Voyage Phoenix: Phoenix's Most Inspiring Stories
Today we’d like to introduce you to Christopher McKenna.
Christopher, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today. The Valley of the Fun started out of a selfish desire. There were too many mornings when I would wake up and see pictures from the night before of an awesome event going on somewhere around the Valley, and I was completely unaware of it and disappointed that I missed out. This same feeling continued to crop up when talking to other people around this city, hence The Valley of the Fun was born.
We aim to aggregate all of the great events going on around town in one easy to navigate location so that no one will ever miss out on anything. Our Instagram aims to highlight some of the upcoming events around town as well as share photos of some of the awesome experiences had at those events. Our website then provides an in-depth look at all the events currently on the docket all around the Valley. We are continuously growing our list of events, starting with mostly music and now starting to branch into the plethora of food and beer festivals that tend to come to town when the weather is a bit more bearable.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you? The only true struggle along the way has been budgetary constraints early on. Creating and running a website that needs continual maintenance requires time and money, so it just required some initial startup capital. One of the fun struggles was gaining a foothold in the community. Starting truly as a grassroots movement, it took some time to gain a sizable following that would be of interest to the various venues and events going on around town. What started out as working with local venues and small interest groups has grown into working with national companies that come into Phoenix and put on incredible events. Gaining the attention of these outside groups didn’t happen overnight however, it required a lot of work to get to that point of recognition within the industry.
We’d love to hear more about your business. We aim to aggregate all of the great events going on around town in one easy to navigate location so that no one will ever miss out on anything. We are continuously growing our list of events, starting with mostly music and now starting to branch into the plethora of food and beer festivals that hit the Valley once the weather becomes perfect outside.
We are most proud of the experiences that we are affording people. In addition to informing our audience of the wide range of events going on, we have been able to do a variety of ticket giveaways to events. One of my favorite memories was being able to give an Army veteran ticket to the Phoenix Lights Festival the weekend before he was to be deployed again overseas. The positive impact that this small gesture made was worth all the work we have done up to this point.
What were you like growing up? Growing up in Phoenix, I was fairly quiet and introverted, but I always knew what I liked. I liked getting out and enjoying my hometown in all different types of capacities. Phoenix and the surrounding areas have matured a lot just since I was in high school ten years ago and it has really blossomed into a place where you can enjoy outdoor activities, all the major sports teams, fantastic food and beverage spots, and a plethora of musical acts that come through. The Valley of the Fun is an extension of what I was like growing up. Building this business has forced me to speak up a little more and be a bit more extroverted in order to gain partnerships and grow our base, but I absolutely love the personal and career development that has come with it.
Check out more inspiring stories at Voyage Phoenix