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IFEA World Festival And Event City Award : IFEA World Festival And Event City Award
5.7 ENCOuRAgINg COmmuNITY bONDINg, PARTICIPATION AND CELEbRATION The creative and artistic directors of Sydney’s many festivals and events themselves provide the encouragement of community participation and engagement through the event experience itself. Gauging community sentiment towards the events landscape is paramount to Events NSW and is achieved through conducting a monthly online survey of NSW residents titled ‘Community Tracker’. A representative sample of approximately 500 participants across NSW has responded each month since October 2008, with nearly 15,697 surveys completed to date. Results from the community tracker to June 2011 revealed that over 9 in 10 NSW residents believe it’s ‘important’ or ‘very important’ for Sydney/NSW to hold significant sporting, arts, cultural and/or community events. Community bonding, participation and celebration is supported through extensive marketing communication campaigns, reinforced by communications initiatives of NSW and local government agencies. Over one million spectators line the shores of Sydney Harbour on New Year’s Eve to celebrate. In the 15 years during which this event has been formally produced it has galvanised the community, to the point that residents consider this to be an event hosted by Sydney for the world. Messaging on the Harbour Bridge is translated into the top 10 community languages increasing a sense of community inclusion and accessibility to the event. Sydney Festival encourages participation by all spectators throughout the city to dance, eat and share event experiences with other revellers. As a visual public event, Vivid Sydney has huge potential for audience participation which not only adds to community spirit but also event promotion through social media and other viral media channels, contributing the final event media impact. For example, a time lapse sequence filmed by an audience member at the 2011 event was shown on the Wired online website, which receives up to 20 million visitors each month. Created by Events NSW for Sydney’s ever-growing community of event goers, event organisers, promoters and venues, eventssydney.com was launched in early 2010. The site invites consumers and event owners to add, discover and share events, create and join groups, as well as express opinions on events. This powerful and social resource brings together the event community each and every day. Image: Vivid Sydney 2011 Street Performers credit: David Clare Image: Parramasala 2010 credit: Jamie Williams Photography / ICE; Sydney New Year’s Eve; City of Sydney 88 | IFEA WORLD FESTIVAL AND EVENT CITY AWARD |89