The SMS Network is interested in creating a standard migration path of folk life to contemporary cultural expression through a network of upgraded local institutions, events and festivals in the corners of the Mediterranean. This means highlighting the past and tradition of the region, through a more modern look. The final result will be an ever expanding “Catalogue of Festival SMS “.
The Network will focus on:
A. Consultancy actions:
• planning, organization, implementation and upgrade of local events in regions of the network,
• promotion of the events and locations,
• several others.
B. Taking implementing actions in organizing and promoting events and areas upon an agreement with the operators of the site .
C. Visibility materials
To achieve the objectives of the Network the following will be required:
- audiovisual material on the cultural heritage of each place,
- modern look and visual processing,
- creation of art publications as an alternative guidebook for areas with stock and performance art events.
D. Additional remunerated services in areas besides the Network.
1. Strengthening local institutions and festival
In the four founding areas of the network where LAGs “interfere” with implementing programs of LEADER, there are several cultural events and activities. Some of them have deep roots back to the traditions of the inhabitants and are enriched with modern cultural interventions, while others have been created in recent years, with references to the cultural past of the region. Some of these cultural events are organized and supported by the LAG, and many of these may join the Network SMS Festivals. The transnational project supports and strengthens these event while Network SMS can continue to support such events and areas.
Selection and integration of festivals
For an area to be able to join the Network SMS and to enter the Catalogue of SMS Festival it is necessary to submit a proposal forots inclusion by a institytion in charge ( the potential candidate member).The Department of Cultural Network will eveluate the application, the completed inventory sheet of the festival and the presentation from the potential candidate ,will advise the Board of the Network and will decide on the acceptance or rejection of the proposal, informing the requesting entity reasonably.
In case of acceptance, the study for the upgrade of the festival would be assigned to the Department of Cultural Network together with the procedures to join the Network of SMS Festivals.
The selection criteria for the inclusion of the proposed festival or event is:
- Significance for the region.
- Awareness, local, national, international.
- Repeatability and regularity event.
- Participation ratings in relation to the carrying capacity of the area, the proximity of urban centers, the holding time, etc.
- Features of the region and how much of it visibility is achieved through the organization .
- Contemporary look of the event, avoiding folkloric event type.
- Multi-culturalism and broad invitation to participate.
Besides festivals and cultural events that take place in each area of intervention of the network, it is possible, due to the particular characteristics of each member’s area, to plan meetings or conferences with a variety of topics, based on specificities of regions.
- Printed material: upgraded design information material (poster, brochure, program, etc.)
- Dissemination and outreach: exploiting internet, exploiting large media contacts.
- Participation: examination and pursuing participation of recognized personalities from Greece and abroad.
- Parallel Events: planning and organizing of parallel events to enhance attractiveness conference.
- Dissemination of results: dissemination plan for multiple benefits.
3. Strengthening alternative tourism events
In this action we are talking about events on:
- local gastronomy
- local produce, wine tasting, etc.
- exploration and nature protected areas
- outdoor activities, eg sports / climbing parks etc
- local history, archeology, culture, tradition
4. Financial assesments
“Study to upgrade local event / festival and integration Network SMS” will be conducted for evey new membership . Moreover, depending on the agreement between the network and the region, will allow the network to take some work on the festival area and visibility. For the assessment of economic fundamentals, it is considered that there are at least four successful applications for the inclusion of new areas each year, of which:
- An area will not require additional services.
- The region will need some extra services in organizing the festival
- An area will need all the assistance in organizing the linguistics conference.
- An area will need some services in organizing a gastronomic event.
5. Development of festival tourism
- Create a trend for the participation of people at festivals everywhere.
- Earn bonus and gifts, such as
– free accommodation, free meals, free entry to events
– award titles like gold visitor, honoured SMS festival participant, etc.
Small Mediterranean Stories for small groups.
- creation of a “local” experience. Design and implementation of competitions, the winners that don’t pay their holiday and participation in festival / institution / event.
- constituencies in groups / teams of people
- creating games with competing teams
- development of competition
- create incentives for participation in different places and events of the network SMS.
Exhibitions and events
Participation of Network SMS at touristic exibitions can contribute substantially to the promotion of the involved areas and cooperating companies.
The following are required:
- serious preparation, assured areas and business holdings
- presence of sufficient quality and material that has already been created
- serious representation, English as a foreign language, knowledge of terminology
- establishing contacts.
One of the largest tourism fairs worldwide is the International Tourism Fair ITB Berlin. The exhibition takes place every March in Berlin. At the ITB Berlin participates a large number of holders from around the world. Another major exhibition is the International Tourist Exhibition World Travel Market in London, which takes place middle of November.
Participation in events with related Networks such as the CICM- a network for conservation of Mediterranean cuisine which is relatively related to the Network SMS and it is recommended to co-organize events. The experience from CICM events at Peloponnese showed that very interesting things could be designed strengthening various local festivals with high cultural and gastronomic events.
Promotional activities in print media
- To prepare different advertisements for the Network and its services and to to promote them at touristic level , national and international in order to attract visitors and consumers.
- To prepare tourist guides which will include information about each area
This action should be repeated every year, possibly in different forms.
7. Service sales and products display
Selling advertising space on the website
To provide advertising space in the form of banners on the website of the Network SMS.
The space can be provided to companies and organizations – members of the Network who want more intense viewing (if allowed by the organs) or to external stakeholders and agents who want to highlight something that is or not so relevant with the objectives and style of the Network and the website.
Sell advertising space in publications and guides
To allocate advertising space in touristic guides with remuneration for potential advertisers, local authorities, community organizations, etc. To estimate the cost, it is assumed that this is generally included in the creation of guides , namely small and in no case more than 10% of revenue.
Electronic display sale of local events
In each region every year many local events are organized with related products, holidays, customs etc. Many of these events, although well organized, they don’t have web presence, only scattered references. The lack of web presence is nowadays a serious handicap for promoting the simple information on events and facts. Large national portals are already dealing with the promotion of regional and local events within ecotourism and alternative proposals. Proven to be interested in a reliable source of information on matters to them would be interesting news for their readers.