South Carolina State Fair Hits the Jackpot with International Awards in Las Vegas | News
The South Carolina State Fair took first-place honors for Best Advertising Campaign, Best Single Billboard, Best Non-Traditional Advertising and Best Media Guide/Press Kit at the 2012 International Association of Fairs and Expositions (IAFE) convention in Las Vegas last Wednesday.
The SC Fair’s promotional marketing campaign also netted second-place honors for Best Television advertising and Best Billboard Series, placing it among the most decorated fairs at the annual convention.
Judging for advertising in the IAFE Hall of Honor Communications Awards is based on how motivational, informative and appropriate it is, how well it adheres to a central theme, and the level of both creativity and production excellence it exhibits.
“I’d say our showing was especially good since we were competing with major-market fairs with budgets more than five times bigger than ours,” said State Fair General Manager Gary Goodman. “It’s always special when your work is recognized by your peers and industry experts, and even better when it helps generate the revenue we use to fund scholarships and support educational charities.”
The 2012 South Carolina State Fair also entered the record books with the second-highest attendance in the event’s history, and the greatest revenue from rides and concessions ever. “A lot of credit goes to our advertising agency – Doreen Sullivan and her team at Post No Bills – for their creativity and innovation,” said Goodman, “and the way they committed to following through to make our marketing plan work.”
State Fair assistant manager and director of marketing, sponsorship and exhibits, Nancy Smith agreed. “The awards are fantastic, but they’re the icing on the cake,” she said. “The best reward was the campaign’s effectiveness and the enthusiasm of friends like Post No Bills, Mayor Benjamin and the City of Columbia, the CVB and a long list of media partners. We worked together to tie promotion, information and education together in a fun, effective way,”
IAFE membership includes hundreds of state and regional fairs and expositions from throughout the U.S. and Canada, and a number of others from places as diverse as Mexico, Ireland and Australia, and the SC State Fair is no stranger to the winners’ circle at the annual convention. The Fair captured top honors in 2011 for the first annual Famously Hot Chef Showdown.
But this year’s four firsts and two seconds were a new high point for a fair that’s steadily becoming a model for others of all sizes from coast to coast. “We’re already gearing up for 2013,” said Goodman. “We’re aiming for another banner year.”