This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2015, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Few things make travel more interesting than coming into a city that is hosting a special event. Knowing about those events, however, can sometimes prove challenging.
That's why event planners from around the Wasatch Front gathered recently for the Salt Lake City Event Makers Summit. According to organizers, the groups were working together to improve the economy.
"Events can serve as a vehicle for economic development," said Jeff Whiteley, founder of Excellence in the Community, a nonprofit dedicated to giving local artists better performing opportunities. "We need to start looking at Utah's artistic resources as a vehicle for economic and civic development."
He cited Cedar City's Shakespeare Festival as an example of a community turning art into economic development that Salt Lake City should follow.
Event makers from the Salt Lake City Arts Council, Downtown Alliance and the Utah Symphony and Opera discussed the gap between hosting quality events and getting state and city leaders to participate in promoting them to visitors.
Taylor Harris, general manager of the Food Truck League, argued that event makers need to improve their own marketing to attract more crowds.
"Too often, we focus on the features of our events, forgetting to give the bigger reason why people should attend," he said. "They should attend because it's the best date night or because it's a break from the kids."
Kreg Peeler, CEO of SpinGo that hosted the event, said it was organized to see network, see where event planners are doing well, and find places where event planners can improve their events and help the economy.