Award Winning Ottawa Event Planning

FEO Conference – Part 2

FEO Conference – Part 2
It’s all about the food!
Yesterday afternoon I attended a session called “How to Leverage Culinary Tourism to Grow your Festival or Event”. This session was just as amazing as the morning just not as heavy. 
The session was put on by the Ontario Culinary Tourism Alliance. Believe it or not there are groups out there promoting food as part of your tourism. Who would have known.
Trevor and I are foodies. We plan our vacations around food. We try new restaurants every chance we get. We have raised our girls to love great food (which is kind of back firing because that also means they love expensive food). So this session not only made me hungry but was so incredibly exciting.
Here are few facts I learned…among a million other things that I won’t share because I’ll have another mile long post…
  • What is the one thing all tourists have in common? They all eat!
  • There is an Ice Wine Festival
  • People will remember a meal over a cultural experience (for example a museum)
  • The average tourist spends $68/per/day on food
  • The average tourist foody has an income of over $100,000
  • There is an event called Field TripThere is something called worm fiddling, that the festival just might have to try this year
  • There is an event called Flavours in the Field that my husband and I will definitely be going to
  • There is a magazine called Lucky Peach that I am now going to subscribe to


If you have never attended the Dandelion Festival you should. The Dandelion Festival is the reason I am here at this conference right now. I am the Event Manager for the festival this year and I am super excited to be able to have that title. I have lived in Kemtpville for almost my entire life and I have watched the town grow in such incredible ways and I believe in what we have in Kemptville and know that we are capable of much bigger and better things. If through the festival I can start to bring some of that to our town, I am super proud to do so. 
One thing that I don’t know if you are aware of is that Kemptville has some of the most incredible food around. We have some very talented chefs who live in our area and who bring such tantalizing creations to our tables. 
This year at the festival I am working with Bruce from the Branch to create a new feature of our festival. We are working on a foody’s dream experience. We are creating a dandelion themed dinner experience that will allow people to experience just a small part of what Kemptville does extremely well. 
Along with that we are working at capitalizing on the culinary experience at our festival. We hand select our food providers for the festival and yes don’t worry you can still get a hot dog and fries or good old pizza, but we love to be able to provide food that is different than what you might get at other festivals. This year we are hoping to take that to a whole new level. I can’t discuss the plans just yet but just so you know, we’re working on something really great. 
Be sure to check out the festival. We won’t only have food but we’ll have free music, arts, theatre and a great kids area of course. 
Julia O’Grady has big vision, fresh ideas and a proven track record in the events industry. She and her team work hard to exceed client expectations and push ITM Events to achieve greater heights. A driven entrepreneur, Julia also manages the business side of ITM Events including human resources, finances, marketing and writing grant and sales proposals. In taking a high level approach to event management, Julia is able to visualize a project from inception to successful execution. She attracts valuable sponsors by offering meaningful opportunities to engage with participants. Julia uses her keen analytical mind to create incredible events that maximize the available budget. When Julia isn’t planning unforgettable events, she loves travelling the world with her family, staying active, and enjoying fine food and martinis.


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