David Kelly

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David Kelly

Post by reganwann on Sun Apr 15, 2018 9:33 am

Reached out to us on 4/13/18 with this:
HI Regan, I wanted to reach out to your group to see if we can share contacts with each other as we are doing a wizarding event in Louisville called Alabaster: School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. We have a story line that we follow and know that your crowd is our crowd and vice versa. Take a look at our page and event page - https://www.facebook.com/AlabasterSchoolofWitchcraftandWizardryII/

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Re: David Kelly

Post by reganwann on Sun Apr 15, 2018 9:34 am

My response 4/14/18:
Hi David. Just jumping on and trying to catch up after a busy week. I need to go check out your event, etc. but why don't you tell me a little bit about what you do and what you're thinking a partnership might look like? We're incorporated as a 501c3 and I am the president of the board but I do still have to discuss any business issues with my board so I can't make any immediate promises or commitments. I'm very curious about your event.

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Re: David Kelly

Post by reganwann on Sun Apr 15, 2018 9:34 am

Same day, his response:
Thank you for your response! Well..this give you a little history, we are an 18 year old event firm in Louisville and we do signature events that we put on and host ourselves. One of them is our "wizarding" event. The last two years, it was very Harry Potter like, using our location in Frankfort as the place for the great hall for a feast with those that are into the school. This event was going before I came on board as their marketing consultant...so I went to their last event to notice that they did no promotions but had over 1600 people attend in two weeks...
I never watched Harry potter before this, so when I went to the event, I was confused....I'm originally from California, so I'm used to going to DIsneyland, Universal Studios, etc and I was always under the impression that when you do an event of that magnitude, unless you are trying to alienate a crowd, you give some basic explanation as to what was going on. The actors they had were actually servers, so they weren't believable, but somehow they were still able to get so many people. I was really confused, because I thought for the price, it wasn't worth what they were getting
So...when I came on, I took over this signature events, which included this event. So, I watched a few Harry Potter movies, started understanding what they were trying to relay, and decided to change the way they did the event. I did some questionnaires with some of the people that went to the event the year before and started formulating ideas as to make this Harry Potter like, but with that amount of people coming in, it couldn't be Harry Potter. It had to have elements of Hogwart, but couldn't be...to avoid any cease and desist letters...so we played on the hidden schools in North America a created a story line, blending the history of Frankfort, KY and how it came to be with magic, formed with these four houses. We have a crude outline of the story I can send you to review, but I am releasing the story, little by little on the facebook page....
The other thing that i though was missing was the interaction for the "students" that came in for those three hours...instead of just having a dinner and some bad actor/servers, we will this year focus on this being a secret school and there are mini classes that students can attend during their time, such as wand movement, brew creation, magical creature "petting zoo", and the foods will be more magical...we have partnered with an ice cream company that we are creating "magical" flavored ice creams that will be in 20 stored and used as marketing for the event. Foods that we will have will be more mystical looking, and we will have a Dygon Alley type area with carts that will be open for students....the great hall area will be the last place where everyone eats and we will do a sorting and more interaction with games that houses can compete against each other. The house that wins will get some prize that they can take home...
That's is the basics of the event...there are some other pieces that we are putting together and working with some sponsors ...but I know that we have the same audience, so I was wondering how we can share our audience via marketing and possibly incorporating one event to another, IE...our event may be where the students are accepted to the overnight school....maybe we can assist in sponsorships and you can assist in actors...using your characters in the school and then seeing them in the over night school would just reiterate the "realness" of the events...since I don't know if there is anything that you may need, I really can't give exacts...but I am certain that we have the same direction and I don't see promoting your event as a conflict of our event...it actually brings more meat to the story...
I see you aren't online right now...so I'll let you read over this and let's chat. I don't know what the partnership looks like, but I feel that there may be something that we can mutual benefit from to make our lives easier...I'd love to discuss this further with you when you have time...let me know your thoughts!

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Re: David Kelly

Post by reganwann on Sun Apr 15, 2018 9:34 am

My follow up:
Just got home, I have several things I have to get done today, but I'll take a deeper look ASAP.
I will let you know that two of our board members worked the dinner events last fall so they have some knowledge of Michaelis and where you're starting from.

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Re: David Kelly

Post by reganwann on Sun Apr 15, 2018 9:35 am

And his:
That is wonderful! That's great news...so I'm sure they will understand the changes that needed to be made...looking forward to chatting soon!

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Re: David Kelly

Post by reganwann on Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:00 am

And my novel from today (sorry about the typos, I had how hard it is to read your whole post on FB messenger before you send it):
OK, David, I'm finally able to sit down and spend a little time with this (although I'll be in and out all day so I may not be able to reply to your responses immediately - that's pretty common for me so please don't feel like I'm ignoring you if it takes me a bit to reply).

So, first, after talking to our board members who actually worked last year's event they said (much as you did) that the event was costumed staff engaging with groups/families during a catered meal. There was some nod to "wizarding food" and there were activities like a sorting ceremony, wand dueling, etc. The event appeared to be aimed more at families and children. Is that correct? In offering more for this year's event you're considering adding an overnight component, more "classes," more bespoke food options, etc.? Yes?

In 2016 we held our first HP-themed event, we call ourselves Hoggstowne, although the leadership at that point had been doing a decade of events known as ALEP (A Long Expected Party) which were Lord of the Rings themed. Both event themes are build around five-day immersions. Year One for Hoggstowne had "students" (mostly adults although we did have a few families) live the life, all day ever day, including full class periods, shared meals, extracurricular activities, after-hours activities, a complicated sub-plot/mystery, a final exam, and an end-of-term fancy dress event. We employ 6-8 teachers (plus a headmaster and additional support staff for clubs and teams) to make this happen.

After Year One we have had multiple mini-gatherings in various locations, both sanctioned by the leadership and not, and demand for engagement keeps growing. Right now we're in the process of a leadership change, we've outgrown our previous site and wanted to incorporate at a not for profit to expand what we might be able to offer. We are still getting our feet under us, business-wise, and trying to figure out what directions we are interested in exploring (and which ones we are actually able to explore).

Of our board and teaching staff, many of us are local and would potentially consider providing character support for your event. We can also point you toward other local folks who might fit character needs if you know what you're looking for. Additionally, we do have experience putting together classes and would be happy to discuss what we might be able to offer there. After bringing this conversation to my board I think our primary questions are:
1. What do you feel our group would bring to your event?
2. What would you be interested in sharing with us?
3. How do you feel this partnership would benefit both of our organizations?

I know that your primary focus is marketing so if you want to expand this conversation to include your higher management I'd be happy to do that. I live in Kentucky and can get to Louisville and/or Frankfort relatively easily if we schedule a time.

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