Event Management: JetBlue’s Long Beach Live!

≡ The Backdrop:

The Downtown Long Beach Associates (DLBA) business-improvement district had made substantial strides in revitalizing the downtown Long Beach area, and wanted a showpiece promotional program to highlight the progress.

Perelman, Pioneer won a competitive selection process to produce a festival-style event in the downtown area, to be held in summer 2002.

≡ The Work:

In order to create and produce the first-time show in just eight months, the project was broken into four parts:

  • Advertising and Promotion
  • Operations
  • Programming
  • Sales and Sponsorship

The DLBA, working in conjunction with Pat Harris DiLeva of our staff, led the advertising and promotion aspects. In addition to some traditional advertising, heavy distribution of discount ticket coupons began in the spring at events throughout the Long Beach area. More than 150,000 of these coupons were distributed in all. Using our media contacts, a strong outreach to local media (especially television) was made within the last month prior to the show (see the media information Fact Pack here).

Rich Perelman led the operations area, creating the show layout, coordinating the necessary permits, liaising with local businesses and residents and securing the dozens of necessary vendors for electricity, furniture, sanitation, security, signage, sound support and many other items.

Everyone helped on programming, with Harris DiLeva taking the lead on bands and acts, including themed programs that were tied in with local radio stations for promotional purposes, and community participation in supplied booths. Andy Harris (no relation) coordinated the restaurant participation and Maria Lopez of our staff marketed booths to local commercial businesses that wanted to participate. (See the event program here.)

Sales and sponsorship was handled in conjunction with our friend Mike Bone of Spectrum Sports Management. A remarkable effort was made for a first-time event, which resulted in the signing of 17 sponsors for the show:

Cash sponsors:

  • JetBlue Airways (as title sponsor)
  • Anheuser-Busch
  • Camden Properties
  • Community Hospital of Long Beach
  • Developers Diversified Realty
  • Perrier Group
  • SoCal Pepsi Bottling Group
    Office of Supervisor Don Knabe

Promotional sponsors:

  • American Express
  • CTC Travel & Meeting Management
  • Grand Prix Association of Long Beach
  • The Grove of Anaheim
  • KCAL-9 TV
  • KLON 88.1 FM
  • Long Beach Press-Telegram
  • Moon Dance Catering
  • TalkRadio KABC 790

The event was highly visible, held primarily on Broadway in downtown Long Beach, over a seven-block-long area during the July 4 weekend from Friday, July 4 through Sunday, July 6.

≡ The Outcome:

JetBlue’s Long Beach Live! proved to be a hit, with total attendance of approximately 20,000, very good for a first-year show, with 14,196 paid (95% of budgeted attendance figure). Total revenues surpassed $302,000; more than 47 percent of all adult admissions redeemed the discount coupons.

Programming was held on five stages, including the CityPlace Performance Pavilion, Blue Café, Budweiser Stage at The Promenade Amphitheater, Grove of Anaheim Stage and the Museum of Latin American Art stage plus the American Express Chef’s Pavilion on Broadway near Long Beach Boulevard.

There were 31 vendor booths and 11 restaurant pavilions, plus Shamrock Shows’ 70-foot high Century Wheel, which served as a theme element near the main entrance at Pine Avenue and Broadway.

Excellent local newspaper coverage came from the Long Beach Press-Telegram with a cover story on the event on Thursday, July 4 in the “U” entertainment section, a front-page story (and picture) on Saturday, July 6, page two coverage on Sunday, July 7, and a front-page story on Monday, July 8.

Strong electronic media editorial coverage during the event came from KCBS (channel 2), KNBC (4), KCAL (9) and KCOP (13) plus a two-hour live radio broadcast of KABC 790‘s “The Restaurant Show” with Mario Martinoli on Saturday, July 6.

Best of all, Long Beach Police reported no significant incidents during the entire show, making the weekend a safe and sound success.