Community news blurb of the day |

Community news blurb of the day

Stewart Oksenhorn

Those who care to participate in this year’s Food & Wine Magazine Classic at Aspen had better line up.According to Devin Padgett, special projects producer for the Food & Wine Classic for the past 12 years, this year’s event is already sold out for exhibitors and consumers. The 19th annual Classic, to be held June 15-17, sold out earlier than ever, two weeks earlier than last year’s previous record date.”We’ve been reaching the sellout point earlier and earlier over the years,” said Padgett.The Classic has consistently made the decision to cap the maximum number of participants – including advertisers, consumers, volunteers, exhibitors and VIPs – at 5,000, rather than expand the event. Padgett said that, based on demand alone, the Classic could easily sell another 300 exhibitor booths.Now for the good news: volunteers for the Classic are still needed. Those interested in volunteering should call volunteer coordinator Brenda Wild at the Aspen Chamber Resort Association at 925-1940.The demand from exhibitors is a far cry from just eight or nine years ago, when the Classic had trouble filling all the exhibitor space. But Padgett says that the last few years have seen a boom in this sort of event marketing.”Event marketing has become such a force in our economy the last few years, as opposed to print and media advertising,” he said. “People want to get their products in front of people. Marketing budgets are slashed in other areas, but the event budget has stayed strong.”Scheduled to appear at this year’s Classic are chefs Charlie Trotter, Patricia Wells, Mario Batali and Jacques and Claudine Pepin; and wine experts Andrea Immer, Josh Wesson, Steve Olson and Bobby Stuckey.Return to The Aspen Times or

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