Event planning for commercial districts

Event planning for commercial districts

by Tanya Zwahlen

Hi there. I am excited to start documenting our insights about successful public outreach techniques and effective strategies for commercial district revitalization on this page.

This week, our staff is planning a Halloween event for South Clinton Avenue in the City of Rochester. Clinton Goes Batty will take place on the afternoon of Saturday, October 25th. The event is sponsored by the South Clinton Merchants Association, and will include a spook house for kids, a hayride, crafts, scary movies at the Cinema Theatre, promotions at many of the stores on South Clinton, and free donuts at one of our businesses that is recovering from a fire.


Our role is to manage the event logistics. We are organizing the list of promotions and activities that businesses are organizing, raising sponsorships, developing advertising materials, and, of course, gathering all the scary decorations we can find for the spooky house (hey, do you have any?). Once again, I am so glad to have Jen Topa on staff to multi-task our way to a successful event. Our talented friend and partner, Bill Schwappacher, developed the logo for the event. We love how he included the future home of Highland Planning at 820 South Clinton Avenue on the bottom of the poster. It is a spooky looking building, no?


Clinton Goes Batty is a good example of a relatively simple and low-cost way to attract customers to a commercial district for the day, and introduce or reacquaint them with multiple local businesses. We aren’t closing the street to traffic. Our budget is less than $1,500. Individual businesses are organizing their own promotions and activities. Our hope is that people enjoy themselves, discover a shop they didn’t notice before, and, most importantly, visit our businesses again in the near future (when they aren’t dressed as a zombie, a witch or character from Frozen).

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