Organizer Q&A: Niagara Holiday Market

This month, we are hosting question and answer conversations with organizers from throughout the U.S. Today, we chat with Erin Reedy of the Niagara Holiday Market.

What is the Niagara Holiday Market?

The Niagara Holiday Market is a 37-day European style holiday festival, running from November 25 through January 1 on historic Old Falls Street in downtown Niagara Falls, N.Y.  With a holiday concert series, holiday shopping, Taste of the Season presented by Wegmans (weekend food and wine festival), ice skating, nightly tree lighting, Santa’s workshop, there’s something for everyone. The Niagara Market is open 7 days a week; hours are family friendly, running from 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. during the weekdays and 11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Most of our concerts are at 7:00 p.m., with select matinees at 2:00 p.m.

What are the goals of your event?

Niagara Falls is one of the wonders of the world and we’re thrilled to share the wonderment of the holidays this season. This is the largest European-style holiday market in America and, a great showcase of shopping, dining, entertainment and fun.

Who is putting on your event? What does the team look like?

The Holiday Market is a partnership of the State of New York, City of Niagara Falls, Brix and Company and a great roster of marketing partners, from the likes of Seneca Niagara Casino, Wegmans, Blue CrossBlue Shield, Key Bank and many others.

You’re in an elevator with a group of people and have 30 seconds to convince them to buy a ticket to your event. What do you say?

This is the best holiday concert line-up in North America. And combined with a great Holiday Market, this is the ultimate celebration of the season. Come and enjoy these concerts and our free entertainment at the market, shop for one-of-a-kind items, sample delicious treats and see the Falls. What could be better?

Out of 37 days, what is one of the major highlights of the Holiday Market?

The Canadian Tenors will be kicking off their holiday tour at the Niagara Holiday Market. You might have seen them performing on this year’s Emmy awards, the NHL All-Star Game, Olympics and on Oprah. They perform a great blend of classical and contemporary pop that appeals to all ages. The Canadian Tenors are performing on the second day of the Niagara Holiday Market, so we hope to build excitement and opportunity from their performance.

Are there other concerts/features to the event?

In addition to the Canadian Tenors, we have legendary Elisabeth Von Trapp, granddaughter of Captain and Maria Von Trapp, the family that inspired The Sound of Music; Christmas with Aaron Neville; and regional favorite, the Grammy award winning Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, who have added a second performance of their popular “A Visit with St. Nick” show.

What are some of the challenges you’ve had in planning this year, the first for Niagara Holiday Market? How have met these challenges?

Planning an event from the ground up in the first year is always somewhat of a challenge. We’ve had great support from the State of New York, City of Niagara Falls and its citizens. We’ve attracted some fantastic national concert acts and retailers from across the nation, which really sparks people’s interest.

What have you done to market your event? What has worked well?

During the early stages, we focused on social media. That way people can choose to stay updated on the Niagara Market, as well as get some inside information on events and vendors that are coming to the Niagara Market. It’s a challenge to market a holiday event too soon; people don’t want to hear about the holiday when it’s 80 degrees out. We also have some great marketing partners, such as the Seneca Niagara Casino, WIVB TV, the Buffalo News and Entercom Radio. We started our full on advertising and marketing efforts in the first week of November, including some concert ticket giveaways with our media partners.

What do you love most about planning this event?

I love seeing people’s reactions to the Niagara Market, when they realize what a grand event it is. There’s something for everyone, whether it be the concert series, Claus & Co. Santa’s workshop, or the Taste of the Season presented by Wegmans, our food and wine fair.

Read the first part of our series, about wine and film in California.

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