Small, Creative Events Attract Visitors

To overcome negative perceptions about safety, and bring more people to the city center, Downtown Santa Monica embarked on a series of creative, small-scale events.

The goal is to attract visitors and create welcoming images which can be shared via the local press and social media.

Ariana Gomez, director of marketing and partnerships at Downtown Santa Monica thinks creatively about developing events. Her team starts by asking: What makes good press? What makes a good photo op?

“That’s the world we live in,” Gomez says. “I can tell you everything is fine, or I can show you photos of my Taylor Swift friendship-bracelet-making event,”

In fact, Gomez says her mantra is “puppies and babies.” The idea is that no one takes their children or their dogs to places that are unsafe.

Other small scale events have included a chess tournament, a celebration of the Mexican Day of the Dead, a photo op with the Easter Bunny, and an outdoor showing of Jurassic Park.

More from Downtown Santa Monica appears in the April issue of Downtown Idea Exchange newsletter. Click below to learn more about Downtown Idea Exchange and other resources for revitalizing downtowns and commercial corridors.

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