Event & Merchandising Promotions Coordinator Alison Warburton will be sporting a new title at The Post And Courier: BASC Director/Operations Supervisor.
In her new role as Bicycle Across South Carolina Director, she will lead and organize Bicycle Across South Carolina, striving for long-term audience growth and profitability, leading revenue growth for BASC through event sponsorships and attendee registrations, and even jumping into the sales ring herself to help continue growing BASC.
In addition, Alison will supervise operations and logistics for the advertising, marketing, and event departments.
Alison began her journey at The Post and Courier back in 2019 as a part-time Events and Merchandising Promotions Coordinator. Soon after, she was promoted into a full-time role.
Her love of events sprouted from working as an intern for sports marketing company Octagon in Rhode Island. This opportunity allowed her to participate in the planning and execution of a 7-day event excursion that consisted of a professional golf tournament, a 2-day food festival, a women’s leadership summit, celebrity Pro-Am, and many other golf-related events where she hosted LPGA, PGA, and Champion Tour players.
This experience lit a passion for event management, even though Alison jokes she is not an athlete by any means!
“I was never really into sports (or any good at them, don’t let the height fool you) but working in an environment that was fast-paced, innovative, and exciting was very rewarding for me.”
Alison brings that excitement into BASC. She notes that she knew she loved event planning and when the opportunity to hold BASC arose, it was a perfect fit.
“I knew I wanted to stay in events so when I came across the position for BASC I thought it could be a good fit! Turns out it was! I’ve really enjoyed learning all about the cycling industry and the unique community that surrounds it. Building this event from the ground up has made me so attached and dedicated to it.”
Now, as BASC Director/Operations Supervisor, Alison is working on a five-year plan that includes the possibility of taking a popular path switching to gravel and off-road rides and appealing more to the “new” generation of riders that sprouted from seeking outdoor activity during COVID.
Here’s what we asked Alison!
What’s your background? Degree? Experience? Where are you from? What brought you to SC Etc.…
I originally started working in events back in my home state of Rhode Island. I started at a sports marketing company called Octagon working as an intern for a professional golf tournament hosted by CVS Health. It was a week-long event series with a professional golf tournament, a 2-day food festival, a women’s leadership summit, celebrity Pro-Am and lots of smaller golf outings – all within 7 days, it was a busy week but it trained me to thrive on 3-5 hours of sleep!
We hosted LPGA, PGA, and Champion Tour players which were super cool! I was never really into sports (or any good at them, don’t let the height fool you) but working in an environment that was fast-paced, innovative, and exciting was very rewarding for me. When I moved down to Charleston in March 2019 I didn’t really have a plan and started out part-time at Post and Courier and part-time as a waitress. I knew I wanted to stay in events so when I came across the position for BASC I thought it could be a good fit! Turns out it was! I’ve really enjoyed learning all about the cycling industry and the unique community that surrounds it.
How long have you been with The Post and Courier?
I worked part-time as the Event and Merchandising Promotions Coordinator from March 2019-September 2019 then started full-time after that! So about 2 years total.
What piqued your interest in event planning?
I had no idea what I wanted to do throughout college. I was enjoying the internships and getting a taste of a little bit of everything! Then somehow I ended up working in golf and the rest was history! The biggest thing for me about events is when you see a year’s worth of work come to life. It the most rewarding thing to take an idea (like BASC) and turn it into a real-life event and see how happy and excited people are to be there. It very nerve-racking to host an event without seeing it before but that makes it all the more rewarding. Building this event from the ground up has made me so attached and dedicated to it.
What’s so special about BASC? Why is it important to you?
As I mentioned earlier, I’ve become so attached to this event over the past 2 years and even more so to the community surrounding it. The cycling community is so tight-knit and unique, I’ve really come to love it! They’re super cool and just want to ride bikes and drink beer – which I’m all for!
Now that your focus has turned to BASC full-time, how do you see the event growing?
I’m working on a five-year plan for the event and in my research have been finding that gravel and off-road rides are becoming much more popular than road riding, so we’re definitely on the right path! Also interesting to see the effects that COVID had on the cycling industry and how people are turning to outdoor, socially distant activities more. Most bike shops I’ve talked to can barely keep up!
Are you an avid biker yourself? What other hobbies do you enjoy?
I actually don’t ride which surprises most people! I can ride a bike but defiantly not for 60 miles down a trail. I’ve never really been athletic but enjoy yoga, hiking, and other non-competitive activities. I’ve also been focusing on being a better cook and learning new techniques! So far I’ve conquered a whole roasted chicken, a 7-hour wine-braised roast, and more! Next up is grilled fish tacos with homemade tortillas.