Sep 7, 2021
If you were told to plan an event that included entertainment, food and housing options for 350,000 guests, where would you start? For Kari Mergen, marketing director of the Missouri State Fair, this event planning process happens on a yearly basis. For the second episode in OUTdrive’s “Live from the Fair” series, Cliff Callis sat down with Kari to get an inside look at the strategy behind hosting the state’s largest agricultural expo.
Kari is in her seventh year as the marketing director, but her history with the fair goes back much further. As a Green Ridge native and lifetime fair-goer, Kari’s first job was as a State Fair Farm Bureau tram hostess. She went on to earn a degree in education from University of Central Missouri, starting her career as a high school English and journalism teacher at Green Ridge. Kari joined the team at the State Fair in 2008 as a public information specialist and worked the next six years in that role before her promotion to marketing director in 2014.
From housing livestock to booking concerts to creating engaging TikTok videos, hosting an event like the Missouri State Fair is a unique planning challenge. Tune into this episode of OUTdrive as Cliff and Kari discuss all the moving parts that help make the magic of the fair come to life.
What you’ll learn: