10th Annual Bat Festival

Organization for Bat Conservation
Event Summary

The 10th Annual Great Lakes Bat Festival was held on July 9th, 2011 on the grounds of Cranbrook Institute of Science in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. The goal of the festival is to spread the message that bats are critical to ecosystems around the world, and encourage people to protect them. Through this message, the community learns about the importance of being good stewards to the environment while inspiring kids to become the next generation of researchers and biologists needed to preserve our delicate surroundings.

Our annual Great Lakes Bat Festival is both an educational opportunity and a fundraiser for our community programs. Our expectations are to raise $20,000 annually in support of the Organization for Bat Conservation’s important school and community programs.

The Annual Bat Festival is known as globally relevant, engaging and important event to promote conservation of bats and ultimately, our ecosystem.

Key Audience

Upwards of 1500 members of the community attended this year’s one-day Bat Festival, with most of them meeting the following characteristics:

  • Families that recycle, conserve resources and frequent community, educational and museum events.
  • Educators, school and university groups
  • Community groups
  • Museum members
  • General audience composed of primarily of families, adults and children of all ages.
  • Members of academia

Features from the Festival

Presentations, live animals, hands-on activities, crafts for kids, and exhibits provided a full day of fun and environmental education were held all day.

The festival featured a great line-up of excellent speakers including Janell Cannon, author/illustrator of the award-winning book Stellaluna; Fiona Reid, author/illustrator of Bats of the World; Dr. Al Kurta, author of Bats of Michigan; Dr. Bill Schutt, author of the critically acclaimed book Dark Banquet; and Rob Mies, author of Beginner’s Guide to Bats.

Bat Fun and Science Night was held along the Rouge River tributary on Cranbrook campus. The evening included interactive games, hands-on science exhibits, live bats, live music, story time, and a live birds of prey program. 250 Festivalgoers were able to meet Great Lakes bat experts and see how researchers use technology to study bats. During the experience, bat researchers showed netting, detectors, and answered questions.

Key Messages

The following key messages were disseminated at this year’s festival:
  • Bats are essential to the health of our ecosystem.
  • Bats help control pests and are important pollinators and seed-dispersers for countless plants.
  • Losing bats would have devastating consequences for natural ecosystems and human economies
  • Centuries of myths and misinformation still generate needless fears and threaten bats and their habitats around the world.
  • Bat populations are declining almost everywhere.
  • Bats are among the least studied and most misunderstood of animals.
  • There are many things that people can do to help bats including putting up bat houses.

2011 Exhibitors

The following groups, government agencies and companies were on hand at the Bat Festival to show their commitment to protecting bats and our eco-system:

  • United States Fish and Wildlife Department
  • Bat Conservation International
  • Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment
  • Critter Catchers Inc.
  • DTE Energy Foundation
  • Oakland County Health Department
  • Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
  • U.S. Forest Service
  • Oakland Wildlife Farm
  • Sterling Heights Nature Center
  • Howell Nature Center
  • Trader Joe’s
  • Greyhound Rescue

Special thanks to our sponsors: Great Little Spots, DTE Energy Foundation, Critter Catchers, Consumers Energy Foundation, Lau and Lau Associates, Estate Planning Services, and Einstein Brothers Bagels.

Marketing Objectives

  • To attract a broad audience of environmentally conscious and animal loving consumers, to attend the exhibition, with on-site attendance of 1,000-2,000 visitors
  • To conduct a marketing campaign resulting in more than 1,000,000 impressions in partnership with Cranbrook’s advertising/marketing efforts.
  • To build relationships with community leaders, politicians and groups within the eco-friendly community that will help attract this audience to the exhibition.

Bat Fest Media

The Annual Bat Festival was featured in:

Print Media
Detroit Free Press
Oakland Press
Royal Oak Daily Tribune
Birmingham-Bloomfield Eagle.

Fox 2 News Detroit
Detroit 62 TV.

WJR’s Warren Pierce Show
Travel Michigan Radio

22% read about it in a newspaper
19% picked up a flyer
18% were OBC or Cranbrook members
13% saw a TV interview
12% saw it on the internet
9% by word of mouth
5% heard about it on the radio
2% saw signs as they drove by.

25,000 color brochures were distributed 3 months prior to the event and included Michigan Welcome Centers, museums, libraries, schools, nature centers, zoos, local businesses, and state and federal government agencies.

On the Internet:
TV Fox 2 News
The Oakland Press
Detroit Free Press
WWJ Radio: Warren Pierce Show
Birmingham / Bloomfield Eagle
Survival Podcast
Royal Oak Daily Tribune
Ann Arbor Scrap Box News
Birmingham Patch
Critical Wit Podcast

© 2012 Organization for Bat Conservation