Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Will KCRiverFest Bring Home the Gold?

EventPros to Represent KCRiverFest and Kansas City in San Diego

Kansas Citians know that KCRiverFest is a great July 4th festival and the event’s producers hope judges for an international award think it’s the best festival in the world.

“We’re very excited to be in the final three for the international Special Event Gala Award,” said Bill Svoboda, co-owner of EventPros, Inc., KCRiverFest’s producers. “We view this as an award not only for KCRiverFest and EventPros, but for Kansas City as well. Whether we bring home the trophy or not, we’re proud this event brings tourist dollars and positive recognition to Kansas City.” Svoboda, co-owner John Short and colleague Alex Greenwood will journey to San Diego for the gala awards ceremony Jan. 30.

Late last year, the Special Events Magazine Advisory Board released the list of entries nominated to receive a Gala Award, the most prestigious prize in the special events industry. EventPros, Inc. received the nomination for their work producing KCRiverFest, Kansas City’s annual Independence Day festival. EventPros produces KCRiverFest on behalf of Friends of the River—Kansas City.

"We had nearly 400 entries, a 20 percent increase over last year," says Special Events editor Lisa Hurley. "The competition was fierce." This year’s competition drew entries in 35 categories from Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, England, Germany, Spain, Thailand, United Arab Emirates and the United States. Nominated entries went through three rounds of judging. The Gala Awards will be presented Jan. 30 at a black-tie gala ceremony.

As finalists for the Best Fair/Festival, EventPros/KCRiverFest is in competition with events in Sacramento, California and Harrisburg, N.C. Last year’s winner in this category was Marketing and More of Munich, Germany for “Mini United 2007,” a three-day car festival in Zandvoort, Netherlands.

“EventPros is the premier event planning company in Kansas City, and their nomination to receive a Gala Award from Special Events Magazine is a testament to the quality of their work,” said Chris Gutierrez, KCRiverFest chairperson. “KCRiverFest has become Kansas City’s Riverfront tradition and Friends of the River-KC is pleased to be working with EventPros on this event through 2011.”

The 2008 KCRiverFest, presented by KCTV 5/myKSMO, was the first produced by EventPros. Shortly after the successful festival, EventPros accepted a three-year contract to produce the acclaimed festival.

“We’re very proud of our team, as well as the leaders and volunteers of Friends of the River,” added John Short, EventPros co-owner. “It’s an honor to work with them on this growing event, and we’re looking forward to making KCRiverFest 2009 an even bigger success.” The EventPros team producing KCRiverFest includes Svoboda, Short, Greenwood and Lisa Holst, along with a host of professional staff and volunteers.

Major sponsors for KCRiverFest included KCTV 5/myKSMO, the Port Authority of Kansas City, Isle of Capri Casino, Neighborhood Tourism Development Fund, EventPros, Inc., Time Warner Cable, Cumulus Radio, Urban Times Magazine, Radio Disney, Burns & McDonnell, Hertz, King Hershey Attorneys at Law, Clarkson Construction, Liberty RV and BlueCross BlueShield of Kansas City.

For more information on The Special Event show, visit For more on the magazine, visit

Friends of the River-Kansas City (FOR-KC) is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to celebrate the heritage and to promote the development of the Kansas City riverfront through education, community outreach, volunteer commitment and fundraising.

Founded in 2001, EventPros, Inc. specializes in all facets of event planning and production of any size and budget, including large-scale community festivals. The firm recently introduced extensive image management, marketing and communications consulting services. EventPros also performs functions for events, conferences and parties including theme development, food and beverage design, transportation and tours, talent sourcing and on-site event management. Visit or call 816.960.3400 for more information.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Open Forum: PR Challenges in 2009

Happy we begin a new year, let's open up the comments section and ask: What Do You Think Will Be the Biggest PR Challenge This Year? You can also vote in the poll on the right side of your screen, but we'd like to hear your thoughts--did we miss something? Let's hear from you!