2019 Opening Ceremony

Opening Ceremony – Friday January 11

We are excited about the new addition to our Convention – an Official Opening Ceremony. Results of last year’s post-convention survey showed that the majority of you said that you would attend an opening ceremony. Below is a quick overview of the schedule and some details on a unique way that you and your Event or Business can be a key part of the opening ceremonies. More details to follow next month.

Opening ceremonies will consist of 4 parts:

  • Contestant opening
  • Remarks from the Commissioner
  • Keynote Speaker – Jeremy Parsons
  • Opening Ceremonies prize winners

Contestant Opening
We will open the ceremony with an introduction of all the 2019 WVAFF Queen contestants. This is always one of the favorite parts of the pageant and this year will not be limited just to Saturday evening. Anyone that is a registered convention attendee or purchases a Friday Trade Show/Pageant ticket will be able to attend and enjoy this opening.

Opening Remarks
Opening remarks from West Virginia Commissioner of Agriculture Kent Leonhardt
With the cooperation of the Department of Agriculture, we are replacing the Saturday afternoon luncheon with opening ceremonies on Friday during the Trade Show and before the Event Promotion and Entertainment Showcase begins. This will give everyone an opportunity to hear remarks from the Commissioner.

Keynote Speaker
Jeremy Parsons from the IAFE
His talk is titled “Take Care – Does your community know how important your Event is and why it needs caretakers?” Jeremy provides the tools to “Take Care” of your Event, specifically how to do simple strategic planning, track your economic impact, promote your local relevance, and turn your Board into positive advocates.

Opening Ceremony Prize Winners
This will consist of two parts and this is where we need you to spotlight your Event or Business. We are asking those attending the Opening Ceremonies to contribute a prize basket that will be given away at the end of Opening Ceremonies. This basket should contain items that highlight your Event and/or the area that it is in – or your business and the services that it offers. We understand some Events/Businesses are larger than others, so this is not a competition. Your basket can contain “swag” from your Event/Business, tickets to next year’s Events, gift cards from area businesses or edibles unique to your Event/Business.

There will be an area for you to display your baskets, and anyone attending the Opening Ceremonies will have the opportunity to obtain a ticket to be eligible to win a basket——and——-the ultimate prize from our first Opening Ceremonies—-the choice of one of following options from the WVAFF for their Business or Event:

One of your registered weekend attendees, or someone attending with members of your Event/Business, will have the opportunity to win one of the following prizes:

  • Free entry fee for your Queen in the 2020 WVAFF Queen’s Competition
  • or
  • A free membership for 2020 and three paid registrants for the 2020 Convention
  • or
  • A free membship and booth at the 2020 Convention

So anyone you have attending the Opening Ceremonies, and is:

  • A registered weekend attendee
  • or
  • Attending on a Friday Trade Show/Pageant ticket and attending with your Event/Business
  • and
  • Is present in the audience when tickets are being selected will have the opportunity to win their choice of one of the available prizes for your Event or Business.

So the more people representing your Event/Business, the better your chances may become to win one of the prizes above. Updates and reminders about the opening ceremonies and workshops will follow soon.

We look forward to seeing you in the renovated Charleston Coliseum and Convention Center!