Tuesday, April 1, 2008
My Clinton School of Public Service practicum team planned and hosted an Arkansas DeltaMade Marketplace at the Clinton School on March 16, 2008. The objectives of the Marketplace event were to raise awareness of the Arkansas DeltaMade brand among the general public in central Arkansas, attract the interest and support of local business and political leaders, open new markets, and foster relationships among the producers.
In preparation for the event, the team developed an event plan, and mailed an informational packet to Arkansas DeltaMade producers. The team created a mailing list of Central Arkansas retailers, business leaders, elected officials and other key stakeholders, and produced the event invitation. Ben Beaumont, UACS Director of Communications, coordinated the event publicity including a segment on KTHV’s Positively Arkansas, print articles in the Arkansas Times and Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, coverage on the Clinton School website and blog, and a press release which was picked up by numerous local and regional print and online media outlets.
Public officials, economic development professionals, central Arkansas gift and food retailers and buyers attended the preview party hosted by Arkansas First Lady Ginger Beebe. Immediately following the preview party, the Marketplace opened to the general public for shopping with an estimated attendance of 350. The event grossed just over $10,000 for the 30 Arkansas DeltaMade producers who participated. In addition, buyers from retail outlets including Wal-Mart and the Peabody Hotel gift shop made appointments with selected producers to discuss future wholesale orders.