WNIN’s goal was to create a fundraising event to attract a wider audience from our listening and viewing area in our tri-state market. We were specifically looking to increase and engage our 40 & younger community. An article about Certified Bob Ross instructors across the US inspired the idea to create a Bob Ross street fest, complete with an outdoor painting party on the main street in Downtown Evansville, Indiana.
The first step was to create the Ross Fest “brand” and so we worked with a local graphic designer to create the look and feel of the event through the logo, the Ross Fest social media presence, and merchandise. Then we worked on the details of the logistics for the event. We found a certified Bob Ross landscape instructor that lived about three hours away and she was able to help guide us with the tools we would need to create an experience for our guests that was both enjoyable and would give them a certified Bob Ross painting to take home and enjoy forever. We added a light wall to play the Joy of Painting episode for the crowd, some music, food trucks, a bar trailer and a Bob Ross costume contest and the magic of Ross Fest was born.
When we released the event on all of our social media platforms and the tickets went live the response was overwhelming. People were so excited for a Bob Ross themed event but more than anything they wanted to experience painting along with Ross himself (virtually of course). When other media outlets caught wind of the event it got bigger and bigger. So big, that we sold out of painting spots within several weeks.
Ross Fest took place on a beautiful Friday night in downtown Evansville, Indiana. Several hundred people joined us right outside the WNIN Public Media Center, some that had traveled several hours just for the event. Our attendees really enjoyed themselves and were able to come together and create a Bob Ross painting that was uniquely them.