Old Orcutt Event Design & Promotion Strategy – First Annual Small Business Saturday

Event Design | Process Design | Campaign Design

Old Orcutt Small Business Saturday | Fall-Winter, 2021

I helped a local business owner to create, promote, and execute a large community event to begin to establish herself as a leader in the community and to make more connections for her wealth advisory business. I used years of community event planning expertise to set up the communications and promotions infrastructure, create a brand and a look, and get her set up to run the event for years to come.


I was contracting as a marketing consultant for a local Wealth Advisor who wanted to establish herself in a tight-knit community that she was relatively new to. Her target clients would include local business owners and community leaders so she came up with the idea to throw a first ever “Small Business Saturday” event for the public. However, she had not planned and executed a large community event of this nature before. 


I started by guiding them through what an event like this could look like – what makes sense for a first time event, what might be too ambitious, what the ultimate goals were and how to focus on those. We created the concept for the one-day event and while she and her volunteer began connecting with contacts and resources, I created a full brand and campaign look and feel for the event. I jumpstarted their communications infrastructure by setting them up with a WordPress website, Google suite, and Mailchimp accounts.

I designed the website as a landing page with a “Small Business” participation sign up form. I integrated Mailchimp and created an automated email workflow so that as soon as a small business or vendor signed up they would receive a series of instructional emails that would see them through the process – from welcome, to registration processes and fees, to reminders and final event preparation.

I created print and social media promotional assets, such as banners, posters, postcards, instagram posts and even the day-of event materials including a detailed “Small Business Vendor Map.” The assets I designed included graphics that tied into the local community so that the materials seemed intimate and personal to the community. To be more specific, they included a custom map graphic of Old Orcutt as well as the Old Orcutt Water Tower graphic. 

I designed the Small Business Vendor Map to help the flow of visitors so that they would be incentivized to visit not only the main, obvious vendors, but also those tucked away in the further regions of the small town. I sketched images for main businesses and tried to make the map as fun and interactive as possible.


The event was a huge success. We saw hundreds of families (a large count for a small town) come and participate exactly as designed – visiting every region on the Small Business Vendor Map and competing for raffle prizes. More importantly, to my client’s benefit, she received rave reviews by all of the small business owners that participated for the way the event was run, from start to finish – from the registration and onboarding process, promotions for the event as well as each participating small business, and for the number of participants and the huge amounts of foot traffic each and every vendor received in an otherwise sleepy town.

My client gained a huge number of new contacts and established herself as a successful volunteer and leader, capable of executing on her huge ambitions for the community. 

Even better, the infrastructure remained in place so successfully that in the subsequent year and beyond she was able to take the event and run with it without having to undertake a huge amount of set up or adjustments to the process.

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Katie Novo

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