Every event planner knows that festivals take a lot of work. But regardless of the scale of your event, there are basic steps involved which apply to most festival planning stages. So use this ultimate festival planning guide to make your next festival your most successful one yet.
1. Secure your location
Finding the perfect location for your festival event isn't easy. In order to ensure your event is accessible to your target attendees consider the following:
- Can the venue be accessible by public transit and provide ample parking?
- Can your venue fit your current attendee numbers but also does it have the capacity for your event to scale year over year?
- Does it have the required infrastructure like high voltage capacity?
- Will you be able to bring in all the required vendors and equipment to the venue?
Once you have found that perfect venue, you need to set a date, sign a contract, stay within budget, and make payment. Don't forget you also have to secure the necessary licenses and permits to hold the festival (think zoning and parking).
2. Book your lineup and vendors
Whether you are planning a music festival or a beer festival you need to secure talent, entertainment and vendors before you start promoting the festival. Understanding what your attendees want and how to surprise them is essential to the success of your festival. Booking talent and vendors has never been easier with new online platforms and marketplace sprouting up all the time. Make sure that you establish a back up list for when headliners or top vendors bail.
Continue planning with -The Festival Organizer’s Guide to On-Site Logistics
3. Create a marketing campaign
Creating a detailed marketing plan will be key to your festivals event. Keep your target audience in mind when choosing the mediums in which you are marketing. When creating your plan make sure you include the follow sections:
- Prevent - offer a sneak peek on social media and through email blast
- Event launch - Drop your line up and schedule everywhere and get the local media involved.
- During Event - Offer during event prizes for using hashtags to keep the buzz going
- Post event - Thank everyone and start promoting for your next even
4. Create a site setup and emergency plan
Festivals don't need any surprises when it comes to logistics. Post an online map of the site, marking all parking areas, restroom facilities, and eating areas. Have an emergency plan clearly mapped out as well, along with evacuation routes, emergency procedures, and safety instructions. Lastly, schedule a trained and experienced setup crew that follows a carefully crafted "to do" list online. You may also want to assign team leads to supervise during this crucial stage.
5. Recruit and schedule volunteers
Use your website and social media channels to promote your event. Announce volunteer roles within your online newsletter and job boards. And be sure to use a volunteer management tool that allows you to share a recruitment link. Once your volunteers are registered allow them to choose their own shifts, saving you time and provide your volunteers with the free to pick roles and shift that work for them best.
Take your volunteer program to the next level with - 13 Essential Volunteer Roles at a Festival
6. Create plans for Festival Day and Post-Festival Day
These plans should include any special opening and closing events; staff work schedules; and multi-level access to contact information, safety policies, and emergency procedures. In addition, once the festival's over, have cleanup and breakdown crews scheduled to move in and complete specific assignments with appropriate checklists. You may also need to pay vendors and hired staff, issue thank you notes, complete reports, review attendee evaluations, give performance reviews, and coordinate festival waste and recycling disposal.
For more information on how you can use this ultimate festival planning guide to take your event to the next level, please contact us.