Tomball’s new marketing director Mike Baxter has made a splash in his first year, guiding the city to eight top awards at the recent Texas Festivals and Events Association’s (TFEA) annual conference.
Tomball joined the group upon Baxter’s arrival.
“There were 375 entrants in several categories and we entered eight of them,” Baxter said. ‘We won seven of them.”
Baxter said the city entered in categories for events with a budget of $75,000 or less and took home the top spot in Best New Event for the Rails & Tails Mudbug Festival, Best New Mascot for Rusty Rails, Best Social Media for the city’s Facebook page, Best Event T-shirt for Rails & Tails, Best Promotional Poster for Rails & Tails, Best Event Hat for Bugs, Brew and Barbeque and Best Event Button also for Rails & Tails.
“We accomplished so much in this first year,” Baxter said. “For a first timer to come and do this is remarkable.”
Baxter, whose previous background was in entertainment and amusement parks, said he took the approach to treat marketing Tomball like he was starting up a new amusement park.
“From the grassroots marketing to the mascot, it’s all something that an amusement park would do and obviously that approach has paid off,” he said. “There is so much buzz about Tomball now. It’s not just that town you drive through on the way to the Renassaince Festival.”
Baxter said that buzz is what will make tourism a valuable entity to the city.
“People now know that there’s so much more here than they thought,” he said. “We have special events, we have festivals, we have concerts, we have live music, there are so many good restaurants in town and more on the way --- this is just the right time for the right place.”
“It’s been a fun year,” he said. “It’s all coming together now.”