I’m Baaack!! OK, so some interesting changes – I now have organized/managed two festivals – The Virginia Wine Festival (R) and the Taco, Beer, Tequila Festival – the 1st event came to me seeking new management, the 2nd one I created from scratch. There have been many ups and downs since 2016 when I took over the Virginia Wine Festival Management and completed the Taco Festival – hopefully the learning curve will help me better manage the future!
1)Managing people is the hardest part of event management for an outdoor festival – I thought that by hiring outside “guns for hire” as the Logistics specialists for an event that I could handle all event issues. Although I think both Logistics teams did a better than average job, they weren’t personally invested in the event and it became obvious on event dates.
2)Event marketing can work 100% digital. I was told by the Association that holds the rights to the Virginia Wine Festival that I would probably have to use some traditional media such as radio, print, and ticket give-aways as a means to successfully selling enough tickets. Since I already have a substantial active email list with TasteUSA I decided to use that email list, Facebook and Google Adwords. The Results were overwhelming – most event consumers, especially younger Millennials use Google and online means to find events and purchase tickets. Eventbrite ticketing, Facebook and Adwords pixels and email marketing in general are the hot buttons for consumer ticket sales.
3)Generic Events make no sense in a competitive environment – Sure, I could have just taken over the Virginia Wine Festival and left everthing the same – but why not add Virginia Oysters – better yet, why not create “an event within an event” – the VA Oyster Pavilion? By adding a new marketing “twist” I took an existing event and made it a wine AND food festival. So I created a Taco Festival – but why not add the “Tequila Pavilion”? Generic beer and wine festivals with no interesting food or story line will in my opinion have to keep lowering their ticket prices in order to compete with more and more “me too” events.
Great to be in touch with my foodie readers again – keep on eating and drinking the good stuff!
Charlie “I Drink on the Job” Adler