|Written by Bill Hanks|
Each year our little town has a Fall Festival. It is mainly geared towards Arts & Crafts. This type of festival can be beneficial in many ways. It is the perfect venue for artists, organizations, and the public. This article will give you some simple suggestions to consider when you begin your planning.
Place & Time; Select a date that doesn't overlap with any other activities in your town or area. Announce your plans early so that others won't overlap either. Select a place where vendors can set up shop. If you are outside, mark off an area for each vendor with chalk or stakes. Check with your city council. They can provide some helpful ideas for locations. Make sure that your main area has electrical power. Many times your city will help you with this.
Promote; Take fliers to other festivals and distribute them to the vendors there. Be sure you have a contact person and phone number. Place adds in your local paper and on your local web sites. Get on the radio and be interviewed.
Parking & Restrooms; It doesn't matter your location. You must have plenty of these two things. You may have to rent some "Johnny's on the Spot." These can be expensive. You might want to consider getting business's or organizations to sponsor them for you.
Location charges; Charge a small fee for a spot for the vendors. If you set up inside a building, charge a small fee for a table. You can charge by the area outside. Keep the fee low $5 or $10. You want to encourage vendors to come, not drive them away.
Food and Beverage Stands; I would avoid alcohol stands. Mainly because of liquor license's being required. Usually your organizations like churches, Lions, and Kiwanis will set these up. Food attracts people. Vendors love food stands. People like to eat and drink while they shop.
Trash and Cleanup; Again your town can help you out here. Make sure you have cans with liners. Remind vendors to clean up their mess. One way to do this, is by having them checkout with an individual on their departure.
Promote Art; Not everyone wants to sell. Some want to display their talents. Make sure you provide for this opportunity. The best way is to have an area designated, for this on your festival grounds or building.
A Fall festival can be a great way for people to buy early for the holidays. Encourage vendors to display holiday items. Your event can be a success with time and proper planning.