New promotion role follows Topp advice

LAUREN HAYES
Last updated 05:00 02/09/2014
Southland Times photo
ROBYN EDIE/Fairfax NZ
AWARDS ADVICE: The Topp Twins Linda (left) and Jools during a visit to Gore earlier this year.

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The Gore District Council has created a new role to help the town capitalise on big events.

The newly established events and promotions co-ordinator will work to foster more collaboration and engagement around big events in the town, such as the Gold Guitars.

The decision comes after country duo the Topp Twins called for changes to the annual music awards, to expand its scope.

Topp Twins performer Jools Topp commended the volunteers who worked hard to keep the Gold Guitars up and running, but said it was time for the awards to go professional.

The event needed a big sponsor, like Australian country music festivals had, to hire fulltime staff and push it to the next level, she said.

Going professional could transform the event into a real festival, attracting fans in campervans from across the country, she said. "It could be really big - it could be huge."

The new events and promotions co-ordinator role is a step towards building the awards into a bigger, broader event.

The council created the new position to foster better co-ordination between organising committees of big events, like the Gold Guitars, and Gore businesses and community groups.

Mayor Tracy Hicks said the fulltime role had been established after discussions with the Topp Twins and community leaders identified the need for better collaboration around events.

Responsibilities had been redistributed at the council so a community development role could be "morphed into" the events and promotions position, he said.

This meant the council had created a new role, but it had not created a new cost. Applications close tomorrow.

Gold Guitars convener Philip Geary said the new council role was a positive step for the event.

The awards committee was always looking for national and corporate sponsors, but nothing had come forward so far, he said.

The main problem was the event did not attract enough television exposure to secure major sponsorship deals, he said.

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