A New Community Event Hosted by Lakeland’s Marketing Management Class

Coming soon to Elkhart Lake: Elktoberfest. Like Oktoberfest, it will be a festival celebrating German heritage through music, games, 5k run/walk and beer.

Rachel Pagel, Staff Reporter

The Marketing Management class is conducting a new event in Elkhart Lake called Elktoberfest on September 23-25, 2022. Like Oktoberfest, it will be a festival celebrating German heritage through music, games, 5k run/walk and beer. The class is collaborating with the Elkhart Chamber of Commerce and the Elkhart Lake Tourism Commission to produce the event. The community and surrounding businesses have been extremely supportive, and the run is currently open for registration.  

One of the biggest challenges the Market Management class has faced is writing for the Joint Effort Marketing Grant or JEM Grant. The JEM Grant is given to various cities and townships to support promotional tourism events to make them a reality. The class had no prior experience with grant writing, so reaching out for assistance was a key element in development.  

Another struggle the class faced was getting everyone to collaborate with different formats of attending, varying schedules and limited class time. Brian Brickham, one of the students, stated, “We overcame that hurdle and successfully navigated the process and built a living breathing event that will take on a life of its own.” Instructor Kim Viglietti also explained her perspective on the challenges, “Some of our challenges turned into successes. We started from nothing and now we have a really good marketing plan.” 

The financial planning aspect for the event has been taken on by Brian Brickham, Caleb Matthias and Emily Schmitt. Haley Rich, Jazmine Tidwell and Sydney Pingitore tackled the marketing research for the project. Mikayla Armatoski, Taylar Miller and Skylar Garza have planned many of the key elements of the event that will happen throughout the weekend, such as a corn hole competition and frau carry. Hunter Bukantis, Zach Gallipeau and Jesse Brown determined the target market and completed an industry analysis of the event. Reece Colberg and Amanda Brandt composed Elktoberfest’s brand promise, executive summary, goals and vendor details. Once all the planning is complete Brickham will coordinate with each group to organize the documents accordingly. 

This project has allowed students to utilize their skills learned throughout the marketing program and put them into action within the Elkhart Lake community. Student Reece Colberg said, “This project has really put our past marketing classes in perspective. We have to use that knowledge gained from previous examples in an actual real-life scenario, it is eye-opening.” The marketing class is helping to set the foundation for a long running Elktoberfest event for the community. 

To sign up for the run visit https://runsignup.com/Race/WI/ElkhartLake/ElkhartLake5k. Any questions about the event can be sent to Viglietti at [email protected].