In Cobb County, family friendly festivals can be found all year long, bringing the community together for music, food, art, charity causes and so much more. These events and festivals draw support from the community because there is value in contributing to the quality of life of the county. Sponsorships for these events include businesses, large and small, and frequently businesses will continue to support an event annually. Chuck Burge, CEO of CBurge Events, runs the event circuit in Cobb year-round. “To get a sponsor to return to an event in subsequent years should be the simplest thing to do,” he says. “Make sure they get the value that they are expecting and the same great customer service that they provide their own clientele.”

Upcoming Cobb Events

Burge’s next big event is BarkFest 2015 held Oct. 10, 2015, which is a true celebration of dogs. They have partnered with Star 94, offering their sponsors a great marketing opportunity, and the event will be held in Town Center at Cobb — a highly visible area that is sure to draw crowds all day long. Visitors can expect dog costume contests (pet/owner look-alikes, school spirit, people’s choice and more); silly dog tricks; education training for dogs and their humans; pet rescues and organizations; a pet-related vendor showcase; dog races; and music and festivities so families can kick back with their dogs and enjoy the day. The inaugural event in 2014, then known as the Mutt Strutt, brought 500 dogs and 4,000 humans to the event.

An event of this magnitude offers unparalleled marketing options for sponsors and vendors who get involved. Showcasing products and services appeals to small businesses in the community that cater to pets and their families, while event publicity, radio coverage and social media reach thousands of people in Cobb and beyond. Having beneficiaries for the event is also a big sponsor pull, as residents respect businesses in their community that take an active role in supporting causes they also align with. “We are supporting two very worthwhile organizations: Ahimsa House and Canine Assistants. Both are organizations that address and connect human needs with dogs and pets,” Burge says. “The Ahimsa House is dedicated to addressing the link between domestic violence and animal cruelty. They offer services and assistance to victims of domestic violence with pets in Georgia and work to raise awareness of this connection in communities throughout the state. Canine Assistants is a nonprofit that trains and provides service dogs to enhance and improve the lives of children and adults who have physical disabilities, seizure conditions or other special needs.”

Sally Macaulay, executive director of the Marietta/Cobb Museum of Art and Chalktoberfest, says being involved in the community plays an important role in recruiting sponsorships for events like the annual Marietta Chalktoberfest Oct. 10-11, 2015. A weekend-long celebration of the arts held on the Marietta Square, Chalktoberfest attracts artists from across the country — this year the event will feature 50 professional chalk artists. “The Cobb Chamber Chairman’s Club has been very beneficial in introducing businesses to the museum that want to support the arts,” she says. “When a business knows that they are supporting the arts and observes the economic impact such a festival has on a community, they want to help. Our community is full of wonderful businesses that want the city of Marietta to become an art hub for Cobb County and are willing to support a unique event such as Chalktoberfest.” An event like this, with live music from The Journey Tribute Band and others, professional artists at work, a Sunday Kid Zone, antique car show, competition and more appeals to sponsors in a big way.

Last year’s Chalktoberfest had a Halloween theme, but they’re going Patriotic this year, complete with a new craft beer portion Saturday, Oct. 10. Beyond the opportunity to support the Marietta/Cobb Museum of Art, sponsors have their logo drawn on the street and art is drawn around their logo. The sponsors also have their names on the event T-shirts, print media and website with a link to their site. “Chalktoberfest is a unique festival that sponsors want to be a part of,” Macaulay says. “The night before Chalktoberfest, we have a sponsor-artist reception where they can come and meet the artist that they are sponsoring. At the event, they are able to see these amazing artists at work and literally see the crowd putting their chalk artists on all types of social media. Once you see art of this magnitude, you are hooked and can’t wait until the next year to see the growth of the festival itself.”

For the Love of Sponsors

This year’s Chalktoberfest would not be possible without its sponsors LGE Credit Union and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. “These organizations make a tremendous difference in this community and their support of the arts is imperative,” Macaulay says. “We also have a myriad of other sponsors for artists blocks, plus a new addition to our sponsor list is Crayola, who will not only be sponsoring Eduin Rosell (local professional chalk artist) to chalk a large scale (10-feet by 20-feet) 3D painting, but will be supplying all of the chalk for the children’s, schools’ and non-professional competition. The Mazloom Law Firm is our wristband sponsor for the beer festival and we have several more opportunities for sponsorship.”

“The more people you speak to and share information with about your events, the better chance you have to recruit someone as a sponsor,” Burge adds. “Business owners and others responsible for sponsorships within an organization have a passion for something. If you tap into someone’s passion, you tap into their funds. If someone is passionate about dogs or their target demo is to reach pet owners, events like BarkFest make sense. A security company that wants humans to know they can protect their pets … there’s that type of connection. Similarly, the more times you tell your story, the better chance you have of someone sharing your passion.”

Sponsors for these events benefit via lead generation, brand awareness or promotional productions they can exhibit and ultimately for being recognized as a part of the community that cares to be part of the community. Being viewed as a company that cares can go a long way in the eyes of the consumer, and when so many consumers are drawn to these events, the outreach is immeasurable and invaluable. Mark your calendars for these two great October events, in additin to another event Burge will host in December — The Holiday Winter Wonderland and New Year’s Eve Celebration — and get involved in the great community of Cobb. Learn more at barkfest.org and chalktoberfest.com.

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