Last week, members of Ardentinny Community Trust’s Walled Garden committee attended a seminar entitled ‘Maximising your Profits – Making Money from Events and Festivals’ It was organised by Craignish Community Company and the Community Assets unit of Highlands and Islands Enterprise and held in Craignish Village Hall in Ardfern, with the purpose of exploring how community groups can reduce their reliance on grants and make money from organising arts events and festivals. As Ardentinny and Cowal, in general, have a plethora of artists, in a variety of genres on their doorstep and, as many of them have already been active in their support of the Walled Garden project, it seemed appropriate that it be represented.
35 delegates attended and topics ranged from ‘Inspirational Stories’ with examples from the Enchanted Forest events programme and the Lochshiel Spring Festival; official input from Argyll and Bute Council on the logistics and legalities of event management; and how to market events locally and to the wider world. On Day 2 a ‘Community Cafe’ comprising four rounds of interactive discussion on Marketing; Income Generation and Sponsorship; Setting up Systems; and Social Enterprise provided an abundance of ideas and advice as all delegates got the chance to share their experience. This was also an excellent opportunity for networking and potentially forging long-lasting, collaborative relationships.