The Four Vs
The Festival is expected to attract over 160,000 people this year, and therefore a large venue is necessary to accommodate all of the attendees. Thus, the Auckland Domain with its 75 hectares, or 185 acres, of space is the best option to avoid overcrowding and ensure that no ventilation issues that may arise in a closed venue arise. The guests are expected to not require much room for sitting and wander throughout the park while visiting various stalls, and so seating accommodations beyond the benches available in the park will generally not be necessary.
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Variety is the central concept of the festival, and so it should provide visitors with a broad selection of various entertainment activities. The venue will host approximately a hundred stalls with different Asian food and crafts that will attract people’s interest. Numerous performances showing off martial arts, dances, and live music from traditional and contemporary Chinese cultures will provide a more active form of entertainment. Lastly, the handmade Chinese lanterns that will be positioned throughout the venue will provide guests with beautiful sights and photography opportunities. The festival will be open in the late afternoon to early evening and last until 10:30 p.m., allowing the traditional crafts a chance to display themselves in their best light.
Other than renting the venue, the festival organisers do not have to be concerned with securing significant amounts of space for the attendees. Guests are advised not to use cars, as there will be no room to park them, and to come using public transport, bicycles, scooters, or no transportation. The bikes can be parked at the airport, and the venue will have two dedicated spaces for scooter drop-off and pick-up. The festival will supply the entertainment as well as the props necessary for the performers, but stallholders will have to pay for their spots at the venue. As such, it should be able to afford free admission for the guests and remain profitable for the organisers.
The visitors will be able to see the entire operation of the festival, as it takes place outdoors and conducts all of its activities openly. The stalls will have to perform their cooking on site to cope with the demand for freshly made food, and booths generally allow the customers to see everything that happens. All of the other activities will have to occur in plain view, as well, due to the nature of the venue. As such, customers will be able to confirm everything but the origins of the lanterns displayed at the event and the crafts sold at the stalls, ensuring that the Festival provides excellent visibility to customers.
Venue and Criteria for Selection
The Auckland Lantern Festival is a massive event, one that usually attracts 160,000 to 180,000 people each year. As such, a large venue that can house all of these people, as well as the stalls and other forms of entertainment that will be present, is necessary for the proceedings. There are not many locations in Auckland that can satisfy the needs of the organising team, and so the Auckland Domain is one of the few places that can be used. It has some inadequacies, such as an insufficient amount of toilets to accommodate the expected number of visitors, but it is possible to amend the situation before the festival with portable toilets.
The Festival is free to attend, so ticket and travel agencies will not be necessary for the event. However, a marketing agency would be helpful to improve engagement and improve the numbers of attendees. With regards to stallholders and performers, the former will register for the festival and pay the requisite fees because it represents an opportunity for profit. The latter will not make money directly from their performances, and so the organisers will have to contact them and arrange their presence and payment. A company that provides portable toilets for events will also be necessary. The presence of a security detail will be required to manage any incidents that may occur. Lastly, the Lime Company will have to be contacted to arrange scooter rental spots.
The stallholders and guests will be coming using their resources, and so they will not require a place to stay for the night to be provided by the organisers. They will have to visit and then return home, mainly if they are locals, or find a room for the duration of the event. Unlike them, the performers invited to the event will most likely require hotel rooms as part of their fees. Their food will also be covered, and the organisers will inquire into any allergies or intolerances to avoid incidents. Lastly, the event will prevent issues with tobacco allergies and intoxication by banning all forms of nicotine and alcohol consumption in the venue altogether.
For transportation, the organisers will generally rely on customers to find their means or use public transport. They will contact Auckland Transport to arrange secure bike parking spots for guests who will be attending using that method. They will also contact Lime to ensure that there are scooter rental locations available to people who may choose to use the service. The use of cars will be discouraged, as there is no room to park a large number of vehicles. If attendance is projected to be unusually high, a shuttle bus service may be arranged to focus on areas of particular influx.
The Festival will require a considerable number of volunteers to set up the props for the performers as well as other infrastructure and provide assistance to visitors. Fifty to one hundred people should be sufficient, as each will participate in multiple shifts and fill a variety of roles. Auckland is a large city with a population of over 1.6 million people, and so it should not be difficult to find a sufficient number of volunteers. The event page will put out a call for participation, and the organisers will contact Team AKL, which tends to provide volunteers for various events in Auckland.
A large portion of the volunteer base, the ones that will be responsible for moving props and assisting with other physical labour, will be selected for physical strength. As such, they will mostly be male and demonstrate excellent physical health and fitness. The rest will be primarily responsible for helping the visitors, though the first group will do that as well. As such, all volunteers will be required to undergo communication and first aid training to become familiarised with the park’s various locations and learn to manage cases of visitors manifesting health issues. The city government runs a volunteer management program that organises their participation and shifts, and so the organisers will have to formulate a schedule and submit it.
The Festival is an annual event that has been happening for multiple years and attracted a variety of permanent sponsors. The ASB Bank, the Asia New Zealand Foundation, and the Harcourts real estate company are generally recognised as the event’s most significant funding sources. The first and the third sponsor the Festival for public relations purposes, as doing so helps them improve their image and the public awareness of their activities. The festival’s webpage and on-site decorations will feature their logos prominently, and their representatives will be able to participate in the opening ceremony if they would like. The Asia New Zealand Foundation is non-profit and dedicated to teaching New Zealanders about Asian culture, and so funding the Festival is in its interest.
Among other sponsors, Vector Lights are a manufacturer of lights and will supply the lanterns for the festival to advertise to visitors. The Hong Kong Economic Trade Office will participate to teach people about the culture of its home region and convince them to visit, similar to China Southern Airlines. Lotto will join as a sponsor and sell its games at the venue in addition to providing a Winning Wheel attraction. Similarly, Tip Top will be present to sell ice cream, which is likely to be in demand at the site.
Alpha Group will sponsor the Festival to spread public awareness of its products. Resene will supply the paint for the decorations in exchange for the promotion of the fact. China Travel Services will provide information about the tours it offers. Unicom New Zealand will provide funding to generate positive publicity among visitors from the country. Cloud Union will advertise its services at the venue and hold a lottery with a car as the prize. Lastly, Chinese Herald and NZME participate in a joint program where they hold a contest and provide a picnic zone to visitors in addition to funding.
The city government and its various associated services will be the principal stakeholders for the event. The Auckland Domain is public property, and so the authorities should provide access to it at no extra cost after the organisers fill the proper applications. However, they will most likely require that the area is kept as undisturbed as possible, with no littering or damaging the flora in the park permitted. As such, the organisers will likely have to hire people to assist with the removal of garbage and ensure that the rules are enforced during the Festival.
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The stallholders should be mostly self-sufficient, bringing their arrangements and tools and only requiring a space with considerable traffic to operate. The organisers should make sure to place every stall in a location where many visitors will see it and be interested in it. The performers will most likely be invited from Shanghai and be the same artists who participated in the festival in the previous years. Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) is a prominent stakeholder in the festival and will likely provide considerable help with organisation. The danger at the event is low, and the Festival takes place in an open space, so police or fire department involvement will likely be unnecessary.
As an event intended to celebrate Chinese culture in New Zealand, the Festival will secure the participation of multiple Chinese partners. The Asia New Zealand Foundation will help with funding as a founding partner and an essential stakeholder for the festival. The Hong Kong Economic Trade Center will have similar goals and provide assistance to fulfil them. The Chinese embassy in New Zealand may become involved if the organisers contact it and suggest that its members come to give speeches. Together, these organisations can help to ensure the event’s authenticity and provide advice for improvements in addition to their current contributions.