Queens Harvest Food Co-op

Queens Eats
November 17, 2011
Queens, NY

QHFC will be the first food co-op in New York’s western Queens area. Founded in Spring 2009 by three women with a dream, it has grown from a handful of committed volunteers to several hundred strong. I play a role on the Outreach committee and worked together with Finance to put on our first Fundraiser. Queens Eats was a tasting event with samples from local Astoria/LIC restaurants, live music from a local group, a bar featuring beer from Brooklyn and wine vendors from Astoria, and a silent auction with goods and services donated by Astoria/LIC businesses and citizens, and guest speaker Tamara Reynolds.

As one of two co-chairs, I was responsible for contacting and securing vendors, scouting and laying out the venue, purchasing event insurance, training volunteers, and answering inquiries via email. At the event I set up the main floor, made sure vendors had supplies throughout the night (napkins, utensils, etc), manned the check-in/registration table, fielded questions, and spoke a few words during the evening.

The event went off without a hitch – except that we were so successful, we had to turn people away at the door! The event raised over $11k and enabled the co-op to buy supplies, storage space, and incorporate, as important first steps. We were a Time Out New York Critic’s Pick for that week in November.

Check out a recap and photos on Queens Buzz.

JapanFest 2006

Children’s area
September, 2006
Atlanta, GA

With the cooperation of Japanese Chamber of Commerce, Japan-America Society of Georgia, and the Japanese Consulate, JapanFest is the largest Japanese culture festival in the southeast and draws crowds nearing 20,000. The two-day festival has a number of vendors, exhibits,  activities, and foods that aim to share Japanese culture with the south.

My role was to create the children’s area. Every year JapanFest tries to bring new activities to the table, and I was given the responsibility of coming up with said activities, purchasing the materials to execute them, lay out the space, and coordinate volunteers. New activities I came up with included a game of pan kui kyousou (bread eating race), and painting kabuki masks that children could then wear. Clear instructions for both volunteers and children/parents accompanied each game and activity.

Aside from taking care of the children’s area logistics, I purchased logo T-shirts, drafted and purchased stickers, proofread the master training manual, and mailed out free tickets to schools.

SJI Associates for [adult swim]

Guerrilla marketing events
Fall, 2005
Athens, GA

Part of [adult swim]’s targeted marketing strategy was using guerrilla marketing techniques to promote the brand to college students.  A team of two and I were charged with marketing and executing three events at the University of Georgia campus. We marketed the events by posting “hidden” messages/advertisements on sidewalks, streets, etc, as well as more formal advertising through newspapers and magazines.

The first event was a limited-editon poster giveaway. We chose a spot on campus that we felt had the most traffic during the day. Indeed, the line of people waiting to grab rare march was wrapped around streets and buildings! Because of such a large turnout, we had to be careful with how long we spent talking to each customer – friendly and informative, but fast.

The second event was a CD release party for Danger Doom (collaboration between musicians Danger Mouse and MF Doom). The duo released an album composed of raps by MF Doom, performed over beats created by Danger Mouse’s samples of music from various [adult swim] programming. At the event, we tied in the music with the programming by intermixing the CD with screenings of select episodes, and hosted a rap-battle contest where the contestants had to use [adult swim] references in their performance. We encouraged the target demographic to relate further to the brand by having the university’s breakdance club to perform against remixes of the album’s songs.

Finally, our third event was a basic swag giveaway and screening in a resteraunt/pub where we could interact with our audience on a more personal level. I asked a late-twenties guy sitting at the bar if he wanted some swag, and he declined, seemingly uninterested in the brand. Later, I noticed him watching and enjoying our programming on the bar’s TV. I reapproached him and told him I caught him in the act, and was able to start a conversation about the brand/schedule and passed on some swag. Victory! Marketing isn’t just about preaching to the choir; it’s also about acquiring new consumers.

After each even, we sent a recap to SJI headquarters where they could use the information to assess brand saturation. During the program’s implementation, brand awareness rose 70-90%.


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