Beer festivals are a great opportunity to advertise your business, try new products and network but with the growing popularity of craft beer and ale, it can be hard to stand out. Note: If you’re in need of fast T-shirt printing services for your beer festival or any other occasion. Just let us know!
Here are a few simple tips on how to organise a beer festival:
Plan a new angle
As you may have noticed, craft beer festivals are kind of everywhere so if you want to stand out from the crowd, you’ll have to come up with something new. This doesn’t necessarily mean serving beer on avocados (you’d be surprised) but maybe host the event at an unusual date or at an exciting venue.
The key is to be different because if you’re going to offer just another beer festival, then how are you going to attract people?
Don’t break the law
In order to host an event where you’ll be selling alcohol and food, you’ll need to ask permission from your city council.
In the UK, you’ll need to apply for a Temporary Event Notice (TEN). The application must be sent at least ten days before the date of the occasion along with a £21 fee. Don’t advertise the festival before the TEN has been approved as it could be a big letdown for your hopeful attendees.
For more information on Temporary Events Notice, check out gov.uk.
Pick a good date
It’s not only important how to do things but also when to do them. Time is crucial, especially when it comes to these types of events. Usually, the best time for a festival would be in the summer and during a weekend or bank holiday but be prepared for lots of competition if this is the slot you choose. Basically, this is when ALL festivals take place.
Instead, why not host a festival during the colder months? There will be less competition and you could offer something different. There are many venues across the UK that can hold a spectacular event throughout the entire year. For some ideas, check out our 100 brilliant UK venues for a perfect event blog post.
And that brings us to our next point.
Also, pick a good place
As we mentioned, open spaces are not the only option for a beer festival. Then again, there are only a few things as nice as drinking an ice-cold beer on a hot summer day while surrounded by nature.
When looking for a venue it is always important to keep in mind the number of people you’re expecting. It never creates a good impression when a big space is half-empty.
If you’re renting a venue, make sure you read the small print before you sign anything. What is included in the fee you’re paying? What is the cancellation policy? Will you get at least some of your money back if you’re forced to postpone due to unforeseen circumstances?
Select the Brewers, carefully
It is the main attraction so there should be a reason to go taste it. When selecting brewers, try to keep a balance between popular brewers and ones that are up-and-coming.
Well, known brewers will bring their following along with them, but if there’s nothing new to try at your event then it will be the same as everywhere else. After all, these festivals are about trying new kinds of beers.
Don’t offer just beer
It might sound contradictory. It is a beer festival, after all. But just because beer is the speciality, it doesn’t mean it’s the only thing that has to be offered. When we go to a grill restaurant, there are usually a couple of alternate options like pasta and maybe even a vegetarian dish.
Remember that those who come to drink beer may be joined by their friends or spouses who may not like craft beer or don’t drink alcohol, at all. In order to make everyone comfortable, offer soft-drinks and maybe throw in an alternative alcoholic option like cider.
Note: If you enjoyed this post, then you might like to read The ABCs of how to rent a restaurant for an event
Or any other type of food. As we all know, it’s never a good idea to drink on an empty stomach. So when you’re contacting brewers it might also be a good idea to get in touch with some caterers. Whatever the final choice will be, you should always consider the amount of time it takes to make the meal. The last thing you want is a long queue of hungry (and potentially drunk) guests.
Food trucks are a good, comfortable option that’s very trendy right now. The Resident just published a list of the top 10 food trucks for hire at the moment in the UK. Check it out for some inspiration!
Consider an online ticketing platform
An online ticketing platform will allow you to not only sell tickets online but also set different prices and packages (like ‘early bird’ or ‘VIP’ offer) depending on when and how much someone pays. A special offer can create a sense of urgency.
For more on online ticketing platforms, check out our post ‘10 of the best online ticketing platforms for event planners.’
Offer entertainment for grownups and small ones alike
Just because it is a beer event, it doesn’t mean drinking should be the only activity to engage in. In order to keep attendees entertained consider hiring a band to play live. The website bandhire.uk offers a listing of all kinds of bands for hire all over the UK.
The same thing applies to children. If you’re organising a festival over the weekend, in the morning and/or afternoon, expect people to show up with their little ones. Depending on how big the venue is, there could even be an area designed for kids with bouncy castles and/or other types of recreation.
If you don’t want children at your event, then make it very clear from the beginning that no minors will be allowed.
‘It pays to advertise’ or so they say. Depending on your budget, different channels will be available to you. The first place you should always go to is social media. Create a profile on every major network and start sharing your content.
It’s hard to get the ball rolling at first, which is why at first you should ask your family and friends to follow you and then their friends. Also, when you contact brewers, ask them to share your content on their profiles. Create an artwork that they can easily upload to their profiles like banners and profile pictures. Send it to them and let them know the exact date when they should upload them to create major impact.
Here’s a full list of social media image sizes.
Other types of communications you should consider are newsletters (which tend to be free until a certain number of contacts) and maybe even writing a newsletter and sending it to an agency so they can distribute it.
Considering the current times we live in, you can never be too safe. It is also a good idea to make attendees wear a wristband to keep track of anyone who goes in.
Apply a ‘token’ system
For those who don’t know, the token system is when real money is replaced with either tickets or chips. It is a standard nowadays among street events. Paper works better as you can simply tear to indicate it has been ‘spent’.
Tokens centralise the money and save staff members from the awful experience of having to conjure up change out of thin air during the climaxing hours of an event – I speak from experience when I say that this can be very annoying.
Make it very clear to attendees that unused tokens won’t be able to be exchanged for real money. It’s just easier if they can’t.
Nothing says ‘brand’ quite like a nicely designed line of merchandise. If you intend on planning your beer festival year, after year (and why not?) then you should definitely consider selling merchandise.
Merchandise is an investment. It is a small advertising channel that keeps marketing your brand long after the event is done. And nowadays it’s easier than ever to produce it. Don’t believe me? Ask one of our advisors and they will tell you how our graphic designers can support you in this venture.
For more information on personalised T-shirts, hoodies, tote bags and more, check out our catalogue.
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