As a way to build and maintain audiences, the Spokesman-Review in Washington has found success with audience participant events. In a recent INMA blog, the paper’s director of sales and marketing Kathleen Coleman wrote about the two successful events. Their aim was to engage audience groups 55 years and plus, and foodies young and old.
The first event was the Active Living Expo, which was held for the first time last year. Tickets were sold for $5, and the show attracted 303 attendees. The event included health presentations and expo booths, with demonstrations ranging from a local cardiologist, yoga instructor and an elder law specialist. The booth sponsors ranged from private golf clubs open to public memberships to assisted living centers and local wineries.
The larger and more popular event (it attracted 509 attendees) was the Dorothy Dean Home Cooking Show over Mother’s Day weekend. The event was named after the former face of the Spokesman-Review’s home economics department, Dorothy Dean, who published recipes and operated a test kitchen from 1935 to 1983. The show included a live-cooking stage featuring local chefs and food business owners. Finalists from the cooking competition show “Top Chef” and other notable cooks and authors conducted food presentations on the main stage, and expo booths sold locally brewed coffee, caramels, kitchenware and more. Tickets ranged from $12 to $125, and a portion of ticket sales benefited local charities.
The Spokesman-Review is already booking dates to repeat both events in 2019 with a majority of sponsors also returning, according to Coleman.
Editor’s Note: This story has been edited to correct and clarify the price of the event tickets.