There are no shortages of festivals devoted to the act of drinking alcohol, especially beer. Deciding on holding a festival, there are few things to consider first, in order to deliver the best possible event experience.
Legless- Not Lawless
Be sure to contact the local authorities to ascertain what permits and other paperwork and/or licenses you may need to acquire before the event can legally take place. You’ll want to ensure every person meets the legal drinking age requirements, have fail-safe plans in place in the event of an emergency, comply with any and all building/location requirements, and prioritise meeting regulations over entertainment value to provide the best possible event in all aspects.
Event planners may also want to consider the very real potential need for security measures. Hiring the correct crowd control measures together with health and safety assessments, together with event insurance.
Taking these extra steps and precautions in regards to remaining lawful and safe will offer peace of mind for the host and attendees alike.
Dates & Real Estate
Depending on the general location, and especially if it is non-local, taking note of any planned holiday events (i.e. parades, festivals, etc.) and/or any other social happenings will greatly increase the success of your event. Not taking into account such things may result in your guests either being unable to travel to your event or even deciding against going altogether to avoid the hassle. Choosing the right place during the right time is one of the biggest ways to ensure a great party!
If the event is to be held outdoors, it is wise to secure a secondary, indoor location in the event of surprise bad weather or other unforeseen occurrences which may render an outdoor event implausible. Additionally, the venue, itself, should reflect the tone and style of the event. Whether you are hoping for an upmarket appeal or to evoke the feeling of distilling moonshine in the barn at midnight, picking the right place to host your party sets the standard and appeal for all potential attendees.
Seating and Surfaces
Potentially just as important to your event is how many seats and tables are available to guests, and the quality thereof. Having a strong estimate of expected attendees will give you an indication of how many tables and chairs to hire. Over-shoot the estimate to ensure no one is without a seat should you receive more guests than expected. It is better to have them and not need them than it is to need them and not have them.
Also very important to consider in this regard, is the style and quality of the furnishings you will be providing. Comfort is important, especially when some of the invitees are most likely going to become inebriated at some point during the event. Depending on the sort of event and type of venue, you may prefer banqueting chairs or beer festival chic, with plain trestle tables and benches.. Whichever it is, choosing furnishings which reflect your particular style and event will aid in creating the perfect atmosphere and aesthetics.
Feeding the Fray
Of course, no beer-themed event would be complete without the proper foods. What you choose to serve may depend on which beer or beers you are intending to showcase. For example, if you are hoping to highlight a Banana Bread flavoured beer, you may want to also serve foods which compliment that flavor profile (such as caramel-walnut brownies or peanut butter treats). Aside from appetisers and snacks, it may also be beneficial to consider offering full course meals. Check into local catering companies to find the right fit and determine your menu and any prices (though you may find it more beneficial to offer a set amount of food for free, with the price included in the original ticket purchase amount.).
Providing sustenance creates a welcoming atmosphere and allows one to know they need not stray far from the event should they find themselves with a craving. Hosting an event with no or little food options is a sure way to see guests leaving early as they become more and more hungry. As such, buffets are a popular choice for comparable events and offer the guests various options rather than sticking to a strict menu. Adversely, creating a dedicated menu which will serve to showcase the flavours of the beers served can be a very big draw for many with more advanced palettes. Playing into the flavor profile of the beer to be highlighted at the event is an ingenious and creative way to enhance the drinker’s experience.
Turning Consumers into Customers & Clients
Marketing for your event is essential and must be done well and in a timely manner. A poor marketing strategy and/or poor execution of a good marketing strategy will be extremely detrimental to the success of the event. Cutting corners here is ill-advised. The biggest noticeable difference between a superb event and one which is sub-par is clear, decisive, and actionable marketing techniques. Knowing how and when to delegate is essential to the success of any business. Marketing and advertising for your event is one aspect in which you will want to hire a professional- unless you happen to be one.
Proper marketing techniques and execution thereof will not only garner attention and excitement for your event, but it also will (when directed at the right audience, in the right way) entice current consumers of the product into seeing what the new product or business may have to offer, thus helping to turn a general consumer into a loyal customer. The same theory applies to acquiring new clients. Getting tickets sold can be a hassle, but with the advent of many online programs and apps to get the tickets sales flowing. Those who are already buying from a manufacturer may be interested in what you have to offer as well, and the right marketing ploys are essential in bringing these potential influencers into your fold.
Bring On The Beer!
Depending on how many beers you’re planning to serve (it is highly recommended to offer options, though some may want to highlight only their own brand), how your guests will receive their drinks and the way in which they are presented affords one the opportunity to get a little creative. Especially when hoping to showcase one particular beer over others, the serving options are another aspect which may make or break the party. If your guests are standing in endless lines only to be confused by poor menu layout or an awkward selection process, it will greatly deter many from future interactions with the brand or company.
Present your drinks in a fun, simple fashion and consider offering non-alcoholic beverages for those attendees who may have no interest in drinking, are the designated drivers for the evening, and/or has already had a bit too much. Soft drinks are always a nice addition, but it is always very wise to serve water, as well. Also, encouraging guests to stay hydrated throughout the night can eliminate many potential unsavoury happenings, thereby allowing more guests to have a better time!
Master of Merch
These events are the perfect opportunity to not only draw in new potential customers and clients but also to promote and advertise your merchandise. Getting your tangible products into the hands of the public is one of the biggest and best of marketing strategies. Not only is the company or business making a profit from the merchandise purchases, but they are also receiving consistent advertising every time the product is used by the customer. This free advertising is sometimes even more effective than self-propelled marketing campaigns as it subtly insinuates the users’ approval of and affiliation with the brand showcased.
Some underestimate the potential profits which are possible through the increased sales of branded merchandise and may choose to invest their resources elsewhere. There is no standard to which one must involve a merchandising effort in their business. It is not essential, by any means, to the overall success of the business- or even the event at hand. It is, however, an incredible benefit, should one develop the right merchandise for the right price, both in manufacturer deals and point of sale prices.
Sponsors & Partnerships
A great way for many smaller, start-up businesses to get their brand’s name out there is to either find a sponsor- someone who is willing to invest their time, money, and/or resources into your business with the promise of a return on their investment, usually plus interest. Partnerships are similar in that both parties involved will enjoy success when properly managed. Understanding what each brings to the table, whether in a sponsorship or partnership deal and implementing plans which play to each party’s strengths and balances their weaknesses will make for more success on all ends.
When negotiating terms and contracts, it is imperative to understand the legal jargon involved. Though it may seem an additional, non-essential expense, having a lawyer on your team will inevitably save you and your investors money and time in the long run.
Brew Like a Boss!
Whether your beer is crisp and clean, hoppy and bitter, malty-sweet, dark and roasty, smoky, fruity, spicy, or sour/tart the way in which it presented at your event will make a huge difference in how well it is received. Choosing the right, time, place, food, and furniture hire – among other things- are essential in delivering an amazing and memorable evening or weekend for those attending. The options may seem endless, but there is a definitive path to hosting a successful event if you only know where to look and are willing to put in the time and effort to pull it all off without a hitch.
Of course, issues may still arise, no matter how well you have planned in advance. It is then you must fall back on all the information and knowledge you have managed to gather throughout the planning (and pre-planning) process. The very worst thing that can happen to or during an event is for the law to be broken or someone getting hurt. To that end, the benefits of preparation are immeasurable. Know and understand the laws and offer ways to stay fed and hydrated, and you will drastically reduce the potential for issues.
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