MTA Report to City Council: Holiday Pop-Up & West End Wednesdays Announcement

Monday March 9, 2020

Lauri Murphy of MountainTrotter Arts reports on the Holiday Pop-Up Market that took place on December 15, 2019. This was a four hour long market that was extreemly unique to our Radford area, as the event spanned the 300 block of West Main Street and took place over five different locations: Radford Coffee Co, Community Life Church Office, Brick House Pizza, The Levy Garden, and The Flower Girl Boutique. MountainTrotter Arts created this spanned event to help create and maintain partnerships with these brick & mortar businesses to not only create an economic boost for them, but also to showcase the willingness of collaboration between us all and to further the sense of community that MTA is so dedicated to preserving.

The Holiday Pop-Up Market hosted 16 vendors throughout these five locations, a professional photographer, a fundraiser for a local dance troupe, free pictures with Santa, and a donation site for The Bobcat Backpack Program - who raised $635 for their program!

Because the event was spaced out among a variety of places, we could not get a true attendance count, but estimate that over 200 people attended.

Both Brick House Pizza and The Flower Girl Boutique (the two brick & mortar businesses that are typically open during this time) saw a very large turnout at their places of business, and of course, RCC who is normally closed on Sundays saw a large number of sales also. Diana Dobbins of Brick House Pizza believes that between our event & her brunch crowd, we complimented each other well and is very excited about participating in this event in the future. Crystal Lilly at The Flower Girl Boutique is also looking forward to working with MTA again - for this event and more. She saw a significant increase in customers during the event and was able to gain a few new regular customers too.

While we did our best to advertise and make signs/handouts for the event, we did hear some feedback and are working on ways to increase this event's visibility, and this applies to our other established events as well. When you're driving, it's sometimes hard to slow down and read signs or see over parked cars. And if you're not following MTA or the event on Facebook, it can be easy to miss. With Facebook making it harder to be visible, our only option is to pay to have events seen. If the city and visitor's center's social media, online calendar, and digital signs would continue to share this event and other established events, by working together we feel that we can dramatically increase awareness and attendance to all events throughout the city.

Holiday Pop-Up Market Expenses & Income: MountainTrotter Arts received an unexpected and welcomed donation that covered the rent at Radford Coffee Company, which would have cost MTA $250. The event cost $146.29 ($104.76 in Day-Of rentals; $41.53 in online & printed marketing). The event netted $310 ($220 in vendors; $90 in merch sales & donations). MTA was able to profit $146.29, which was used to print official brochures for our organization and to put towards our upcoming West End Wednesdays events. Without the donation for RCC rent, this event would have cost MTA $86.29 - which MTA was aware of and willing to invest into the event.

MountainTrotter Arts will be planning to continue this event, and hopefully be able to partner with the City of Radford to utilize the new Pocket Park on West Main Street.

West End Wednesdays, a Free Family Friendly Concert Series, will return for the 2020 season. This year, MTA is financially able to host four events (2019, we hosted 3) and these will continue to be held on the grassy nook of Glencoe Mansion and take place on the second Wednesday of the Month, with a rain date on the fourth Wednesday of the month: May 13, June 10, July 8, August 12.

We will continue our partnership and financial assistance regarding insurance with the Radford Heritage Foundation. We would like to invite the City of Radford, The Chamber of Commerce, or any other organization in the city to partner, assist, or invest in any of our events.

Craft & Draft is set for October 24th at the Glencoe's lower grassy field.

MTA is currently accepting new board members and will be holding a Special Events Meeting on Tuesday March 17th 5:30-7:00pm at Glencoe, to discuss our upcoming events such as WEW, C&D, and also discussing a possible event where we can partner with the new Diversity Commission.

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