Opportunity: When the producers of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival decided, in its 36th year of operation, to develop a new source of revenue for the festival, they brought Gail Bower in to bring life to their concept. In 2005, the Big Chief VIP Experience, a premium ticket package, was born.
Challenge: We recognized the opportunity the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation had to recapture the enthusiasm of long-time Jazz Fest fans who, now more mature, would value exclusive experiences and small comforts to enhance their festival weekends—and would be willing to pay for them. The non-profit Foundation would also be able to attract new audiences by tapping into a trend in the luxury travel sector towards unique experiences. The timing was right to fill a market need, create a new product aimed for a unique segment of Jazz Fest's audience, and develop a new income category.
The challenge, however, was to create an experience that customers would value and at the same time to create a self-sufficient operation that would be streamlined easily into the already existing, complex festival operation.
Working with my Jazz Fest colleagues, and eventually the Big Chief staff under my direction, here's what happened:
For more information about the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and to experience Big Chief yourself, visit www.nojazzfest.com.
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