By: Janelle Benuska
Last Saturday, March 19th brought members of the Event 360 team back to the beach in Fort Lauderdale for the 16th Annual Florida AIDS Walk & Music Festival ― our first event for the 2022 season! It was an incredible weekend building and executing a safe, FUN, and meaningful event, raising nearly $2 million (and counting!) for AIDS Healthcare Foundation and nine local beneficiary organizations making an impact providing HIV/AIDS services in South Florida.
With amazing performances by Deborah Cox and Jessie J, food trucks, fun booths and tents with games and other engagement opportunities, the crowd of nearly 2,000 attendees was treated to a truly beautiful day.
Some of the production highlights included fleshing out how a giant shade structure would be built on the sand, factoring in sea turtle nesting season as well as palm trees. While scouting, mapping, and planning are imperative, flexibility is always key! We also brought back some elements that had been pared down in 2021 due to COVID such as the VIP Tent and Sponsor Booths, and they were welcomed re-additions.
That said, some of what we learned in 2021 continues to help with efficiencies, such as contactless and cashless Check-in and Registration. Fort Lauderdale Police are always a huge asset for us on the route, as a lane of A1A is closed from 10 am until our walkers return ― a major street to close, especially during the height of Spring Break!
All in all, this year’s Florida AIDS Walk was one for the books. We are proud to work with the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, and are now setting our sites on both a new beach event on the West Coast in the summer, and the AIDS Walk Atlanta event this fall!