The South Carolina State Fair took first-place honors for Best Advertising Campaign, Best Single Billboard, and Best Media Guide/Press Kit at the 2012 International Association of Fairs and Expositions (IAFE) convention in Las Vegas on Wednesday.
The SC Fair’s promotional marketing campaign also netted second-place honors for Best Television advertising and Best Billboard Series, placing it among the most decorated fairs at the annual convention.
Judging criteria for advertising in the IAFE Hall of Honor Communications Awards is based on how motivational, informative and appropriate it is, how well it adheres to a central theme, and the level of both creativity and production excellence it exhibits.
“I’d say our showing was especially good since we were competing with major-market fairs with budgets more than five times bigger than ours,” said State Fair General Manager Gary Goodman. “It’s really something special when your efforts not only are recognized by your peers and industry experts, but also pay off the way our campaign did this year – at the gate and on the Fairgrounds.”
The 2012 South Carolina State Fair also entered the record books with the second-highest attendance in the event’s history, and the greatest revenue from rides and concessions ever. “A lot of credit goes to our advertising agency – Doreen Sullivan and her team at Post No Bills – for their creativity and innovation, and the way they committed to following through to make our marketing plan work.”
IAFE membership includes hundreds of state and regional fairs and expositions from throughout the U.S. and Canada, and a number of others from places as diverse as Mexico, Ireland and Australia, and the SC State Fair is no stranger to the convention’s winners’ circle. The Fair captured top honors in 2011 for the first annual Famously Hot Chef Showdown.
But this year’s four firsts and two seconds – added to reports that South Carolina was in the running for Best of Show right down to the wire (North Dakota ultimately prevailed in, reportedly, a very close call) – were a new high point for a fair that’s steadily becoming a model for others of all sizes from coast to coast.