June 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the historic Stonewall Inn riot in New York City that helped usher in the modern-day LBTQ rights movement. To commemorate the anniversary, the city will host World Pride for the first time in June with more than 50 conferences, meetings, panels, parties, lectures, rallies and more. “We have declared 2019 the Year of Pride, to not only celebrate WorldPride and Stonewall 50 but to acknowledge the perpetual spirit of New York City’s vibrant LGBTQ community,” said Fred Dixon, the President and CEO of NYC & Company.
Attracting LGBTQ Travelers
Along with LGBTQ-focused events, exhibitions will honor the Stonewall Inn uprising. A WorldPride Ambassadors competition also launched ahead of summer events to encourage LGBTQ New Yorkers to submit a video about why they’re proud of their state. The videos also included what area they would show off to LGBTQ visitors this summer. Those selected as WorldPride Ambassadors will be featured in select I LOVE NY WorldPride promotions.
Beyond honoring and celebrating the LGBTQ community, the competition will continue to help showcase the state’s offering to travelers, meeting professionals, businesses. “The WorldPride Ambassadors competition is the perfect opportunity for New Yorkers from across the state to showcase the best we have to offer as we extend an invitation to LGBTQ+ travelers from around the world,” said Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Howard Zemsky. The city also expects an influx of year-round travelers. “We are expecting 4 million travelers or more in June alone—a marked increase from the 2 million who traditionally enjoy NYC Pride—and, in 2019, the city is projected to welcome a total of 67 million visitors, amounting to the ninth consecutive year of tourism growth,” said Jerry Cito, executive vice president, Convention Development at NYC & Company.
The World Pride summer events are slated to be the largest event in modern LGBTQ+ history with events like Pride on the Beach in Long Island, Pride at Niagara Falls, and beyond will help showcase tourism in the state, as well as it’s friendliness to the LGBTQ+ community and businesses. The popular and longstanding Pride Island also returns with an annual weekend celebration of music, dancing and community and live acts. The live event production, management and entertainment firm that develops ground up special events JJ|LA stepped in to help make Pride Island an engaged and innovative event. The firm was already creating large scale LGBTQ events for over a decade, including the LA PRIDE Festival and Parade.
Jeff Consoletti, founder, principal and CEO, knew they had a unique challenge of working with an already successful event that sells out before headliners like Grace Jones were even announced. JJ|LA’s goal was to exceed the crowd’s expectations and find a way to add even more value to the program and enhance the consumer experience. “People want to see something that feels different,” Consoletti said. “If you’ve been the customer coming to the show year over year, how do you make them come back for something different?” Consoletti’s approach is why creating a safe, comfortable, user-friendly event is just the first step. The firm also infuses colorful, overhead features, inspired to pick up a smartphone to create that photo moment and share what’s happening during the event.