A Day in the Life: Publicity, Promotions & Special Events Coordinator

From the desk of Dawn Betza:

In my role as the Publicity, Promotions & Special Events Coordinator, I get to do many fun and exciting things. My main focus is to work with show promoters and help them facilitate their advertising and public relations campaigns. I create marketing plans, write press releases, place media buys, schedule radio/tv interviews, arrange meet & greets, etc. The bottom line…it’s all about getting the word out, but most importantly, it’s about putting butts in seats. Show promoters rely heavily on in-house marketing help since most are not familiar with the Erie market. They need advice and recommendations as to where to spend their marketing dollars, so I help make sense of it all – at least I think so anyway! Spending money on radio, tv, newspaper and online is the most effective way to get the message out, but it also opens the doors for other types of media opportunities. Promoters love these additional opportunities because they are absolutely free! They include ticket giveaways, special promotions, enter to wins, on air interviews – all great ways to extend the marketing message without any cost.

So, here is one of those great opportunities that I wanted to share with you. The Harlem Globetrotters have a program where they send a player, known as an Advance Ambassador, to town about one month before their game to do all sorts of media interviews, school visits and general public relations. My job is to escort the player to each location and to make sure each event is properly executed. While this is very interesting and a unique opportunity that most will never experience, it is also a very busy day loaded with events that start in the wee hours of the morning. Below is an example of an Advance Ambassador schedule – enjoy!!


TIME                      EVENT                                                                   NOTES TO PLAYER

5:45am                 Pick-up player at hotel                                   bring 2 basketballs for the day

6:00-7:00am       WSEE-TV/WICU-TV                                         live interviews morning news, be prepared to spin ball

7:30-8:00am       Connoisseur Radio                                          multiple live interviews on Star, Rocket, The Wolf

8:30-9:30am       Erie Day School                                                 175 student assembly, interviews afterwards

10:00-10:30am   Cumulus Radio                                                  multiple live interviews on Classy 100, Nash & Z102

11:00-11:30am   WERG Gannon Radio                                      recorded interview

11:50-1:00pm     WSEE TV/WICU-TV                                          live interviews afternoon news, also weather segment


2:00-2:30pm       Erie Insurance Arena, JET-TV/FOX            shoot basketballs to record promo, also interview

3:00-4:00pm       Youth Development Center                        meet & greet, sign autographs, pictures

4:30-5:30pm       Emerson-Gridley                                              200 student assembly

6:00-7:00pm       JET-TV/FOX                                                        multiple live interviews evening news

7:30-8:30pm       CiCi’s Pizza                                                          meet & greet, sign autographs, pictures


The Harlem Globetrotters return to the Erie Insurance Arena on February 3, 2015 @ 7:00pm. Tickets on sale now.

Check out this cool video – a Harlem Globetrotter shatters the Guinness World Record for the farthest basketball shot made backwards!


The e Cultural Loop Starts Saturday

A new, free, park-and-ride trolley service will launch this Saturday, December 13th. A downtown “Cultural Loop” will provide new options for audiences of many downtown arts and cultural venues. A partnership between EMTA, the Erie Downtown Partnership and Erie Arts & Culture, the Cultural Loop will provide Saturday evening services from 5-11pm as a pilot program to encourage residents and visitors to spend more time downtown in our cultural district. “Park-and-ride services have been a successful tool in encouraging participation at summer activities along the Bayfront. Our season ticket holders and subscribers have voiced a similar need for park-and-ride services throughout the year to our major venues,” states Amanda Sissem. Service will begin with Saturday evenings with the opportunity for expansion as interest grows.

Free parking for the Cultural Loop is located at the Intermodal Transportation center with indoor waiting in the Rotunda. The route travels South on French Street to 14th Street, West on 14th to State, North to 11th Street, West on 11th to Peach, North on Peach to 10th Street, East on 10th to State, North on State to Perry Square, and around the Square and North on State, returning to the Intermodal Transportation Center via the Bayfront Parkway.

“Erie Events is excited and proud to partner with Erie Arts & Culture to include the beautiful, historic Warner Theatre in the Culture Loop,” said Elizabeth D’Aurora, the Coordinator of Communications and Client Relations for Erie Events. “The Warner Theatre is home to the Erie Philharmonic, Lake Erie Ballet and the Erie BROADWAY Series, all of which go hand-in-hand with the Erie Arts & Culture initiative.” Main stops along the Cultural Loop include the Intermodal Transportation Center, the Warner Theatre (French Street side with access to the Erie Insurance Arena and main entrance on State Street) and the Erie Playhouse. Optional stops dot the entire route encouraging passengers to visit additional arts and cultural venues, galleries and downtown restaurants. The service runs approximately every 30 minutes between 5-11pm.

“This new service will be a great addition to our downtown,” commented John Buchna, CEO of the Erie Downtown Partnership. “We’ll be able to provide safe, timely transportation to those who support arts and cultural programs by linking them to venues and other establishments. Arts and cultural programs are key to our downtown. This new service is a way for patrons to enjoy creativity and support their downtown as a whole. It’s a great new program and we’re thankful to Erie Arts & Culture and EMTA for making this trolley service a reality.”

To access the Cultural Loop schedule and map visit http://www.erieartsandculture.org/events or check routes and fares at the EMTA website http://www.emtaerie.com.

cultural loop description cultural loop map


A Day in the Life: Warner Theatre Operations Manager

Hello Erie,

As the Warner Theatre Operations manager, I, Barry Copple, can tell you it is not only challenging, but also extremely busy. I am asked many times, “What do you do when there is no event going on in the building?” The answer is simple — the day of the event is only a small part of the whole process. Many times I am working on and planning two months prior to the show date. For example, the month of December is very busy. We are just coming out of a two day run of our Warner Winter Wonderland Art & Craft show; I am now, and have been for a number of weeks, taking care of production needs for the show Straight No Chaser, who performed at the Warner on December 4th; two Erie Philharmonic Christmas performances December 6th; the Broadway show “Sister Act” December 8th; a private Christmas party in the grand lobby on the 12th; a concert with Jim Brickman on the 14th; the Fresh Beat Band concert the 16th; the Lake Erie Ballet “The Nutcracker” moving in on the 17th for five days and three performances through the 21st; two church services on Christmas Eve put on by Grace Church; a large private Christmas party in the Grand Lobby for 250 people on the 27th. Keeping in mind, each event has it’s own contact person, production, staffing, stage and building needs. At times, I am dealing with six, seven, eight or even nine different production people while coordinating nine different events all at the same time. So you can see how difficult it can become if you are not organized and have a good staff under you to help you facilitate all the demands placed on the facility and myself.

Straight No Chaser 2 Straight No Chaser 3

Some of the logistical challenges we face recently was moving 2,200 school children through the theatre for an Erie Philharmonic performance that arrived in 36 buses. My job is to make sure those children get in and out of the building safely, back on the correct bus, while also moving another 1,500 kids in the front door and parking another 25 buses for a second performance — all within 1/2 hour.


Last but not least, along with coordinating production for events, we still have a facility to take care of as well; regular maintenance items and cleaning all have to be taken care of on a daily/weekly basis. Take a look at the number of keys I carry with me daily!

barry's keys

It’s a challenging career, but I couldn’t ask to work in a more beautiful, historic building helping put on events that the community gets to enjoy! I hope you can “Get Up and Go!” to one of our many upcoming events.

That’s it for now folks, I’ll have plenty more to discuss next time, so until then, take care and we’ll talk again!



NYE Boogie on the Bay Celebration

Are you looking for that perfect party to ring in the new year? Look no further because the Bayfront Convention Center is offering a great package for everyone to celebrate 2015!

For $45/ticket, you’ll enjoy live music by “The Chozen Few Band”, hors d’oeuvres, three drink tickets per person and a champagne toast. For just $199, you can spend the night at the Sheraton Erie Bayfront Hotel, the #1 rated Sheraton in Guest Loyalty in North America for 2012 and 2013, plus two event tickets. This New Year’s Eve celebration benefits the Warner Theatre Restoration.

All seats for the event are reserved, so buy your tickets together to sit together. You don’t want to miss the best party in town! Tickets are available at the Erie Insurance Arena Box Office, http://www.erieevents.com or by calling 814-452-4857. Also enjoy free parking at the Convention Center NYE.



boogie on the bay

A Day in the Life: Box Office Manager

Ann Noble has worked for Erie Events for 27 years, most recently as the Box Office Manager for the Erie Insurance Arena, the Warner Theatre and the Bayfront Convention Center. She explains what’s evolved on a daily basis since she’s been employed by Erie Events:

A lot of things have changed since I began as a ticket seller so long ago. The biggest change has been the introduction of pre-sales and online purchases. Long gone are the days of waiting in line at the Arena Box Office for concert tickets to go on sale.

Almost every event that goes on sale has one, two, as many as eight different pre-sales! Purchasing pre-sale tickets allows you to secure seats before the tickets go on sale to the general public. This doesn’t always mean you will get the best seats in the house, rather you are guaranteed to have tickets in the event of a sellout. Please remember that even though you have a pre-sale password, you still need to act quickly as these offers are restricted to a certain amount of seats.

There are several ways to get pre-sale tickets for your favorite shows. Joining the artist’s Fan Club almost always scores you a pre-sale password. Local radio stations are often able to provide a password for their listeners as well.  You can also tune in to your favorite channel or check out their social media sites for any offers that may be out there.

Finally, join our email list or like our Facebook page for exclusive offers, pre-sale passwords and ticket give aways.

A Day in the Life: Erie Events Executive Director Talks about the Bayfront Place Walkway

From the desk of Casey Wells, Erie Events Executive Director:

The City of Erie Zoning Hearing Board rightly affirmed the determination of the City Zoning Officer on the Erie County Convention Center Authority’s (ECCCA) Bayfront Place design as fully compliant with all waterfront zoning regulations.  The ECCCA provided an uninterrupted 1100’ long, 12-14’ wide asphalt pathway for the entire length of the property.  This alone, satisfies zoning requirements.

To further enhance the walkway, the ECCCA built a second walkway, nearer to the waters edge, ranging from 6’ to 30’ in width constructed of scribed concrete, imbedded stones and decorative concrete pavers.  An assortment of ornamental grasses, lilies and other plantings separate the two pathways.  This allows for a soft buffer in between those enjoying more active recreational pursuits and those interested in more passive use. The smaller pathway intentionally does not extend to the top of the sea wall in all locations which eliminates the need for a 42” safety railing.  This allows visitors to enjoy the view of Erie’s magnificent Presque Isle Bay without obstructions.  Park benches, trash cans, pet potty stations, fishing pods and safety ladders are also available to better meet the needs of citizens visiting the waterfront.  Finally, the ECCCA also included a 20 foot swath of turf grass and trees to complete a richly designed waterfront parkway.

Although the property provides areas for fishing, it is not only for fisherman.  It is a waterfront parkway that encourages both active and passive recreational uses for all the residents of our region, including fisherman, runners, walkers, bicyclists and those who simply want to sit on a bench and enjoy an unobstructed sunset over our beautiful waterfront.

It is now open to the public, but only accessible from the western entrance due to construction activities near the Convention Center.  I hope you are able to visit and trust you will enjoy your new waterfront parkway.

Ring in the New Year at the Bayfront Convention Center!

If you’re making plans to ring in 2015, why not book the Bayfront Convention Center’s New Year celebration?

Boogie on the Bay tickets will go on sale Monday, December 1st. Single tickets are $45 each, or you can get a Sheraton Hotel package for $199.  Tickets can be purchased by calling the box office at 814-452-4857.

We are excited to welcome The Chozen Few Band! Visit their web site at http://thechozenfewband.com/

We will have more information on this fun night in the upcoming days and weeks ahead!

Unique Holiday Shopping Experience at Warner Theatre

What better way to prepare for the holidays than the Warner Winter Wonderland Art and Craft Show?

For the last 17 years, the art and craft show has taken place on the weekend after Thanksgiving. Mark your calendars now for Saturday, November 29th from 10am to 5pm and Sunday, November 30 from noon to 4pm to attend the event.

The one-of-a-kind craft show takes place inside the historic Warner Theatre located on State Street between 8th and 9th Streets. The craft show items are set up throughout the entire theatre, including the main lobby, balcony, stage and new addition.

craft show 1craft show 2

Stop by for a unique holiday shopping experience, including more than 50 crafters, guided theatre tours, a Chinese auction, pictures with Santa, refreshments and free parking.

Some items that you’ll be able to find at the event include Old World ceramic Santas, American Girl/Barbie/Monster High doll clothes, silver Phoenix jewelry, copper wall art, corian cutting boars, polymer clay ornaments, hand-painted mirrors & glass, tri-metal jewelry, wildlife art, wooden walking sticks & bird houses, Swarovski crystal jewelry, dog items, handmade stamped cards, soaps, florals, cross-stitch, fleece, baby items and much, much more!

There’s no better way to celebrate Small Business Saturday on November 29th than visiting the Warner Winter Wonderland Art and Craft Show.

Tickets are $3.00 for adults/senior citizens, $2.00 for children and 12 and under are free. If you bring a canned food item to donate to the Second Harvest Food Bank, you’ll save $1.00 on admission. We hope to see you there!

craft show 4 craft show 3

Mercyhurst Men’s Hockey Team to Host The Ohio State University in “Snowtown Throwdown”

Officials from Mercyhurst University along with the Erie County Convention Center Authority announced today the “Snowtown Throwdown” two-game series set to be played in January at Erie Insurance Arena.

The inaugural “Snowtown Throwdown” games will be played on January 2nd and 3rd with an Erie Otters hockey game to follow.

The Friday game is set for 7:05pm with the Saturday puck drop at 2:35pm.

The Erie Otters will play the Windsor Spitfire at 7pm Saturday evening.

Tickets will be available soon with a portion of proceeds from ticket sales going towards the Mental Health Association of Northwest Pennsylvania.

Stay  tuned for the latest on the Division I “Snowtown Throwdown.”

Head coach


players 1

players 2