe this photo I snapped:

Notice a neverending line of cars? I sat in this traffic for 30 minutes and had barely moved a few feet before I snapped this photo. I entered this traffic about a mile and a half away from Irvine Lake at 9:15am, 45 minutes prior to the run’s start time. Can you see the very end of the line in this photo? It took me another half hour to reach that point. I looked up traffic on my phone, and saw the road colored black all the way up to Irvine Lake. That could mean one of two likely things: an accident occurred immediately at Irvine Lake, or the organizers did not know how to handle traffic. Surprisingly, a driver coming back kindly confirmed the latter. Not daunted by the inevitable wait time of sitting in traffic, I endured another hour of this, and still did not even progress a mile. During that time, I gradually witnessed runners leaving their cars and running towards the lake. Sharing their pain, I shouted at everyone passing by to demand a refund. An hour later, I noticed that people had parked their cars on the side of the road far from the lake and just ran to the lake. I knew that I still had about a half mile to drive to the lake at that point, so me parking with them meant nothing, especially since I had another event to attend within an hour. Frustrated, I finally turned around and left the traffic madness.

So what exactly went wrong? A bit of research later showed that the lake could only accommodate for about 3,000 parking spots, but Color Mob had sold over 10,000 tickets with no refunds allowed. What kind of greedy event planner does that? Did they not even consider that not everyone would carpool? Or did they do this on purpose just to boost numbers on their first year? Sure they can brag about how many tickets they sold on their first event, but how many of the tickets sold actually participated in the run? I do not speak alone on this subject; however, the organizers quickly delete any negative post on their Facebook page. This post, however, still lingers on their page:

Monica Garcia Thelin: At 9:10 we had 3 miles to go on Santiago Canyon Road. At 10:10 we had 2 miles to go. This was by car. Next time, get some traffic directors and a new location. From what I hear the start time was moved to 11 as well as adding more heats. Nice try but perhaps an email blast to update us would have been helpful as quite a few gave up and turned around.

For such poor planning, the organizers owe it to all supporters to refund anyone arriving after the run’s start time. How dare they take people’s money and make them waste time for nothing! All day long, tons of people complained on their Facebook page, yet most of those posts no longer exist. What kind of morals does this organization carry? If you want to maintain a positive reputation, accommodate to everyone who had to suffer. But since they (Bernie) Madoff With The Money, nobody should ever trust them again, let alone support of recommend them to anyone. Looking for a REAL Color Run? Check out the next one in Los Angeles on February 2nd in a few months. At least they know how to hold an event.

Taste of West Orange County
5:00 pm – 9:00 pm, December 5
Knott’s Berry Farm Hotel, Buena Park

The first annual Taste of West Orange County will take place this Wednesday night. This food fest costs $30 per ticket, or $50 for two tickets. All attendees receive 30 taster coupons to try food from the 40 restaurants serving at the fest.

2012 Annual West 3rd Street Holiday Street Party
6:00 pm – 9:00 pm, December 6
W 3rd St between La Cienaga & Fairfax, Los Angeles

This free street party will have entertainment, refreshments, merchandise, food, and other specials going on. Think of this as First Friday, since you can easily see comparisons between this and Venice First Friday.

Voodoo Glow Skulls @ Alpine Village
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, December 6
Alpine Village, Torrance

Back at it again, Voodoo Glow Skulls headline an all-ages show at Alpine Village this Thursday night. Tickets cost $10 presale and $13 at the door, and comes with free parking, free tamales, piñatas to destroy, and more holiday treats.

First Fridays
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, December 7
Various locations
Long Beach:

This monthly artwalk occurs on the first Friday of every month. Each location offers different activities, but most will contain food & drink specials, art exhibits & displays, street performers, and more. Venice and Long Beach have the two largest gatherings of all First Fridays. Other locations include Westchester, Fullerton, and City of Industry. Most First Fridays locations cost nothing to attend, while the local businesses uphold their standard rules (e.g. bars 21+ only).

Piecemakers Christmas “Under the Stars” Crafts Fair
5:00 pm – 9:00 pm, December 7
9:00 am – 4:00 pm, December 8
Piecemakers Country Store, Costa Mesa

Hundreds of local vendors will sell their merchandise and creations at this free outdoor fair this weekend. Kids can enjoy hay rides and other activities, while food trucks will serve food to guests.

Uptown Village Market
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, December 7
10:00 am – 4:00 pm, December 8
Expo Arts Center, Bixby Knolls, Long Beach

Local artists and vendors will display and sell their wares at this FREE art fest. Guests can look at some interesting works of art, while browsing through all the merchandise available to purchase. The organizers will provide free refreshments, while live bands and singers will keep guests entertained.

The Adolescents and T.S.O.L. @ The Observatory
7:00 pm – 1:00 am, December 7
The Observatory, Santa Ana

Legendary punk bands The Adolescents and T.S.O.L. play a show at The Observatory this Friday night. Tickets to this all-ages show cost $20 each.

Pancakes & Booze Art Show
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, December 7-9
Lot 613, Los Angeles

For just a $5 cover, guests get treated to unlimited pancakes and many artists from across the country showcasing their works. Guests can also witness body painting, stencil art, art battles, sculptures, graffiti, and more. Guests can park on the street for free, or park in the adjacent parking lot for $5. No one under 21 may enter.

Color Mob 5k
9:00 am – 2:00 pm, December 8
Irvine Lake, Irvine

What happens when you mix a 5k run, live music, beer, and lots of colors? You get the inaugural Color Mob 5k of course! This all-ages fun run will have participants running through clouds of color, music, dissonance, and more. Strangely, this fest also has a beer garden and food trucks, things that do not necessarily go hand-in-hand with a 5k. Alas, entry into the run costs $50, or $80 for two. Parking costs $5 cash, so have that ready as well.

2012 Downtown Pomona Christmas Parade
10:00 am – 12:00 pm, December 8
2nd Street, Downtown Pomona

Looking for a Christmas parade to bring your friends & family to? Check out Downtown Pomona this Saturday morning for a free parade. Parking meters shut off for that day, so guests can park for free.

3rd Annual Renegade Craft Fair Holiday Market
10:00 am – 5:00 pm, December 8-9
LA State Historic Park, Los Angeles

Renegade LA returns for the second time this year at LA State Historic Park. This completely FREE (parking & entry) event featured numerous independent artists and vendors not just from California, but out of state, and some out of the country. For the holiday show, expect hands-on workshops and a beer garden, in addition to the food trucks and hundreds of crafters available.

Pugachev’s Cobra Release & Barrel-Aged Beers Party
11:00 am – 4:00 pm
Hangar 24 Brewery, Redlands

Like Santa Claus, Hangar 24’s bourbon barrel-aged Russian Imperial Stout, Pugachev’s Cobra, makes its annual return this month. Starting this Saturday at their tasting room at the brewery in Redlands, beer lovers can obtain Pugachev’s Cobra on draft and/or in bottles to take home. In addition, Hangar 24 will serve plenty of other barrel-aged beers on this day to commemorate the release of this year’s Pugachev’s Cobra. Tickets to this tasting event cost $25 and comes with 6 coupons good for a 4 oz. pour each. The first 250 guests receive a souvenir glass to take home as well.

Orange County Brew Ho Ho
12:00 pm – 4:00 pm, December 8
Phoenix Club, Anaheim

From the creators of OC Brew Ha Ha comes the OC Brew Ho Ho Holiday Ale Festival! Join me this Saturday for an afternoon of UNLIMITED beer tastings, food, music, holiday shopping, and more. As one of the year’s final beer fests, expect to ring in 2013 with some rare and unreleased beers, including Hangar 24’s Pugachev’s Cobra. In addition to the beer and food, OC Brew Ho Ho will also feature a merchandise expo, allowing attendees to do some holiday shopping while drinking beer. Tickets cost $45 and comes with free parking, a souvenir glass, and all access to all areas of the fest. As with any beer fest, all attendees must show ID, and nobody under 21 may enter.

Pico Holiday Art Walk
12:00 pm – 9:00 pm, December 8
Pico Blvd between 28th & 34th, Santa Monica

Many stores on Pico Blvd will have special promotions, artwork, and more.

4th Street Annual Holiday Open House
2:00 pm – 8:00 pm, December 8
Retro Row, Long Beach

During this time, many shops on Retro Row will have special deals on vintage wares, trinkets, toys, beauty supplies, music, books, and more. Food trucks will also make an appearance on 4th Street. Certain locations will provide free gift wrapping, photos with Santa, and custom pin-striping.

50th Annual Marina Del Rey Holiday Boat Parade
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm, December 8
Burton Chace Park, Marina Del Rey

Rain or shine, this boat parade will go on! The night begins with fireworks scheduled for 5:55 pm, immediately followed by the boat parade at 6pm.

The Dirty Little Secrets: Twisted Christmas
8:30 pm – 11:30 pm, December 8
Malones Bar & Grill, Santa Ana

The sexy vixens from the Dirty Little Secrets return this Saturday night with a burlesque twist on a Christmas show. Catch them performing at 8:30 and 11:00 this night. No one under 21 may enter. This bar requires a variable cover charge. When entering, mention that you want to see the Dirty Little Secrets.

DieN’Isis XI: A Zombie Apocalypse Survival Beer Paired Dinner Workshop
5:00 pm – 9:00 pm, December 9
Beachwood Brewing, Long Beach

Even I feel confused at the name… This zombie-themed beer-pairing dinner will feature offals as the main constituent of each course. Throughout the night, speakers and experts will talk about zombies, how to counter them and possible escape plans. Tickets to this one-in-a-lifetime dinner cost $80 per person.

Manhattan Beach Holiday Fireworks
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, December 9
Manhattan Beach Pier

This Sunday night, many streets near the Manhattan Beach Pier will close, as thousands of spectators gather to watch fireworks (which start at 7pm), dance, drink, mingle, and more. Completely free to attend, expect chaos with this many people. Arrive early to snag a good parking spot.