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2018 Summer Workshop Wrapup

A Snowball Fight, Focus Groups, Do and Dine, and

Crisis Communications!!

A snowball fight in July?!? In Florida?!? You bet!!!!

The Florida Federation of Fairs Summer Workshop was held July 27 th – 28th in Plant City, FL. The event was hosted by the Florida Strawberry Festival. This year’s Federation President, Paul Davis, is the Executive Director of the Strawberry Festival and the current President of the Florida Federation of Fairs. The Festival definitely “rolled out the red carpet” for our attendees as their staff worked diligently to make everything perfect – especially dinner on Friday night!

From a snowball fight, to focus groups, a new do and dine event, and a great series of workshops on Crisis Communication – it was a great success.

The first day of the two-day event was devoted to the snowball fight. For this event, Paul Davis became the target for the snowballs as attendees threw out “snowballs” with the topics they wanted to discuss. Through a series of steps facilitated by Rita DeMier Lincoln with the South Florida Fair, the topics were broken down into 7 areas for discussion.Attendees were then able to select the table with the topics that most interested them. The room “buzzed” with the conversations initiated by this process.

Following that, the attendees participated in Focus Groups to discuss the current and future direction of Federation events and activities. Lots of great feedback and new ideas were presented. The group then had the opportunity to tour the new Festival concert stadium and see first-hand this great new facility.

While getting ready for dinner that night, attendees participated in a “Do and Dine.” Okay, this did push some people a little out of their comfort zone as attendees were assigned to a series of 10 tables with activities to “Do” while they “Dined.” The goal of this event was to get everyone involved in activities that could also be done at their Fair and get them to meet new people (everyone was assigned to a table with folks from other Fairs). The Do and Dine tables were all facilitated by volunteers that created the project and included: Veggie Sculptures (by Rhonda Ward, Collier County Fair); Shaving Cream Stationary Creations (by Pat Cookson, Collier County Fair); Painted Rocks (by Fran Crone, Southwest FL & Lee County Fair); Shell Creations (by Mary Hiers, Citrus County Fair); A Bucket of Junk (by Terry Atchley, Hardee County Fair); Painting Giant Puzzle Pieces (by Suzanne Holcomb, Hillsborough County Fair); Tie-Dye bandanas (by Cheryl Flood, Florida State Fair); Emoji Painting (by Bill Olson, Greater Jacksonville Ag Fair); On-Site Photography Contests (by Rita DeMier Lincoln, South Florida Fair); and Lego mania (by Stacey Wade, Osceola County Fair).

Friday night’s Welcome dinner was an amazing taste of treats and was co-sponsored by Belle City Amusements, EMC Tickets; and the Florida Strawberry Festival. It was an all you can eat brisket, ribs, prime rib, chicken, and shrimp. What a feast! It was a great evening with great food, a relaxing format, and time to network with all our Florida Fair friends.

Saturday was a day devoted to workshops and discussions on Crisis Communications. Through Paul Davis’s and Tim Lovett’s contacts with the Plant City Police Department and the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s department, there was an awesome array of expertise presented on: The Importance of Having an Emergency Plan and The Components Your Plan Should Have; It’s an Emergency! What Would You Do?;

How to Handle the Media in the Aftermath of a Crisis; and Preparing for Insurance and Legal Issues in the Aftermath of a Crisis.

A special thanks to our speakers Corporal Stevie Carmack with the Plant City Police Department and Danny Alvarez with the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Department.

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