To tell a good story in most cases it has a beginning, a middle, and the end. We aren’t at the end and I’m thankful. We are working the middle and not just now getting started. There is so much to hosting a car show, I could write a book now. There is so much to still learn though, I don’t feel I have reached the pinnacle yet, but there are many signs of it.
Winterfest typically takes an entire year to plan. Both the funding of the event and its marketing takes time because we aren’t a huge company with huge sponsors. That’s where we succeeded this year. We expected so many “new” events to hit the month of December and prepared ourselves for it. iLDS is a homegrown, family and friend run operation. The friends and family that help put together our events aren’t event staff, we are a crew. It’s important that everyone loves what they are doing in order to do it well. We currently aren’t hiring people, each and everyone that’s volunteering is either an automotive enthusiast or family of one. I am explaining this to give you an understanding of the backbone of our event. Every interaction is for the greater good of the success of Winterfest and most importantly iLDS. Again, marketing our event is extremely important. We do this by attending other events, running ads, building, and engaging with our audience.
This year’s success was based on us executing well. We only hosted two events this year and that gave us more than half of the year to exclusively prepare for Winterfest. We really wanted to do something different with the venue to get event goers to experience something different. First obstacle was making “the grass” ok to park on. We’ve thought of possibly switching locations because of the amount of parking being predominantly grass. However, working with what we had we noticed that most “high end” shows utilized grass parking at golf courses and such, this is an ‘airport”. The key is to have the right stuff positioned well and hide tents and other distractions. The other issue was vendors, no doubt we had a record count of vendors this year. We observed that in previous years our layout was too spaced out. Giving the vendors in the end a very poor experience. This year we revised our midway making it a lot tighter giving all vendors the opportunity to have event goers to pass by them.
The 80s/90s was initially the theme of the event in 2012 when we had a road jam and people couldn’t get into our event. Back then it was mostly about the look of the event. We wanted to bring this theme back properly and decided to have era specific builds to be a part of the main hanger. Typically we try to put all the eye candy closer to the main hanger and vendors since we only open up one hanger. This allows for a unique experience when spectators walk out of the hanger.This year the vibes were right and you did feel the era shift just looking at the cars while walking out the hanger. Some of you might have known that my build was supposed to be completed for this exact theme. It wasn’t and I’m sorry. I hope to have it at Summervibes in April next year.
A huge shoutout to everyone involved with this year’s show. We had over 30 vendors registered to be in attendance. Over 300 cars and spectators in the thousands. We couldn’t be any more thankful for all of our friends that attended from as far north as New Jersey and as south as Miami. This year was truthfully needed and we thank you all. To the RC Drag Racing by Demarcus and RC Drifting by Dennis at Street Break Drift it was great to partner with you. Having both Hobby Town and Bear Hobbies on board providing giveaways and helping us grow the hobbyist side of our automotive culture. Those of you who donated toys for the toys for tots this year killed it. We have a record collection this year and we're ecstatic because our collection site was noted which is awesome, Thanks!
What’s next? I’m sure if you attended Winterfest this year and had a great time, it went by fast. This might be because we try to keep our schedule on time. No worries, we will host more events and pop-ups. Next year’s Winterfest will be on 12/14/2024, you have a year to plan :-). As for Summervibes that’s next. We are working on making it a 2 day event. We’ve realized that most of you want to drive out here and spend the weekend. So next year we plan to take a risk and host 2 days of Summervibes. More details for that will come very soon. We also have a Miami location we’re working so diligently on. When we make it happen we certainly let you know. Our plan for this one is to make it similar to Summervibes, all outdoor and great vibes. ;-) We certainly hope you stay locked in with us in 2024. We certainly need your help to keep these events going. All the support, purchasing merchandise, attending the events, and even sharing and engaging with our content. Everything helps, thanks!
Thanks for everything!