Guest Blog – This week’s guest blog come from Alex Fleming who is the BID Manager for Falkirk Delivers.
As BID Manager, I’ve been invited to give a talk at a Christmas lunch for a Falkirk women’s group. I’ll be explaining the importance of the Business Improvement District’s Christmas events and marketing programme – Falkirk Sparkles. It’s all part of the job.
Christmas is, without a doubt, the busiest time of year for us. It’s crazy! We start planning in February so it’s almost a 12 months’ of the year project – not forgetting all the other things the BID team does, of course. It’s all about promoting Falkirk town centre and supporting day and night time businesses that make a place special.
This year – and despite a budget squeeze – we’ve organised five major Christmas events. We’ve had the Falkirk Festive Lights Switch-On (plus four other switch-ons in smaller towns around Falkirk) featuring our new “Stars at the Steeple” talent competition; the Festive Producers Market; the Small Business Saturday; and the Accessible Shopping Day. So there’s just the amazing Santa’s Reindeer Parade to come which takes place on Saturday. Alongside this is a 6 week long marketing campaign.
In Falkirk, we have the “real” Santa for these events. He’s already been here for the lights switch-on and one of the perks of my job is I get to pick him up from the train station. He travels incognito, of course, so is always wearing normal clothes when I come to collect him.
At this time of year, we’re working Saturdays and Sundays and there is no going home at five! In fact, there was a Friday, two weeks ago, when I sent my last email from the office at 12.50 . . . am. But when works needs doing, it needs doing!
The BID office closes on December 22 and then the countdown to the Fleming Family Christmas begins. My dad, who is 80, will be with us and so will my daughter, Jade who is 29 this month but still insists on “coming home” at Christmas. She calls all the shots where the big day is concerned and no deviations from tradition are allowed. My Husband, Dave, does the cooking but I do all the prep work, including the Christmas shopping. Breakfast consists of a roll on flat sausage and dinner always starts with prawn cocktail – but home-made soup for my dad because he doesn’t like prawns – followed by roast beef and a baked ham with all the trimmings, finishing off with the obligatory gateau and a boozy trifle.