“Fifteen years ago, I pitched the shamROCK event to the Gaslamp Quarter Historical Foundation,” said CEO of McFarlane Promotions, Laurel McFarlane. “From there, I just grew my business.”
McFarlane’s experience in event planning was cultivated through her previous work with the Muscular Dystrophy Association and City of Hope.
“I just love what I do. That’s the magic in it,” she said.
When asked how she and her staff remain organized with so many logistical components involved in such large-scale events, McFarlane acknowledges all the preplanning that’s done long before the day of the event.
“We have amazing vendor relationships, which allows us to get phenomenal rates for our clients,” McFarlane said. “And the staff that we acquire for the actual day of the event is great.”
The Gaslamp Quarter Historical Foundation is one of many nonprofits to partner with McFarlane Promotions, planning the annual children’s Fall Back Festival in November and shamROCK St. Patrick’s Day event every March.
“Laurel and her staff are the absolute best, most professional group of event producers I’ve ever worked with,” said Bob Marinaccio, executive director of the Gaslamp Quarter Historical Foundation. “I can always count on them to do an amazing job and know that everything will be done, and done right.”
With so many of these events taking place annually, McFarlane is tasked with making each one unique and every year’s better than the last.
“I never throw the same event,” she said. “I’m constantly reinventing them and adding different components.”
Even though she’s technically working during their events, McFarlane is still able to have a good time. While standing on the stage and looking out at the crowd, McFarlane’s pleasure comes from watching people who are enjoying themselves, and from seeing her vision brought to life.
On April 3, McFarlane Promotions held the seventh annual La Jolla Motor Car Classic. On April 17, the staff will be hosting Taste of Hillcrest, and the weekend of April 30 is the Fiesta Old Town Cinco de Mayo celebration. Visit www.mcfarlanepromotions.com for more information and tickets.