Community festivals, regardless of scale, offer various benefits, so hosting these types of events should be something that you and your fellow residents should consider doing every year.
Festivals always bring people in a community together. They are events that can strengthen the bond of the locals as they work together throughout the whole planning, organizing, and hosting process.
Additionally, this type of event also helps reinforce the identity of a community. Festivals are excellent opportunities to showcase products and traditions that make a town unique. When residents are given this chance, they will have more pride in their neighborhood and be more proactive in taking care of it.
Lastly, festivals also help boost tourism and local businesses. With the right marketing strategies, the event will draw in crowds from other places. These guests will need to stay at hotels or holiday rentals, eat at restaurants, and go shopping. All these translate to higher revenues for the resident entrepreneurs.
Planning a festival
With all these benefits in mind, hosting a festival can be an exciting thought. But there is more to organizing this type of event than getting volunteers and setting up stalls at a vacant lot.
If you and your fellow residents want to get the most from this type of event and have fun at the same time, follow these planning tips shared by a leading festival management company:
1. Create a festival planning committee
Whether your community decides on a small or large event, you need to have plenty of people help you pull it off successfully.
To create your planning team, look for volunteers first. Next, designate roles, choose leaders, and schedule regular meetings. Make sure everyone is onboard with the goals and that they are on the same page in terms of the dates, activities, logistics, and other crucial details.
Throughout the whole planning process, encourage collaboration. Also, let everyone feel more welcome and appreciated by explaining how vital they are to the festival’s success. By doing these two things, you will have more eager volunteers and workers, willing to do everything to make the event a hit.
2. Set a budget
Even if you work with mostly volunteers, there are still things you need to purchase and several people you need to pay to host a festival.
When creating your budget, don’t merely rely on estimates. Use facts whenever they are available. For instance, if you will be hiring entertainers, get several quotes, and include the best price or rates in your computation.
Additionally, if most of the tickets are sold, adjust your numbers to ensure that the food and drinks you will order from the supplier will be enough for confirmed and possible attendees.
Lastly, make sure your budget will cover everything, including the rental for the venue. Add allowances as well so that you remain prepared for any emergency expenses.
3. Select your venue wisely
Your choice of location can make or break the festival. Because of this, you must consider all your options and select the best one, smartly.
Start by considering the size of the venue. It should be large enough to accommodate your guests, stalls, a stage, and other facilities such as portable toilets and kitchens. Make sure it has ample parking space as well.
Once you have narrowed down your options to two or three possible venues, visualize the space with a simple site map. Imagine the best arrangement for the stalls and where the entry and exit points, stage, and other facilities should be placed.
Additionally, factor in your budget and the accessibility of the guests and vendors to get to the venue if they will take public transportation.
Ultimately, the venue you should consider must be spacious enough to accommodate all guests, vendors, and facilities. It should also be accessible and within your budget.
4. Create a program
Festivals that have a variety of activities are always successful and memorable. As such, try to think of different ways to entertain the guests and incorporate them into the event.
Book bands, singers, or any musical acts that cater to both the young and not-so-young crowd. Host games for younger kids and contests and raffles that teens and adults will enjoy. If you can set up an art gallery, do so since this will attract a more diverse group of attendees.
Keep in mind that diverse offerings will boost the number of guests that will be interested in attending the festival. Because of this, try to incorporate as many activities as you can.
And to ensure there won’t be chaos due to the different activities, create a program. Make sure your onsite team and host have a copy and know the schedule of events so that confusion will be minimized and everything will proceed smoothly.
5. Apply for the necessary licenses and permits
Even if you are hosting this festival for the good of the community, find out if you need any permits or licenses for the event.
Once you have your program and list of vendors, food, beverages, and other items that will be sold during the event, check with the local government agencies what kinds of permits and licenses you need for the festival.
If you will be serving liquor and have musical acts, at the very least, you will need alcohol and entertainment licenses.
6. Get the word out
All your efforts will be in vain if you don’t promote the event effectively.
As soon as you set your goals for the festival and the planning committee, start promoting it. Share posts about the event on social media. Even if you haven’t selected the venue or created the program yet, provide hints about what it is all about.
Another way to promote the event is to create invitations and send them to your email contacts. Ask your team to do this as well. If possible, send different emails every week leading up to the date of the festival. By doing so, you will generate excitement among the recipients.
Additionally, put up posters around town and hand out flyers to spread the word.
As a final tip, on the day of the festival, be fully prepared for anything. Plan all logistics meticulously to have an enjoyable, problem-free event. However, be flexible as well and avoid stressing out over the smallest things so that you can have fun and revel in the community spirit as well.