The Other Side of the Fair

By Quincie Gourley
Agricultural Communication major

The youth organization 4-H is a program I could not imagine my life without. As a proud 4-H member, I have shown market hogs at my local county fair for ten years. Throughout the years, I have learned so much about animals, people, and myself. FullSizeRender-2My 4-H experiences led to my summer internship at the Monterey County Fairgrounds working as the media and marketing intern. Going into this internship, I knew social media management and marketing the fair would be my key focus.  I have been handling all of the fair’s social media accounts, and working with all the sponsorships.

There wasn’t much to managing the social media platforms, so I didn’t have a problem with posting updates about the fairgrounds. I couldn’t have done it without the help of the website Hoot suite, an absolute blessing in managing all of the 4-H accounts. I was also asked to manage the Heritage Foundation’s accounts, a large non-profit organization associated with the Monterey County fairgrounds.


Pictured: A member of the Santa Lucia Rotary Club, two Fair Board Members, Our Heritage Foundation Scholarship Recipient, and intern Quincie Gourley

Sponsorships on the other hand, were an entirely different world to me. The only thing I knew about sponsors was they got their logos on fancy prints. I was given all of the “in-kind” media sponsors to work out agreements and negotiating deals.

Quincie hanging up fair posters as part of her effort to gain sponsorships from local groups and businesses.

Shortly after, I was handling cash sponsors, emailing corporate companies, talking to CEOs, being on conference calls, and getting cc’d on tons of email. For a couple of weeks, I felt like an Agribusiness major.

Now, I am in the middle of planning two events: The Fair Kick-Off Dinner BBQ and the MCF’s Wine Competition and Pouring. The Kick Off Dinner planning has pulled me going in a million different directions. It is quickly approaching, and there is not nearly enough time to get in all my phone calls or donations. The “newest” part of my internship is managing the Wine Competition. Throughout the entire process, Jacky Eshelby, a Cal Poly Agribusiness professor, has helped me. However, the differences between wines or food and wine pairings is beyond me. I have used my “learn by doing” skills to created wine flights for the five-day event. What an experience!

One of the trickiest thing to understand was how to email in a professional manner. Simple, right?  I have never been cc’d on an email or even had a $10,000 sponsorship in my hands. To think my boss believed I could have handle all of this as an 18-year-old is humbling. I don’t take it lightly. Some days are tougher than others, but those are the days I’ll remember and learned valuable lessons. Just like some of the stubborn 4-H hogs I showed at fair, I made the best of the situation. In my internship, I have gained so much more knowledge, from the other side of the fair.

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