Turn Your Tailgate Up A Notch

Tailgating is the pre-ceremonial football celebration practiced at any level of performance from peewee to NCAA to NFL. Tailgating dates as far back as the Civil War, as soldiers traditionally would eat and drink in preparation for battle. This tradition has evolved into one of America’s favorite pastimes as sport fans anxiously await the epic battle between rivaled teams.

This Fall, we’ve been on tour with Cracker Barrel for their HBCU Road Tour and have seen so many amazing tailgates. Feeling inspired by our college tour, we wanted to share some tips on how to plan the perfect tailgate.

Prep & Pack Your Cooler
Learning how to pack a cooler is essential!

1. Use airtight reusable containers
2. Add all bottles and cans to the bottom of the cooler to stay chilled longer
3. Place bagged items sideways on top of the beverage layer
4. Chill everything, especially all perishable foods and adult beverages with ice, or frozen ice packs

Bungee Cords are “Major Key!” (As DJ Khaled would say)
Never head out to a tented tailgate without some bungee cords. Bungee cords make terrific paper towel holders along struts of a tent. They are also helpful in securing box fans to help with proper air circulation for those steamy mornings, especially before you decide to fire up the grill.

“Phone, Wallet, Keys” and Other Important Items Not to Forget at Home:   Spatula, tongs, skewers, can/bottle opener, basting brush, seasoning, spices, condiments, ponchos, paper towels, plates, cups, your favorite alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, garbage bags, plastic zip bags, sunscreen, bug spray, misters, chairs, Tupperware, tarp, canopy tent, portable speakers, foldable tables and most importantly, attire to represent your favorite team!

What’s Cooking?
It’s time to turn your tailgate food up a notch. Neat idea? Turn your game day food into your team’s colors! From team colored jello to dessert icing, jazz it up by color coordinating with your favorite team. Not extreme enough? Try eating the competition! Make a creative dish inspired by the opponent’s mascot that will intimidate your rival team.

A Little Party Never Killed Nobody
Despite what your grandmother may think, beer pong is a sport and is more than likely the number one tailgate past-time. Some other game suggestions include: Kan-Jam, Tarp Toss, Jenga, Battle-Shots, Backyard Tic-Tac-Toe, Basketpong.

Lastly, nothing says game time more than your team's traditional chant or making up chants with family and friends. This set the atmosphere as you all prepare to enter the stadium while you are in the process of killing the grill and making memories with your closest friends.

-Raven Campbell
NOCCI Intern



Meet Our Interns

NOCCI is excited to welcome two bright and determined interns to our staff! Read on to learn more about our new team members, Karen and Raven.

Karen Velandia

Karen Velandia is a candidate for BBA in Marketing with a concentration in E-commerce. She is expected to graduate from Southeastern University in December. Karen is excited to work on NOCCI projects such as NOWFE and Oyster Fest. From this experience, she hopes to gain skills in critical thinking and problem solving. Originally from Columbia, Karen loves living in New Orleans. She is passionate about food, music and festivals; making her a perfect fit for our team! In her free time, Karen likes to discover new places around the city, read, exercise and work on her website. Karen’s favorite New Orleans’ festival is Jazz Fest and when it comes to eating in the city, Sobou is her favorite spot!

Raven Campbell

Raven Campbell graduated from Grambling State University in December 2015 with a BS in Kinesiology and concentration in Sports Management. Raven has experience working with the Zephyrs, Pelicans, Philadelphia 76ers and Grambling State University Department of Athletics. As a sports lover and Grambling State Alum, Raven is most excited to contribute to the Bayou Classic. Raven hopes to gain skills in project/time management, marketing and budgeting during her internship. Raven lives outside of New Orleans in LaPlace, but loves the easy going people, nightlife, food and culture that New Orleans has to offer. In her free time, Raven coaches youth basketball & football, spends time with her family and travels. Raven’s favorite festival is Oyster Fest and she loves eating at Muriel’s.

Karen: Top, Raven: Bottom


Become a Bayou Classic Social Media Brand Ambassador!

Do you attend a HBCU in Louisiana? Do you have a large social media following? Are you just as excited for the Bayou Classic as we are? 

If you answered "yes" to the above questions, then we have an amazing opportunity for you! The Bayou Classic is searching for charismatic and high achieving students to represent the Bayou Classic as Social Media Brand Ambassadors. 

What makes the perfect candidate?

  • Students in good standing from Dillard University, Grambling State University, Southern University and A&M College, Southern University at New Orleans and Xavier University. 
  • Minimum GPA of 2.5
  • Social Media savvy with knowledge of trends
  • Proven organization & problem solving skills
  • Energizing and outgoing personality
  • Min. 500+ followers on at least one Social Media platform
What are the benefits?
  • Volunteer hours/credit hours (w/ University approval)
  • Staff access to all Bayou Classic Events
  • Access to work with Digital team during Game Day
  • Access to march in the Bayou Classic Parade
  • Training in area of updating, scheduling & research
  • Gain high-level experience in event planning & execution
  • Official Bayou Classic letter of recommendation
How to Apply
  • If you are interested in applying email Megan Clay at mclay@nocci.com for an application
  • Submit a :60-90 second video and your application to mclay@nocci.com explaining why you would be the perfect person to represent the Bayou Classic Brand
Submission Deadline
  • Tuesday, September 6, 2016


Intern at NOCCI

Event Planning / Event Marketing Internship

For over 29 years, New Orleans Convention Company, Inc. (NOCCI) has been responsible for creating some of the most memorable experiences in New Orleans. We are currently seeking a creative go-getter looking to gain experience behind the scenes at some of the city’s most exciting events. If you like being part of a project since its birth and helping it grow into a finished product that makes people say “wow,” then you would love being part of our team.

At NOCCI, we work with a variety of clients ranging from large scale festivals and sporting events, to non-profit fundraisers, meetings and conventions. There is no such thing as a “standard day” at our company.

Our ideal candidate is someone who craves learning new things and isn’t afraid to step outside of their comfort zone. You are not afraid to bring new ideas to the table and have interest and experience in social media marketing. You are extremely detail-oriented and never miss a beat. 

Intern Responsibilities:

  • Develop creative social media content
  • Monitor social media activity
  • Assist in brainstorming and idea planning
  • Build and maintain databases
  • Website maintenance
  • Vendor and Sponsor recruitment
  • On-Site Staffing
  • Help acquire venue locations
  • Assist in creating graphics
  • And more!!

Potential Projects You Will Work On:

  • Bayou Classic
  • Carnaval Latino
  • Saks Fifth Avenue’s Key To The Cure
  • Breastoration
  • New Orleans Book Festival
  • NOLA FoodFest
  • New Orleans Oyster Festival
  • NOLA New Year’s Eve
  • And more!!

Intern Qualifications:

  • Working towards an undergraduate or graduate degree in the areas of hospitality, marketing, communications or a related field
     -or-
  • Six-Months work experience in related industry
  • Familiarity with social networking and monitoring platforms
  • Strong communication skills
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office Suite
  • Graphic Design Skills (preferred, but not required)
  • Organized with an ability to prioritize time-sensitive assignments
  • Strong interest in event planning
  • Experience in some form of event planning
  • Strong attention to detail
  • Creative and flexible
  • Access to a car and laptop computer

Schedule and Compensation:

We are currently seeking two interns available to work 20 hours per week each.

  • Start Date: September 6, 2016
  • End Date: December 15, 2016
  • Weekly Schedule 1: M/F 9am-5pm W 9am-1pm or 1pm-5pm
  • Weekly Schedule 2: T/Th 9am-5pm W9am-1pm or 1pm-5pm
  • Stipend: $450
  • Hourly Pay beyond 20 hours a week: $12.00/hr
  • Onsite Event Pay: $15.00/hr

How to Apply:

Send a resume and cover letter to Ashley Stagg at astagg@nocci.com

Deadline to Apply:

August 29, 2016


Service Spotlight: Second Line Parade

If you are familiar with our company, you probably associate us with convention/meeting planning and large special events. Yes, we do those things, but our capabilities and services stretch much further than that. If your group is coming to New Orleans wanting to engage in a New Orleans tradition like no other, we’d be more than happy to coordinate a Second Line Parade for you!

What is a Second Line Parade?

You may be thinking to yourself, “what in the world is a Second Line Parade?” A Second Line Parade is led by a “main” or “first line” consisting of a brass band and the group with permit permission. The Second Line are the joyous spectators who follow the members of the Main Line. Whether you are kicking off your conference or heading to a reception, a Second Line is a unique and unforgettable way to experience New Orleans.

How can we coordinate your Second Line Parade?

In order to host a Second Line Parade, you must have the proper permission from the city. We will handle all permitting to ensure your group is legally ready to parade through the streets. Next, you will need music. We will book the perfect brass band and even a grand marshal to lead your parade. As experts of the city, we will plan the best or most scenic route to get to your destination. If you’re looking to add a more personalized touch, we can enhance the experience with other custom items like to-go cups, handkerchiefs, umbrellas and specialty cocktails.

If you are interested in the NOCCI team coordinating a Second Line for your group, submit a Request for Proposal in the “Contact” tab above.

Laissez les bon temps rouler!



NOCCI Gives Back - Giving Back When Time is Limited

The City of New Orleans is filled with immeasurable spirit and pride. As event planners in this vibrant community, we get to leave our mark by creating unforgettable experiences for all to enjoy. Every once in a while we are able to offer our services as means of giving back to the city we love. It may seem impossible to pick up pro bono work with such a jam-packed calendar, but with a passionate team, anything is possible.

Most recently, we joined a team of industry leaders to create a benefit concert supporting the victims of the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando. With an extremely busy schedule and only one week to turn this vision into a reality, we used our skills and connections to make “NOLA Beats for Orlando” a great success.

NOLA Beats for Orlando Planning Committee

NOCCI's Erin & Ashley with the NOLA Beats for Orlando Planning Committee

When picking up pro bono work, it is extremely important not to overload yourself. You want to give your best to your paying and non-paying clients. As our CEO, Dottie Belletto says, “if you touch it, you own it.” Don’t take on any responsibility you cannot handle.

It is important that you schedule meetings before or after regular business hours. Sometimes this isn’t possible, but you want to refrain from using up too much time of your day. We always divide and conquer responsibilities so that they are evenly spread throughout the team. We also give ourselves a time limit. Allotting a specific amount of time for the pro bono client allows you to prioritize and not become overwhelmed.

Coordinating an event pro bono can be a lot of extra work, but if you have the passion and can manage your time effectively, pro bono events are a great way to involve yourself in the community. 


NOCCI CELEBRATES SIXTH BAYOU CLASSIC MANAGEMENT CONTRACT WITH NEW HIRE

    NOCCI CELEBRATES SIXTH BAYOU CLASSIC MANAGEMENT CONTRACT WITH NEW HIRE

NEW ORLEANS, LA- The 43rd Annual Bayou Classic marks the sixth year New Orleans Convention Company, Inc. (NOCCI) is awarded the management contract for the game and festivities between Grambling State and Southern. In wake of this announcement, the company welcomes Quintin Thomas as General Manager of NOCCI’s Sports Marketing and Entertainment Department.

The Bayou Classic, which has seen many gains since NOCCI took over in 2011, boasted a record breaking attendance of 62,907 in 2015; the highest number since the Classic returned to New Orleans post Katrina. With Thomas on the company’s team, NOCCI is excited to bring the Classic to even more heights in 2016.

Thomas has 20 years of sales, marketing and sports management experience working for companies such as MillerCoors, Coca Cola, Six Flags Corporation and Victory Sports & Entertainment.  For the past eight years as Brand Market Manager/Sales Representative of MillerCoors, Thomas worked on the sponsorship side of the Bayou Classic. Thomas led the MillerCoors Brand as a key supporter of both the Southern University and Grambling State University Athletic Programs.

Thomas was also the leader of driving sales, marketing & sponsorship for the Coors Light Brand in the Louisiana African American Market for Essence Music Festival, NFL/New Orleans Saints Legends, Zulu Social Aid & Pleasure Club, 100 Black Men of Baton Rouge and New Orleans, and Alumni Fraternity Organizations.

"I look forward to growing NOCCI’s Sports Marketing and Entertainment Department," says Thomas. In addition to the Bayou Classic, Thomas will be overseeing the Fall 2016 HBCU Road Tour, managing sponsoring companies for Super Bowl LI in Houston, and developing sporting events for the New Orleans Tricentennial in 2018.

###

About New Orleans Convention Company Inc.

With more than 29 years in the event management industry, New Orleans Convention Company Inc. (NOCCI) has been the foundation of some of the New Orleans’ most memorable events. Specializing in event marketing, conference planning and meeting logistics, NOCCI aims to excite, engage, and entice participants.  Visit NOCCI online at www.nocci.com


How Event Marketing Reigns King

Advertisements... We see them everywhere. Turn on your TV or computer screen and in a matter of seconds one will appear. They are always in your face, but are they always effective?  According to the Event Marketing Institute, 87% of consumers say that events are more effective than commercial advertisements. Live events give the consumer the opportunity to interact with and get to know the product, opposed to just seeing it on a television screen.

Graph showing 87% of consumers think event marketing is more effective than commercials

Experience and event marketing is on the rise and has a huge effect on consumer spending. By hosting an event, your company not only has the opportunity to increase sales, but the opportunity to improve public perception. Giving clients the opportunity to interact face to face with a product is a huge motivator to get people on board for the long run.  Event participants are 65% more inclined to make an onsite purchase and 70% of participants are likely to become regular customers.

Event marketing isn’t only valuable to businesses, but also to communities and the global economy. According to The Meeting Professional's May 2016 article, “Getting The Message Out,” meetings, conventions and trade shows support 66,500 jobs and generate more than $9.3 billion in economic impact in Las Vegas alone.  The effects of event marketing are undeniable and can help elevate your company's success. What are you waiting for? The time to get your message out is now, and we’d love to help get you started!


NOCCI's Ultimate Festival Survival Guide: Part 3

NOCCI's festival season officially kicks of tomorrow with NOLA FoodFest. We can't wait to see all our your smiling faces enjoying the delicious food, great music and fun! Before heading to the festival, make sure you're prepared by reading the third and final installment of our festival survival guide.

  1. Surviving kids.
  2. So, it’s an “all-ages” event and you want to bring the kids along… GREAT! Festivals can be a ton of fun for kids. Check out if the festival has a kid’s activity area to keep them busy. If the festival doesn’t have a kid’s area, be sure to pack your own activities. We know an iPod will keep them occupied, but festivals should be genuine family fun, so pack a football, some bubbles or any other easy to carry toy.

    Don’t forget to pack snacks for your little one(s). If you have a picky eater and you are at a food festival, the last thing you want to hear is that someone is hungry… Bring snacks!

    Family at Festival

  3. Surviving groups.
  4. It’s fun to go to festivals with friends. As we mentioned in the previous blog, it’s smart to have a portable phone charger to keep in touch with friends (and take some really great pictures). If you have an iPhone, you can even “share your location” with your group, so no one gets lost at those larger scale festivals. A meeting spot is always useful. We suggest scoping one out when you first arrive and establishing that as your spot for the rest of the weekend. It’s also smart to have a “festival buddy” to accompany you when you have to break off from the group to get something to eat or drink, or to use the bathroom.

  5. Surviving port-o-potties.
  6. Port-o-potties… everyone’s favorite festival affair! Clearly we’re not being serious, but there are certainly ways to make your port-o-potty experience a little less miserable. Whenever we get to a festival, we always check out the port-o-potty situation first. Sometimes you can find a less frequented port-o-potty, which may have toilet paper until the very end. Just in case they’re all pretty frequented, we suggest bringing your own roll along. Also, pack some hand sanitizer to keep yourself nice and clean! You can thank us later.

With these tips under your belt, you will survive festival season like a pro! Come out and put your new skills to the test at one of our upcoming spring festivals:

FoodFest – April 2nd & 3rd @ Riverwalk’s Spanish Plaza
For more information visit www.nolafoodfest.com

New Orleans Wine & Food Experience- May 26th – 29th @ Various Locations
For more information visit www.nowfe.com

New Orleans Oyster Festival – June 4th & 5th @ Woldenberg Park
For more information visit www.neworleansoysterfestival.org


NOCCI's Ultimate Festival Survival Guide: Part 2

Welcome back to our Festival Survival Guide! Last week we shared tips on how to survive festival rules, weather and attire. As our first festival of the season rapidly approaches, we want to help increase your festival survival skills. Read on to continue learning how to champion festivals in New Orleans and beyond.

  1. Surviving vendors.
  2. Cash is king. Make sure you take out cash before heading to a festival. Some vendors are cash only, so it is vital that you have some if you plan on eating and drinking. Yes, there may be an ATM on site, but an ATM fee will exist and will probably be a littler higher than usual. If you’re going to purchase food or alcohol, don’t be afraid to tip! Not only is tipping the right thing to do, but it may help the vendors remember your face the next time you make a purchase!

    If you are heading to a food festival, be sure to check out the vendors online beforehand. Mapping out the vendors you want to try can save you a lot of time deciding where to eat at the festival. Don’t forget to stop by the craft, artist and merchandise vendors to bring home some unique memorabilia.


  3. Surviving the essentials.
  4. One of the worst things you can do is show up to a festival only to realize you’ve forgotten something important… like the tickets. Please don’t forget those, your group will be really unhappy with you and may revoke your invitation to future events. We suggest making a checklist ahead of time. Before you leave for the festival, ensure that you have everything on that list in your possession. We suggest putting simple (or not so simple) things, like your wallet and ID on that list.

    If you are not one to stand up on your feet all day, bring a lawn chair (if permitted) or a blanket. It’s always nice to have somewhere to chill out and relax for a bit. If you are going to the festival with a group, it is important that you can reach them in case you get separated. To avoid any issues here, bring a portable phone charger. You can find one at Wal-Mart or on Amazon for pretty cheap. It’s a small investment you won’t regret! Other essentials include previously mentioned items like, ponchos, hoodies, water, cash, backpacks, etc.

  5. Surviving the line up.
  6. This one is important. Whether you paid big bucks to get into the festival, or nothing at all, you’ll want to check out the line up ahead of time. If you’re like me and don’t like to live with any regrets, make yourself a personalized schedule so you don’t have to miss a thing. We suggest putting your schedule in your phone, so you don’t have to worry about losing a piece of paper. Some festivals even have apps, which allow you to easily create a personalized schedule.

    If you want to be first row for your favorite band, get there early. Nobody likes a crowd pusher! If you like to dance, hang out towards the back of the crowd, where you’ll have plenty of room to showcase your favorite moves.

You’re getting closer to becoming a festival pro! Make sure you don’t miss a beat this festival season and mark your calendars with our upcoming events:

FoodFest – April 2nd & 3rd @ Riverwalk’s Spanish Plaza
For more information visit www.nolafoodfest.com

New Orleans Wine & Food Experience- May 26th – 29th @ Various Locations
For more information visit www.nowfe.com

New Orleans Oyster Festival – June 4th & 5th @ Woldenberg Park
For more information visit www.neworleansoysterfestival.org


© Copyright New Orleans Convention Company, Inc. 2016