Cultural Quarterly Magazine Online
On the Arts_08-2012

Why Signature Events?
by Dan Fenton, Associate Partner
Strategic Advisory Group

Signature Events

Nearly 100 business, civic and government leaders in the hospitality and arts communities have spent the last few months weighing the many benefits and opportunities in creating a signature event for Broward County.

The key question is why?

Why would many talented leaders in our community have a strong interest in this as part of Broward County’s future?

The answer is clear. A well-planned, highly creative signature event can further define what makes Broward great for our community and equally as important, to the rest of the world. The opportunity to showcase the wonderful physical attributes of our County with the combination of talent and perspectives is certainly a daunting task, but will pave the way for economic growth as well as a stronger community for years to come.

What has Art Basel done for Miami-Dade or South by Southwest for Austin, Texas? What has the Indianapolis 500 done to create the Indianapolis of today? Would we even know where Park City Utah was if it wasn’t for the Sundance Film Festival?

These signature events have one thing in common. They all started with a vision and a committed community. They started in a similar fashion to the conversations and creative that has recently taken place in Broward County. The plans were ambitious and the risk was real but the reward has put these destinations on the proverbial map.

While signature events can take on many forms and celebrate activities from arts to sports as well as unique physical attractions, the key to a signature event’s success is not just how many people come during the designated time of year, but how it increases interest in a destination year around.

Imagine when a group of business men in 1872 invented a display that would be paraded down the streets of New Orleans and introduced the purple, green, and gold colors. New Orleans without Mardi Gras?

 "Venice Biennale, arguably the premier contemporary art exhibition,
helps define the great city of Venice."

There are many commonalities of those signature events that have had success.  Probably the most important component to long-term success is a committed public and private sector and the willingness expressed to work together to use technology to share information and create cultural tourism package