We had the good fortune of connecting with Christopher McKenna and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Christopher, what is the most important factor behind your success?
Being willing to put yourself out there and try new things. I started this project with the intent of sharing the awesome things that the Valley has to offer because they are so numerous, but often times they are overshadowed. Picking and choosing which brands, businesses, and events to share is not an easy one so it required a lot of deep diving at first. As this project has grown, more and more brands are wanting to work with us to hype up their offerings, making it more important than ever to make sure we are working with the right people while also being open to trying new and exciting offerings.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
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. 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. The time when all these events are back up and running can’t come soon enough! 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 tickets 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.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
In a normal world, we are definitely spending a night in downtown Phoenix, walking the streets, stopping in to Taco Chelo for a few tasty tacos, swinging by The Churchill to grab a drink and then seeing a show at either The Van Buren or Crescent Ballroom. For the more athletically inclined, going on one of the many hikes around the city is a must (Camelback and the trail on 32nd St & Lincoln are our favorites) and then that can be followed up by attending a sporting event for one of our awesome local teams (#BubbleBoyz).
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My shoutout goes to the creators of this fine city and venues in which those creators can thrive. We are so lucky to have so many incredible creators in Phoenix and innumerable places for them to showcase their offerings. At The Valley of the Fun we do our best to promote those brands and individuals who need to be seen, but it would be possible without venues like The Van Buren and Crescent Ballroom, or events like M3F to name a few.