So You Want to Organize a Craft Beer Festival?
We Feature literally hundreds of Beer Festivals at TasteUSA – So when a recent Report came out from Eventbrite about Millenials choices when it comes to Food and Beverage Festivals (Report here – it may be restricted..) it was no surprise that Millenials and frankly all ages over 21 prefer craft beer festivals to all other food and beverage events!
Since TasteUSA is the #1 Food and Drink Festival Website in the US, we have a special insight into what makes for a successful or not so successful event. Below are some observations/anecdotes on how you the craft beer festival organizer can improve the ticket sales and audience of your event.
1)Always Go Local – today Foodies and craft beer lovers want to know what’s going on in their neighborhood when it comes to eating and drinking. You’ve probably heard it before – “locavore” but it means much more. Today’s craft beer audience is younger – Millennial if you prefer – and they want a story behind their craft beer experience. The best way to tell a story is to let the newest local breweries taste at your Festival. The good news is that craft breweries are popping up so quickly, this shouldn’t be a problem!
2)Great Food Is a Necessity – Gone are the days when you could hold a craft beer festival and just have pretzels, jerky and fried foods to fill the stomachs of attendees. Today’s craft beer aficionados are generally “Foodies” and they want a culinary experience to boot! I’m often asked to define “Foodie” – The Eventbrite survey simply asked if Festival attendees were serious about food – and 50% said “yes” – that pretty much makes you a Foodie!
The key to delivering a positive food experience at a Festival is to have a variety of cuisines – and the easiest way to do this is to use local food trucks if available. I’ve been to events with as many as 60 food trucks, but you may only need a few – it really depends on the number of people who are attending and if you have other food vendors.
I recently helped an Organizer by suggesting that rather than use the venue’s food service, that they should consider using a local food incubator called Mess Hall. Since Mess Hall already curates local food producers, this was a win-win – a great variety of food items and local food producers! You may not have a food incubator in your Region, but there are literally thousands of food vendors – it can’t hurt to check out a few brew festivals in your region and see who’s selling food – do your homework!
3)Add a Second Theme – Simple – just add Bacon! Seriously, Bacon Festivals are Hot right now in the US – we should know, TasteUSA Features More Bacon Festivals than any other website! Here are some other themes – each is linked to an actual event we Featured:
-BBQ – Beer, Bourbon & BBQ – well that’s actually 3 themes!
-Food Trucks – West End Food Truck Rodeo – built in draw – food trucks represent American inventiveness, freedom and ingenuity – they also are catering kitchens on wheels!
-Seafood – multiple potential themes: Crab, Oyster, Lobster, Crawfish or regional themes like Chesapeake, Alaskan, etc. – Chesapeake Crab & Beer Festival
-Cider – DC Craft Beer & Cider Festival – did you know that Cider is the fastest growing alcoholic beverage category? It’s also generally gluten-free – while few craft beers are free of gluten – so you’ve opened up a new marketing channel!
-Taste of <your town/city here> – Great Tastes of Tysons – why not – everybody loves to check out local restaurants and of course local beers!
4)Add Buzz with Social Media – Ugghhh..Social Media – it’s too much work .. or is it? Keep it simple – setup a Facebook “Fan Page” (you’re on Facebook – right?), and put a link to it on your website (you have a website right? If not, email us Email TasteUSA we can help!). Twitter too – create a name on twitter that is simple and try to include “beerfestival” somewhere in the name. Instagram? Maybe.. Pinterest? The answer is we’re all evolving with Social Media – there are no easy answers. I’m only talking free marketing here – if you decide to advertise, market your event Give Us a Buzz or hire a marketing consultant. That may be overkill – maybe all your craft beer festival is a quick start?!
Charlie “I Drink on the Job” Adler – TasteUSA
Categories: beer festivals, Charlie Adler, Craft Beer, Food Trucks, Uncategorized
Tagged: bbq festivals, beer and bbq, beer and bourbon, beer and facebook, beer and social media, beer and twitter, beer tastings, cider festivals, crab festivals, craft beer festivals, crawfish boils, DC Beer Festivals, food incubator, food truck festivals, idrinkonthejob, lobster festivals, locavore, Mess Hall, oyster festivals, seafood festivals, taste of 3 cities food truck festival, tasteusa