It was only a year ago that the joint marketing committees of Can Do! and CharlotteRising rolled out a new community brand for Charlotte. After an initial splash, the brand and “Charlotte is …” campaign sat slightly dormant.

That may change, and soon, starting with Charlotte Celebrates, which takes place over Father’s Day weekend in Charlotte. Charlotte Celebrates was the first festival to jump on board with the new branding campaign in 2018, adopting a new logo for the festival and partnering with the accompanying Charlotte is … billboard campaign. Those efforts will continue with this year’s promotion. Frontier Days also followed suit with a new logo in 2018.

A new community organization, loosely formed at this point, has brought all of Charlotte’s festivals together in an effort to increase efficiencies, promotional efforts and overall success of all festivals. Called the Charlotte Festival Alliance, the organization includes representatives from Charlotte Celebrates, the Eaton County Home and Business Expo, Frontier Days, Michigan Nordic Fire Festival, Concerts on the Square, Charlotte Performing Arts Center, Charlotte Bluegrass Festival, Eaton County Fair, Pigpalooza, Windwalker Underground Gallery, and the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce. 

The Festival Alliance met Wednesday, May 29 to discuss the opportunity to better take advantage of the Charlotte brand, and what that could mean for the promotion of the community’s major events.

“This is an opportunity to keep who you are by becoming all you can be,” said Matt Rush, who along with Darice Darling pitched a partnership between the Festival Alliance and Can Do! and Charlotte/Rising marketing teams at the May 29 meeting. “We are more aligned than ever, and this opportunity is something that can be great for this community.”

Darling said the opportunity to collaborate and refresh the community brand will help each festival operate more efficiently, while increasing the opportunity to support one another more.

“It’s a potential way to leverage additional resources and funding,” said Linda Frederickson, who would serve as the point person for the marketing committee.

Each festival representative present at the meeting spoke in favor of exploring the utilization of the community brand moving forward.

“This is a great way to get our message out there and reach a lot of people,” Darling said. 

In addition to examining the marketing approach of each festival, the Charlotte Festival Alliance is working to address a number of areas of opportunity that could open up by continuing to work together. The Alliance has identified four main areas of focus — sponsorship/promotion, infrastructure/grant opportunities, volunteer management, and group purchasing. One of the group’s first major projects is the creation a community calendar for all events taking place in the community.