Whether you are hosting an art festival, food festival or beer festival, chances are you’re probably used to seeing some of the same customers every year. With so many new festivals popping up and competition fierce, finding new ways to spice up your event is vital to not only retain your audience but also grow it.
We’ve seen our members host successful festivals year after year and would like to share a few tips which can help you freshen up your festival this year.
Keep Up With your Audience
When you first started hosting your festival, your crowd might have been younger singles, but you might find that your traditional audience has grown up with you and now bring spouses and children to your event. Or, you might find that more teenagers are attending your event. As time goes on, your audience will evolve and in order to retain them, you have to be willing to grow with them.
This might mean evolving your technology to provide more tailored experiences or shaking up your lineup of activities and services at the event. As new festivals are introduced, customers might begin to have different expectations of what your festival should look like and it’s important that you adapt to meet customers’ changing interests.
You can do this by using your data to pinpoint age brackets and demographics within your audience to help you tailor your experience. If you are not already doing so, attend different festivals in and around your region to see what they are doing that might be influencing your patrons. You might find that a neighboring festival has introduced phone charging stations so guests can spend more time at the event. Others might have become more inclusive by creating unique events or services for customers with disabilities or with specialized food needs.
By keeping up with trends, your audience will know that you’re invested in their experience and care about their current interests.
Utilize your Existing Technology
From RFID bracelets to your online ticket sales, you have access to a lot of data, which can help you refine the customer experience. Data points gathered by your ticketing software, bracelets, and social media interactions could show you the best time of year to host your festival, the vendors your patrons are visiting most frequently at the event or new locations for your event that festival goers might find interesting.
Technology is constantly changing, just like your customer base. By utilizing technology like mobile ticketing and onsite apps to make attending the event easy, you can ensure that you’re giving your customers the best experience from start to finish. Email marketing and social marketing can help you target new audiences and keep previous patrons coming back.
Data can help you see all the things that have made your festival successful in the past and can give you new ideas on how to keep your festival relevant and lively this year.
Design Strategic Sponsorships and Services
Sponsorships should be more than just a name on a sign; they should be partnerships that add value to your festival. These strategic sponsorships need to follow your age, gender, and general demographics. Take a look at your current sponsorship roster and make sure they can help you up-level your festival.
For example, if you’re hosting an art festival, make it more family friendly by having a sponsorship with a vendor who can help with kids arts or face painting. Look for sponsors who can offset the costs of providing important services like valet parking sponsors. But keep in mind that not every sponsorship is a fit; you wouldn’t want an energy drink company as a primary sponsor if your audience is interested in healthy eating.
As festival season kicks off, we hope these tips and tricks will help bring your festival to a whole new level! If you are looking to launch your first festival, check out our Festival Thrower’s Bible.