The topic under discussion in the Loxton Waikerie Council Chamber on Monday 16 January was About Time: South Australia’s History Festival. People representing a diverse group of previous and potential event organisers came along to talk about the festival and hear what Mandy Paul, Karen Blackwood and Pauline Cockrill from History SA had to say about organising history events. Local libraries, local history groups including Waikerie History Society and the Loveday Internment Camp museum committee, and a representative from the Loxton Community Hotel and a Councillor were among those present.
Mandy talked about organising a successful event, and encouraged participants to draw on the strengths of their groups – collections, stories, communities and members – and to think laterally, creatively and collaboratively when devising events. Karen spoke about promoting events, particularly using direct marketing and media releases. This prompted very useful discussion about the particularities of the local media in the Riverland, and practical tips about how to get festival events, and history stories more generally, into circulation. Pauline provided participants with lots of ideas about creative and inexpensive display techniques – and reminded us all about the importance of key messages. As always, the best discussion was over lunch!
Look out for lots of events in the Riverland during About Time (1 to 31 May). And don’t forget that event registration for About Time 2012 closes on Friday 3 February.