Collaboration has been the key between Auckland’s community eco-festivals this year – Ecowest and Ecofest North (15 March – 13 April) – both in the planning stages and the production of a joint printed programme.
Not surprisingly both festivals involve input from scores of organisations, independently running over 110 events. In turn those events attract thousands of participants across West Auckland, the North Shore and up to Matakana.
Now Auckland-based marketing technology company Ubiquity is helping the festivals’ co-ordinators to manage the evaluation of events using their Engage software platform.
Managing Director Nathalie Morris explains what motivated Ubiquity to get involved:
“These festivals are all about inspiring people to make changes in their own lives, so this is a great fit with our own philosophy, and we’re delighted to get involved by developing and hosting online surveys for event organisers and event attendees.
For me personally, I have always wanted to put the skills I’ve gained in the business world to use in the not for profit sector, and Ubiquity’s involvement with Ecofest and Ecowest allows me to contribute in some small way.”
“Ubiquity has always had a green bent, and we put this into practice in a range of ways, including having worm farms set up at our Kingsland office to compost all of our organic waste on site. We have done this partly to reduce the impact of the business in terms of waste to landfill, but as importantly to inspire and educate staff so that they might give more thought to their own footprint.
Another example of how Ubiquity gets involved with our local environment is the on-going supporter relationship Ubiquity has with the Motutapu Restoration Trust, which is engaged in reforestation work and endangered bird relocation to this Hauraki Gulf island. We provide the Trust with practical assistance managing and communicating with the supporter database, our staff participate in tree planting days and last year we donated to the Trust on behalf of our clients in lieu of Christmas gifts.”
How to capture and measure the experiences of so many people had been a challenge for the co-ordinators in previous years, as Louisa Chase, Ecofest North Manager, points out.
“Last year we did a survey on paper for event attendees and a phone survey for the event organisers. Between me and an intern it took so long, and at the end of it all we still ended up with only a very small sample which had limited use for evaluation and future planning. This year, things will be very different!
It is often a challenge for not-for-profits and charities to find the resources to help them be more effective and efficient, so this collaborative partnership is a bit like gold-dust to us, and we are very appreciative of the generous help from Ubiquity. One of the other positive benefits is that it has helped us to sharpen our thinking about marketing and customer engagement”.
For more details about Ecowest and Ecofest North visit ecofest.org.nz or phone (09) 482 1172 for more information.
Both festivals are supported by Auckland Council; Ecowest is co-ordinated by Ecomatters Environment Trust and Ecofest North by Kaipatiki Project Environment Centre.