Mike Osegueda is an event guru.
The Ozmosis radio show host (and Yahoo sports blogger and one-time Beehiver) is the creative mind behind wildly popular annual events like the Taco Truck Throwdown and FresYes Fest, along with the monthly Tacos, Brews & Jams (TB&J). He was also responsible for the Beehive Tweetups, back when Tweetups were a thing.
His latest creation, Chill, is a perfect-for-summer low-key hang-out night “dedicated to some of life’s best treats: desserts, live music, shopping and beer.” Specifically, there will be treats from Jay’s Specialty Ice Cream, Ooh De Lolli ice pops, Crumb and Get ‘Em Cupcakes, Rubia’s Churros and Sunshine + Sugar Baker; handmade good and fashions from Dear Danger Mobile Boutique, Journey on Designs, Nola Love Shop, Designs by Jade and Bakagirl Designs; food from Where’s the Food (WTF); Tioga Sequoia’s dozen-plus beers on tap and live music from the electro- indie band Amoret, just off the release of its latest EP “Glory Days.”
I emailed Osegueda to find out how he keeps pulling off these hip, cool events.
QUESTION:Tell us about Chill. How’d this one come about?
ANSWER: This is the 100% true story. Even if it makes me look somewhat dumb. In the end, I think something good came out of it, so I’ll share.
A few months ago, Amoret wanted to play TB&J (Tacos, Brews & Jams) and proposed June 23. I said OK, not even looking that far into the future. When the date got closer, I realized that June 23 wasn’t a TB&J date; it was June 16. But rather than try to move around the schedule, I just decided to create a new event, built around Amoret. I tossed around a few different ideas, settled on the desserts/shopping angle because I thought that was a little bit of a different niche. I pitched it to the main people involved – Tioga-Sequoia, New Rock 104.1, Amoret, a couple of the vendors I had in mind.
Everybody seemed to dig it, so we went for it.
It’s turned into what I hoped: A good assortment of desserts (a few of which are of the cold variety, since it’s the first week of summer), lots of cool vendors, a food truck, because you can’t subside just on sugar. And, of course, Amoret and Tioga-Sequoia.
What’s the process of coming up with a new event?
In this case, I was in the car with my wife, Tanya. She’s smart and has her own PR/marketing/events company (*cough* Narativ PR *cough*) so I usually like to bounce ideas off her. This time, I particularly wanted to do something that we could work on together, something she and her friends would like. And I think we did a good job of that.
The more general answer, though: I think about creating experiences. I don’t want to just do the same ol’ thing that event organizers are doing and that patrons have become familiar with. To be honest, a lot of this started at The Beehive, doing our Beehive Birthday Parties and Tweetups. The goal was always to make one different than the next, and I’ve just applied that same mentality ever since.
In downtown Fresno, I feel like you always have to try just a little bit harder to impress people. So when I’m creating something down there –whether it’s this, TB&J or the old Ozmosis Happy Hours –I try to think of ways to make it memorable for people. So the next day, they’ll tell their friends, “Guess what I did last night?”
That’s partially why I work with people like Dear Danger Mobile Boutique –because you’re going to remember seeing a truck that looks like a food truck but is actually filled with clothes and accessories, so you can walk in and shop.
Because people see you all over the news and probably want to know: How do you get so much hype?
I’d by lying if I didn’t tell you that being in the media didn’t help. But not just because I know media people. It’s also because I understand what makes a good story and I try to create events that have stories within them. Another thing that comes from my media background:
I try to create content that promotes the events –whether that’s graphics or videos, that I think people will share on social media.
Do you ever have failed ideas? Or something you’d like to do but haven’t had the chance to get to yet?
I wouldn’t say it was a failure, but the Ozmosis Happy Hour series wasn’t quite as a successful as I hoped it would be. But I learned from that. Names are important. TB&J is largely the same concept, but I tweaked it a bit and it’s been way more successful. Just by giving it a name that says exactly what it is – tacos, beer and music –I think people are more drawn to it.
Which of your events is your favorite?
Taco Truck Throwdown is always close to my heart. Just because a lot of people didn’t believe in it in the beginning and we’ve turned it into something huge that the whole region has gotten behind now. It’s a different type of beast, though, so I don’t necessarily have fun the night it’s happening. It’s a lot of work. To give you a total non-answer: I like to collaborate with people. I like to do things that are new and different, where I’m bouncing ideas off someone else and we’re inspiring each other. To that end, each event has an element of being my favorite. Until the next one, I guess.
- 5 to 9 p.m. Thursday, June 23
- Tioga Sequoia Beer Garden, 745 Fulton St.
- Free, all ages (21+ to drink)
- Chill on Facebook