A Conversation W/ Doug Lofstrom & Michele Richards
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A Conversation W/ Doug Lofstrom & Michele Richards

Currently serving as the Chief Executive Officer, Doug Lofstrom has been with the OC Fair & Event Center since 2000 and has held key leadership positions including Vice President of Events, Director of Planning & Project Management, Director of Operations and Interim Equestrian Center Manager.

Prior to joining the OCFEC team, Doug had 20 years of experience serving in executive leadership roles at the Los Angeles County Fair, National Orange Show and the Farmers Fair of Riverside County. Doug is also past president of Western Fairs Association and recipient of the Western Fairs Association Hall of Fame. Prior to entering the industry, Doug was assistant vice president at Provident Federal Savings and Loan.

Doug has a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from California State Polytechnic University in Pomona. Doug resides in Newport Beach with his wife Nancy.

Michele Richards is the OC Fair & Event Center's Chief Business Development Officer, leading the Sales, Marketing, Communications, Community Relations and Creative Services teams. She has been with the organization since 2002.

Michele has more than 30 years of leadership experience in a variety of fields including advertising/marketing, organizational development, sales and human resources, including over 15 years managing her own consulting practice.

Michele is a graduate of the University of Georgia with degrees in Journalism and Business. She lives in Laguna Niguel with her husband Matt, and two daughters, Lanie and Claire.

In this episode, Doug Lofstrom and Michele Richards of the OC Fair & Event Center talk about the success of their fair and venue in spite of much competition for entertainment dollars in their area, including Disneyland! They talk about how they have stayed true to their brand and position their marketing to the “moment in time” aspect of the fair and speak about staying “ahead of the curve” with a continually evolving marketing mix. Discover the very simple philosophy of the fair and how this helps them be the best they can be! 

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Key Episode Moments: 

  1.   7:23 - How the OC Fair confidently competes with Disneyland in its backyard is actually very simple.
  2.  9:25 - Can Disneyland and the OC Fair work together and can they learn from one another? You might be surprised by the answers!
  3. 16:30 - Customers get their information and chose to spend their time and money differently all the time – the key is to know who your customers are and stay ahead of that curve!
  4. 23:35 - What brilliant thing did the OC Fair do to mitigate the effects of a brutal 10-day heat wave?
  5. 24:25 - Why is it important to have a contingency plan for marketing?
  6. 27:39 - Doug gives great insight into the distinct roles of the Board of Directors and management, and specifically the role of the CEO.
  7. 31:15 - Fairs need to look at themselves to be the best they can be, but also outside the industry to see where people are spending leisure time and money.
  8. 32:26 - The key to success for fairs is to do everything with a very simple, but powerful, mission in mind.



The Amplifier is brought to you by Saffire in cooperation with IAFE, IFEA, IAVM and WFA. For more information or feedback, please contact info@saffire.com.
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