Sat | Oct 19, 2019

Keeping the ‘Dream’ alive - Growing local entertainment industry inspires

Published:Friday | August 2, 2019 | 12:11 AMStephanie Lyew/Gleaner Writer
Carlos Philpotts, head of marketing, Dream Entertainment.
Carlos Philpotts, head of marketing, Dream Entertainment.

Prior to taking on the role of marketing director, Dream Entertainment’s Carlos Philpotts was overseeing the activities on digital platforms that involved management of social media promotion and purchases. So, it can be stated that it is not an entirely unfamiliar position for him.

“What this means for me is, I have taken the reigns of marketing in a period when the company is growing, marketing not only the Dream Weekend series of events, between August 2 and August 6, but the Dream Weekend Cruise, Xodus Carnival and the launch of Dream Weekend in the US in 2020,” Phillpotts told The Gleaner.

As soon as this staging ends, the team will employ the necessary strategies to engage the local and international audiences during the carnival season and make them aware of the plans for the US leg of Dream Weekend. This project is only now happening, he says, “because, to be honest, we wanted to continue perfecting the brand here in Jamaica, which is home to us, and we recognise how important it is for the ‘dream’ to be well out there for the local economy, and attract foreign exchange from those who have yet had a chance to experience it.”

Larger-than-life

From an industry standpoint, he says, he is charged with the task of marketing a “larger-than-life” brand with the means of continuing to help grow Jamaica’s tourism entertainment product and bring in more visitors and foreign exchange to the island’s shores, while providing the highest quality entertainment and great value for money to their patrons.

“The industry is certainly growing and healthy – one great indicator is our partnership with Proven Wealth Limited and their confidence to invest in what they see as a viable industry,” he said. “It is evident in the carnival arena, with the numbers of masqueraders increasing, that Jamaica is certainly on track to having one of the largest carnivals worldwide.”

Transitioning from 2018 to 2019, Dream Entertainment exhibited growth with the increased attendance in both Dream Weekend and Xodus Carnival, in addition to venturing into the cruise ship event market.

The larger-than-life mantra, he says, “for the company, determines several things for us; taking it from the angle of Dream Weekend, it means larger production, more live acts and a bigger footprint in Negril. For the people, it not only means entertainment, but to discover new employment opportunities.”

Forward-thinking strategies

In 2018, the entertainment company started an internship programme, where five individuals were trained and exposed to the copious levels of event planning and marketing as well as entertainment tourism – three of whom became part of its full-time staff.

Phillpotts shared, “It is a programme we are looking to continue; to once again create an opportunity to bring in and help strengthen Jamaica’s entertainment product.”

The entertainment company also outsources other agencies to handle placement of advertisement (that is very targeted) for its various products – whereby impacting job opportunities.

“There will be more avenues to explore in getting the brand out to our local and international patrons, returning and prospective, by any means possible that also involves the implementation of up-to-the-minute and forward-thinking strategies,” he said.