The Roxborough/Manayunk community contains a variety of different people and businesses, so Advent was the perfect advertising agency to come in and provide this neighborhood with what it needed.
In 2012, Joseph Decandido and his partner decided to start Advent, which is an advertising agency that deals with events, entertainment and small local businesses.
“I had come from Mad River Bar and Grill in Manayunk, and ran that for four years,” Decandido said. “I had some good contacts in Roxborough and Manayunk, so I decided to stay local to the area.
In order to get this company off to a strong start, especially after his original partner left, Decandido had to hire the right people who he could trust. He since hired Kevin Baxter last September to help with the creative direction of the company, and also has an internship program to help out with the setting up and running of events.
“What we like is young and hungry,” Decandido said. “We really like teaching, so if I did not do events I would probably be a teacher.”
Advent has made its mark in the community, and currently does three seasonal events in the spring, summer and fall for Roxborough. The Art is Life festival takes place in the spring, the Solstice festival in the summer and Roxtoberfest in the fall. Advent also runs events in Manayunk, such as the Street Food Festival and also created the Mummers Mardi Gras parade that takes place on Main Street.
The Roxborough Development Corporation originally came to Advent and was interested in organizing a fall festival. Decandido came up with the idea, Roxtoberfest, and the Roxborough Development Corporation ended up loving the idea.
Advent’s role for these events focuses on branding, marketing strategies, communications, billboards, and the use of buses and taxis as advertisement placement.
“Our role is to basically produce, start to finish, these events,” Decandido said. “My passion is in events.”
Besides running these events, Advent also gets involved with small business marketing. The UPS store, Nationwide Insurance, All-Seasons Car Wash and J.D. Mcgillicuddys all use Advent to help market their companies.
“They all depend on us to be their marketing arms, so they do not have an internal person that handles their marketing,” Decandido said. “Everything that goes out there from their reputation management, branding and marketing material, we handle.”
With the events and small businesses that Advent keeps tabs on, it helps to have an experienced person like Baxter that knows how to deal with people and businesses.
After running a company for 12 years that dealt with nightlife and concerts, Baxter decided to join Decandido to get more involved with digital and social media marketing.
“I have kind of taken the direction where we have gotten more of these clients, and done more of the small business,” Baxter said. “It is tough because you are dealing with people that do not have a ton of money, so the budgets can be tight.”
“We are just like a creative think tank here, so anything that needs to be done for a business, we get it done,” Baxter said.
Baxter explained the part of the business that Decandido opened him up to was the sponsorship side of it. Baxter has learned that you can make money from family friendly events because he has never been exposed to that side of the business.
The first Roxtoberfest had 63 vendors, which contained food truck and children activities. For the second Roxtoberfest, Ridge Avenue was closed off for 85 vendors and saw the attendance increase from 1500 to 3000 people.
“The growth is really that we started from one festival with the town, and than did the summer Solstice festival,” Decandido said. “Based on that, and the success of year two of Roxtoberfest, we had proposed doing a spring festival.”
In Manayunk, Advent ran the beer garden for the Street Food Festival, which was about $7,000 in revenue. The second time Advent did it, the company brought in around $21,000 in revenue.
Advent also decided to do an event at the Piazza to highlight the Mummers called Mummers Mardi Gras.
“We thought that the pageantry of mummery is something that needed to be highlighted besides New Years day,” Decandido said.
Advent currently has five clients on retainer, six festivals, New Years Eve and some other small projects.
Seeing how much the Advent name has made an impression on the Roxborough/Manayunk community, Decandido realizes expansion is a possibility, but wants to focus on improving the events and businesses he currently has.
“I really like doing the community stuff, so we are going to continue to build these events and take on more clients,” Decandido said.
– Text, images and video by Patrick Paul.