After much care and deliberation, the AFEA board of directors and leadership have made a decision to offer an online, virtual conference for 2021. While meeting together and networking with our peers and members is one of the things we love most about our annual meeting, the safety and health of our members and attendees is a top priority as we prepare you all for the coming year of what is hopeful to include festivals & events in their entirety. Please view our online schedule and registration information below and plan to join us virtually in what is sure still be a fun & informative learning opportunity for our industry! *AFEA Award winners will also be announced during this time.


Keynote: Dan Fife, Founder & CEO, Awakening Events and River Concerts Sponsored By: Texas Event Management Institute

When COVID-19 struck, Dan and his team sprung into action to keep live events happening at drive-in theatres around the country. He and his team have implemented hundreds of live shows in a new format that has proven to be a safe and successful model. With his finger on the pulse of where the live events industry is headed in the coming months, Dan will help to provide insight into navigating this new path in keeping the industry relevant, and, hopefully thriving.

Awakening Events is an Arkansas based, full service, live events company whose mission is not to be the largest company, but to provide the best platform available for national touring artists, their crews, managers and agents, that allows each entity to reach their long term goals.

Other Sessions/Topics

Alexandra Rushing, Founder: City Chic Living

Alexandra is a single mom blogger and entrepreneur from Memphis, Tennessee. She is the creator of a successful blog and influencer brand, City Chic Living. What started as a way for her to escape daily obstacles over a glass of wine and share passions with the world has since turned in to a following of over 80k and being named one of the Top 9 Southern Bloggers by Yahoo News. She covers relatable topics such as,  personal editorials on fashion choices as a 30 something mom of two, beauty hacks for the boss mom, home and garden tips, lessons on staying healthy when there is no time, unconventional parenting, and travel destinations (with and without the kiddos).
Libby Doss Lloyd, Communications Manager, Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau

Survival Skill: Make Your Event Insta-Famous Sponsored By: CJRW Alexandra & Libby join us to uncover the behind the scenes relationship of an organizer and social media influencer. With both sides of the story, we will learn the positive impact that influencers can have on products, events, and travel destinations and how to wisely navigate the process from the position of a destination or event organizer. Alexandra & Libby will also provide some easy to implement DIY tips and how-to’s of making your social media stand out.

Lourdes “Lulu” Peredo, Outreach Director, Engage NWA

Lulú works with the community and local government to drive momentum and advance equity and inclusion efforts in the region. Previously serving as welcoming communities coordinator for the city of Sprindale, Lulú will continue to build on the progress of the city’s welcoming communities program, regularly collect and implement stakeholder feedback, build community buy-in and support other EngageNWA programs. Originally from Acapulco Guerrero, Mexico and obtained her college degree from Centre College in Danville Kentucky.

Survival Skill: “Diversity & Inclusion: Is Everyone Invited to Your Festival?” Sponsored By: Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage, & Tourism Presenter: Lourdes Peredo, ENGAGE NWA/ NWA COUNCIL EngageNWA serves as a connector for leaders in business, government, and the community on matters that help us create a more inclusive Northwest Arkansas region.

Tammy Pope, Tammy Sue’s Critters & Arkansas Craft Guild

Tammy Pope is the owner of Tammy Sue’s
 Critters, a soap, lotion and body product business. Tammy has been in business for 14 years. She and her husband Skip have a small dairy goat farm in central Arkansas. Currently they have about forty goats, seventy chickens, a donkey, a llama, four dogs, four cats and a bunny.
Tammy spends her days on the farm creating her products. Each recipe is hers and her products are quite unique.
Tammy is also an active member and board member of the Arkansas Craft Guild.
There she is on the committee for the annual Christmas Showcase, held in Little Rock.
For more than a decade Tammy has traveled through state doing artisan and craft shows to market her line. In this time she has garnered knowledge of how different shows work. She has put together some guidelines to help organizers acquire and retain quality vendors.

Survival Skill: “Attracting & Retaining Craft & Artisan Vendors Sponsored By: Fairfield Bay Marina Presenter: Tammy Pope, Arkansas Craft Guild Tammy is an artisan vendor, owner of Tammy Sue’s Critters, and Executive Director of the Arkansas Craft Guild, the state’s organization for hand crafted and artisan creators. She shares best practices for vetting and attracting quality vendors for an event, and addresses the current climate for vendors in the industry

Ryan Ritchie, Owner, Rock City Outfitters

Survival Skill: Designing Successful Event Merch: Presenter: Ryan Ritchie, Rock City Outfitters Event merchandise can drive funds for and promote events simultaneously when done correctly. Get tips from a professional on how to create items that sell your event and proven practices for making sure the public knows how to purchase it.

Matt Cleveland, Chief Development Officer
Arkansas Sherriffs’ Youth Ranches

Matthew Cleveland is Chief Development Officer for the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches. He is a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) and began his fundraising career in 2004 at Youth Home, Inc, another statewide nonprofit residential program that serves children and families. Matt has also served in development and marketing with the Arkansas Arts Center and the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra before joining the Ranches in 2012. With each of these nonprofit organizations, Matt has worked to raise funds and awareness for their important missions to create stronger, healthier communities for the people of Arkansas. Matt is an active member and past president of the Arkansas Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. He lives in Searcy with his wife, Kim and their three children

Survival Skill:Creative Fundraising For Festivals & Events’ Matt joins us to help spark creativity and new ideas in our fundraising efforts. With a success for his own pivoted event in 2020 under his belt, he tells us how his organization was able to maintain levels of fundraising and participation during a difficult season and shines some light on new platforms and technologies that are available to those looking to raise money for their programs and events.

Survival Skill: Inclement Weather Plans How do you prepare? Round table discussion. Survival Skill: 2021 Event Planning Sponsored by Downtown Little Rock Partnership Round Table Discussion

SCHEDULE (subject to change)

Tuesday, February 2

Designing Successful Event Merch 9:00-10:00am *Awards Announced: Best T-shirt, Most Unique Festival or Event

Attracting & Retaining Artisan Craft Vendors 10:00-11:00am

Bonus Session: Round Table Discussion on Inclement Weather Plans 3:00pm

Wednesday, February 3

 Dan Fife, Awakening Events                   9:00-10:00am *Awards Announced: Best Virtual Event, Best Food Themed Event

Make Your Festival or Event Insta-Famous 10:00-11:00am *Awards Announced: Best Event Photo, Best Promotional Video

Musician Spotlight 3:00pm *Sponsored By: Gravel Yard Bluegrass

Thursday, February 4

Is Everyone Invited to Your Event? 9:30-10:30am *Awards Announced: 2020 Pivot Award

Alternative Fundraising For Festivals & Events 10:30-11:30am *Awards Announced: Best Children’s Program in an Event

Bonus Session: Round Table Discussion on 2021 Event Plans 3:00pm

Register Here:

Virtual Conference Registration Options

Need To Mail Payment? No Problem! Download Form Below.

We are so grateful for amazing sponsors each year! This year comes with a single, affordable option for partnering with us to make this conference possible. Each virtual session has a $300 sponsorship attached to it that can be purchased at the above registration link or by contacting us directly for payment options. Virtual session sponsors will receive: *A 2 minute intro at the beginning of their chosen session to introduce their business and services to the audience. *Email contacts of all who are registered to attend. * 2 (brand new & exciting!) AFEA festival shirts. *A dedicated social media post to an audience of 10,000.

Fairfield Bay