Hammond, South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority partnering on Festival of the Lakes
By Michelle L. Quinn Post-Tribune correspondent June 13, 2013 4:14PM
Speros Batistatos, president of the South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority, announced major changes Thursday to the South Shore Air Show. | Post-Tribune File Photo
Festival of the Lakes 2013 schedule
Wednesday, July 17: Smokey Robinson
Thursday, July 18: Evolution -- Tribute to Journey; Bruce for the USA - Tribute to Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band
Friday, July 19: Festival of the Lakes Golf Scramble at 8 am; Senior Citizens Day at noon; Better Than Ezra; Lifehouse
Saturday, July 20: Festival Fishing Derby at 8 am; Kathleen Pucalik Memorial 5K Run/Walk at 8am; Special Person’s Day at 10 am;
Sunday, July 21: Hot rod, Bike and Custom Car Show at noon; Festival Polka Party at 2 pm at the Hammond Marina; La Original Banda El Limon
For more information, please log on to http://www.southshorecva.com/events/festival-of-the-lakes/?gclid=CLmGpOj74bcCFfBaMgodexIAiQ
Updated: July 15, 2013 7:55PM
HAMMOND — A new partnership between the South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority and the city seeks to put the city’s Festival of the Lakes on the map of destination events.
SSCVA President and CEO Speros Batistatos and Mayor Tom McDermott Jr., who unveiled the plan during a Thursday morning news conference at the Welcome Center, said the SSCVA will dig in to the 10-year-old festival’s demographics to see what the city is doing right and what it could offer at future shows.
Having already used the same strategy for the Gary Air Show for seven years, the authority is no stranger to tackling “mature” events, Batistatos said.
“The days of throwing up a banner and asking people to show up are long gone,” he said. “We’re going to have our interns with iPads out there determining, ‘Are we advertising in the right place?’ and ‘Are we opening up every dialogue with the customer?’
“This is what we do, so how do we make (Festival of the Lakes) more attractive for next year and make it the premiere event for the region this year?”
Since the Gary Air Show was canceled because of the sequestration, Northwest Indiana loses at least 600,000 people coming to it and therefore stands to lose roughly $10 million in outside revenue, Batistatos said.
Part of the information the authority will collect will surround the musical acts, McDermott said. This year, the city paid close to $250,000 for the four-day festival, and that price will continue to rise as the fest competes for the same talent.
“Our triple-play this year, Four Winds Casino (in New Buffalo, Mich.) has two-thirds of it (Styx and Foreigner) for $70 a ticket, where I think we charged $70 last year for our triple-play. We’re fighting with Horseshoe (Casino) for bands, too,” McDermott said.
One of the promotions the SSCVA will implement is a package comprised of a backstage pass, food and drink tickets and T-shirts. All attendees will have to do is answer a short survey to be eligible.
“That’s a nice package for a person right there in the crowd,” Batistatos said. “We’re using our resources at a minimum cost. “