Welcome to our festival solutions page. We've been helping organizations like yours help plan festivals for over 50 years. We meet with over 150 festival committees each year and have heard ever success and nightmare. This guide was made to help you navigate through planning and running a successful event.
Knowing why you want to host an event will help you with the decision making process.
1. To make money for the organization
2. To provide a fun Community event.
3. It would be nice to breakeven or make a little money.
By far, this is the most challenging part of planning an event. Long are the days of the 6 day Fireman's festival. In fact, most of our events average 2 or 3 days.
A firemen's festival does not need to start out as a huge event. Do what you can do and look for help within the community. Local organizations can run games. Hire food trucks for the food. Invite the local restaurants to serve their famous dishes. Call it a taste of "your town"
Remember that the majority of the money that is made at a festival is the Basket Raffles, Chinese Auction, Food, Gambling wheels, and sponsorship sales. Games can make money as well, however, they are restricted by the amount of times they can be played per hour. It is very important to choose games that will maximize your hours open.
Rides look great and will attract some folks, however, they are expensive and the profit is minimal. Most ride companies now want to be open at least 4 days.
Most of the events we work with sell sponsorships to local businesses and politicians.
1. Booth Sponsors $100
2. Food Truck Sponsor $200
3. Bounce House Sponsor $200
4. Event Sponsor $500
5. Basket Donations for the basket raffle.
We can provide 18x36 full color sponsor signs with logos and any other information they want. The price for these banners is $20 each. You can also highlight the sponsors on your social media pages and website. Place sponsors names on signage that advertises the event.
LAYING OUT THE GROUNDS
Make it convenient for people to spend their money. Keep the food together. Same with the games. If you spread the event out, it will never look busy. People respond to a busy atmosphere. Use Google Maps to get a birds eye view of your area.
Have a plan in place for sudden bad weather and other security issues. Hiring a security company or local Police is never a bad idea.
Have a shaded area for people to eat close to your food.
Have plenty of Garbage Cans and Restrooms.
Lighting the booths is important. Have a local electrician help you come up with the best solution. More and more people are using LED shop lights. They are easy to install and not expensive.
Have signage for your activities.
Keep the food simple when first starting out. Hot Dogs, Hamburgers, Pizza, French Fries, Pop and Water. Funnel Cakes or Fried Dough is also a great money making food.
All the supplies can be purchased at a Costco's or Sam's Club. Pizza can be purchased from a local pizza shop.
DO NOT USE TICKETS. A study in 2016 revealed that using tickets reduces the food sales by 15%. Food sales can be even greater if you offer debit card payment along with cash. There are lots of debit card payment systems available.
Menu boards with pricing makes ordering faster.
Make sure to check if you need any special permits to run your food area.
We have lots of festivals that use 2 lines feeding the food booths with 2 cashiers. See diagram.
If you don't want bothered with food, you can invite Food Trucks. You can also have a taste of "You Town" by inviting local restaurants to serve their most popular food item. Whether you have food trucks or local restaurants, make sure to ask for a percentage of their sales.
Cash Registers with Debit Card capabilities.
Fun Services Banner and Sign shop can help you produce menu boards.
GAMES & PRIZES
This is our area of expertise. Games are broken down into 5 categories. Laydown Games, Skill Games, Pic a Tickets, Winner Everytime Games and Wristband kids Games. To learn more about each type of game click here.
For a festival just starting out we would recommend the following:
4 Laydown Games
1 Pic a Ticket Game
3 Skill Games
1 Winner Everytime Game
The best way to purchase the prizes is on consignment. (Some rules apply) You only pay for the prizes you pass out. You have no risk of buying to much or not having enough, especially if you have bad weather. The prizes that we send to your event are based on the odds of the games. It is our goal for your organization to make 38% to 50% profit on your games. Each game comes with a game instruction sheet telling the worker how to run the game and what prize to pass out in each game situation. We also provide game signs to post in the booth so the players know the rules and price. We also put limits of 1st prize winners on all our skill games. We have found that when people use the tools we provide, they are very successful.
If you need more prizes after each night we do have a reorder service available. At the end of the event you simply count the prizes you are returning. We will send an itemized invoice that will breakdown the amount of money that was spent per game.
Prizes can also be purchased Outright. Choose the prizes and quantities. Discounts available on orders over $1000.00 Merchandise must be paid for at the time of purchase. No returns.
One of the most important lessons to be learned about entertainment is to understand that when people are watching the entertainment, they are not spending money at the other booths. Don't let bands do a concert. 15 to 20 minute sets with 20 to 30 minute breaks. Dance schools are the BEST entertainment. They are usually free and they bring Mom, Dad, Siblings, Aunts, Uncles and Grandparents to come see them. You may need to provide a sound system and stage. Again, don't let it become a dance recital. Kids are fascinated by fire trucks. Put someone in their gear and let the kids sit in the truck or let them squirt the hose. Great picture taking. Selfie stations can be fun. Purchase some selfie station props and let people take pictures. Have them tag your page when they post their selfies. Karaoke is always fun. Find a DJ that will also do Karaoke.
For most, social media seems to be the most economical way to advertise an event. A Facebook post can be "boosted" for a small amount of money. Boosting a post for $100 and running it for 7 days before the event and only showing it to people within a 20 mile radius of your event will be seen by a large amount of people. Also look at local TV and Radio websites. They often will have a local event calendar that you can post to.
Lawn Signs and Banners are also a great way to advertise the event. Call our Banner and Sign shop for a quote.
Posters in business windows are a great way for the local business community to show their support.