students to analyze
Madisons festival operations
officials hope to get
fresh cost saving ideas, strategies
(December 2010) In Madison, Ind., festivals
are not just fun and games theyre big business.
With the help of Hanover Colleges business scholars, four of Madisons
biggest festivals are getting a top-to-bottom business analysis that
could mean better business practices and cost-savings for the Madison
Convention & Visitors Bureau.
At the suggestion of the Jefferson County Board of Tourism, CVB Executive
Director Linda Lytle invited Hanovers Center for Business Preparation
to analyze the four festivals under the CVB umbrella: Madison Chautauqua
Festival of Art, Nights Before Christmas Candlelight Tour of Homes,
Ohio River Valley Folk Festival and Madison Ribberfest.
at Hanovers Center
for Business Preparation will
analyze the four festivals under
the CVB umbrella: Madison
Chautauqua Festival of Art,
Nights Before Christmas Candlelight
Tour of Homes, Ohio River Valley
Folk Festival and Madison Ribberfest.
We wondered if they are being run as effectively
as possible, said Lytle. We felt that it was a great opportunity
for young, fresh minds to look at that.
The project is a big one, says Hanover College Assistant Professor John
Riddick. For that reason, he is splitting it between two of his business
strategy classes. The fall class is analyzing Chautauqua and the Christmas
tour, while the winter term class will tackle the two music festivals.
Students in the business strategy class are upperclassmen who have already
completed core courses and electives in Hanovers Business Scholars
program. The business analysis is their senior capstone project,
meaning that it ties all their textbook and experiential learning together
into one real-world problem-solving exercise.
Typically, the capstone project is a strategic audit of a small business,
but Riddick was intrigued by the challenge of analyzing what amounts
to four small businesses, all supervised by the CVB. Each festival has
its own coordinator and structure, yet there is the possibility that
efficiencies can be found by looking at the four festivals together.
These festivals have significant economic impact in the community,
said Riddick. My overall take on it is that they have some great
festivals going on here, and we hope we can help them continue with
a few suggestions.
The business strategy class has divided into two teams with student
coordinators to spearhead their efforts. Toni Baysinger heads the external
team, which has been focusing on marketing, as well as gathering data
on how festivals are operated in other cities. Jason Crawford coordinates
the internal team, which is looking closely at finance and operations
of the Chautauqua and Nights Before Christmas.
Jason and Toni really have done the heavy lifting on this thing,
said Riddick. The students have contacted the festival coordinators,
Chautauqua exhibitors, previous festival visitors and festival organizers
from other cities in their search for relevant information.
Its pretty intense. Its a lot of work for the students,
So far the teams have made two status reports to Lytle. They will make
their final recommendations to Lytle and her festival staff on Dec.
9. Riddick predicted that the students may have suggestions on ways
to save money and project a more consistent message by combining the
festivals marketing efforts.
Lytle is expecting good results from the study, based on the valuable
help shes received in the past from Hanover College students.
The CVB has played host to several Hanover College interns over the
years, and I love it, said Lytle. Every intern has been
a hard worker who made significant contributions to the organization,
Lytle sees the business analysis of her four festivals as a very valuable
Im fairly confident that what our committees are doing,
they are doing well. But at the same time, someone else may see something
we havent seen.
Based on her past experience, she is sure the Hanover Business Scholars
are up to the challenge.
The Business Scholars gain real-world experience that gives them something
to talk about with future employers.
Riddick said Hanover College also benefits from the project. Its
part of an ongoing effort to foster cooperation between the Center for
Business Preparation and the community. This is an exciting project
in that regard.
Back to December 2010