Session: Ingredients of a Successful Tall Ships Event


An outline for successful planning, staffing, managing, marketing and funding of a successful tall ship event will be presented by the organizer of Norfolk, Virginia’s waterfront events.  Based on a 26 year history, experiences will be shared from the early grass roots start up years to the most recent mega event productions.  Information will include planning for domestic, private owned vessels and government owned vessels

Speakers: Karen Scherberger and Judith Feather

Karen Scherberger
Ms. Scherberger has served 25 years as the founding Executive Director of Norfolk Festevents, Ltd, the event management and marketing agency responsible for producing for the City of Norfolk an annual city celebration program including concerts, festivals, tall ship visits and maritime events. 
Ms. Scherberger also manages Sail Norfolk, the maritime division of Norfolk Festevents which produced the $9 million OpSail 2000 Virginia project, and produced the 2007 Sail Virginia maritime celebration for the Commonwealth of Virginia.  A major East Coast in water boat show, international yacht racing, and frequent port visits by the international tall sailing ship fleet are part of the Sail Norfolk program.
Professional activities and associations include past and present officer positions and membership with several local, state, and international festival and event associations, including the International Festival and Events Association, OpSail Inc., US Navy League, and the American Sail Training Association.

Scherberger was a member of the adjunct faculty at Old Dominion University from 1999-2002, serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the Norfolk Convention and Visitors Bureau, provides frequent event management consulting with municipalities and mixed use developments; frequently serves on committees related to tourism and economic development for the City of Norfolk, surrounding region, and State of Virginia.

Scherberger holds a BA degree in English from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, and a Masters Degree in Higher Education Administration from the University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia.  Scherberger is based in Norfolk, Virginia.

 Judith Feather

Judith Feather is currently the Head of Events for the Liverpool Culture Company and is in her thirty fourth year of employment with Liverpool City Council.
Judith and her team have the complex responsibility for the direction, development, funding, organisation and promotion of cultural, maritime, music, sports and visual arts events of local, national and international significance. Together the events team has not only delivered a programme that reflects the complexity and depth of Liverpool’s culture and character but has done so under intense political, media and financial pressure.

Judith has a wealth of managerial experience having worked in a senior capacity with Liverpool City Council for the past seventeen years. Judith was Events Manager from 1991 until 2004 and when the European Capital of Culture bid was awarded to Liverpool was appointed as the Head of Maritime Events working specifically on Sea Liverpool 2005 one of the key themed years leading up to 2008 and the Tall Ships’ Races that were planned for 2008. In early August 2007 Judith was appointed Head of Events with the responsibility for the delivery of the European Capital of Culture 2008 event programme.

Overall more than 350 inspirational cultural events have been safely and successfully delivered attracting more than six million people – in a city undergoing £4bn reconstruction to the social and economic benefit of the city. Liverpool is currently being acknowledged internationally as one of the most successful and ambitious European Capitals of Culture and Judith and her team have played a key role in achieving this success.


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