Stanthorpe can proudly claim to have the best promoted events in Australia, with the Apple and Grape Harvest Festival’s 2020 marketing campaign awarded winner in ‘Best Achievement in Marketing, Communication or Sponsorship’ category at the 2020 Australian Event Awards.

In the same awards, the Festival was also placed as a national finalist in the ‘Best Tourism Event’ category, with the ultimate win awarded to the very worthy Splendour in the Grass 2019.

The ‘Best Achievement in Marketing’ award was presented this week to Krista Hauritz Tourism and Events, who partnered with the festival for the first time in 2019/2020 to deliver the marketing strategy and implement the festival promotions and publicity.

Isabella Grape and Johnny Apple a mainstay of the Festival Parade
Isabella Grape and Johnny Apple a mainstay of the Festival Parade

Krista Hauritz said the festival had the right campaign of print media, TV, radio, social media, publicity, signage, helped by refreshed branding for 2020 and the new slogan ‘Crushing It Since 1966’

“We felt incredibly privileged to be given the task of marketing Stanthorpe’s long loved festival,” she said Mrs Hauritz.

“The deeper we got in to working with the festival committee, we saw we could deliver so much because the festival committee are one of the most professional committees we have encountered and just such lovely people to work alongside.”

“What people don’t see behind the scenes is our marketing effort being supported by a very passionate festival volunteer team and one of the best examples was President Max Hunter hand-picking grapes in the rain the day before we were staging a big media event where we had 23 travel writers visiting Stanthorpe to preview the festival fun.

Apple and Grape Harvest Festival parade, 2020
Apple and Grape Harvest Festival parade, 2020

A special mention went to Bill and Annette Brown and Jenny Rossington with her young family who were up before the crack of dawn to bring the festival mascots to life ready for the first live cross on national TV on the Today Show

“There are too many local volunteers to name all that made the festival promotions possible, with everyone including then Treasurer very hands on in making everything down to the important festival ticketing run smoothly,” Ms Hauritz said.

The festival’s marketing was up against stiff competition from events including the City of Melbourne for their work on City of Melbourne Christmas Festival 2019, City Parklands Services for their work on Regional Flavours 2019, Deni Play on the Plains Festival for their work on Deni Ute Muster 2019 and Milestone Creative Australia for their work on Sydney SailGP 2020.

Originally published as Small town festival beats City of Melbourne in Oz Event Awards