Why Festivals, Fairs, & Art Shows Should Embrace Social Media

Today, social media is crucial to nearly any business. It serves a multitude of purposes, and really should be up kept all year round.

Most modern fairs, festivals, and shows utilize social media to some extent. Especially as the event nears, their social channels spring to life, in an effort to drum up attendees.

While the time leading up to an event is inherently of the utmost important, leaving social vacant throughout the rest of the year is a missed opportunity.

There are many ways to take advantage of social media before, after, and during the show to ensure your show is a success.

Event Info

Social media performs well in search results. Depending on how active your page is, it may even show above your primary website, especially city sponsored events. City sponsored events often live as a sub-site of the primary city’s website, which are not as visited as Facebook or Twitter.

That means it is vital to keep all of your time, date, and location information accurate on social. If they find you on Facebook before your website, and Facebook doesn’t have all the proper event info, it can be difficult for attendees to plan their visit.

Ticket/Attendance Info

To go along with the all the other relative event info, ticket purchasing, or attendance info is necessary. Aside from time, date, and location, how to attendance is the most crucial thing for visitors.

You need to be able to let them know if they need a ticket, how much, and where they can get it.

Some social media, like Twitter, has limited room for all this information. Be sure to point them to the correct website where they can learn more, as well as frequently share it in your Twitter feed.

Useful tip – Twitter allows you to pin tweets to the top of your feed. Utilize this to pin a tweet containing all revenant event info. Attaching a poster image with lots of information is also a good idea.

Promote Vendors

Vendors can travel significant distances to attend your show. It is often quite a financial investment for them to exhibit. Even smaller, local vendors take time effort to be there.

To help show your thanks to those vendors, as well as to garner some excitement before the show, it’s great to share any attending vendors on social media. You can even have a “mini interview” with them and share some Q & A’s with your followers. This is a great way to keep people engaged.

You can start registering vendors a year ahead of time, so this is great content to share throughout the year.

If your event is big enough, this is something you can opt to up-sell to your vendors as well. For an extra fee, you can give a spotlight on your well-followed social accounts.

Alternatively, you can use this as an added bonus to entice prospective vendors. Snagging up talented artists or exhibitors can be difficult, so if you can promise a certain amount of social exposure, that could be a tipping point in signing a vendor.

Musicians

Similarly to promoting vendors, if you are going to have live bands or musicians, this a great way to spur some interest. You can link to their past performances, and tag them in any posts. You can utilize their followers to help promote your event.

During the Show

During your event, there are many things you can do. Your audience is now not just perspective attendees, but people who are already at your event. By catering to this audience, they will already be following you for next year, and increase the return rate for your guests.

Share photos from fun things happening each day. Use the schedule to promote upcoming events or performances. Announce winners of any special contests you are running. Anything that would be useful if it was you attending.

Wrapping it up

Social media is more than just for friends to share photos and their every thought. It is a useful tool for businesses and shows to promote themselves, supply a host of useful information, and engage their audience.

Keeping up your social presence year round is taking advantage of a cheap, accessible service that any event, small or large can utilize.

Share your best tips on using social media, below in the comments!

BoothBooks creates best-in-class market management software. Easily handleing payments, vendor registration, layouts, reporting, and more. To find out more visit our website, or check us out on social media.

How Fairs and Festivals can Utilize Technology to Solve their Biggest Problems

Like flea markets, fairs have a reputation for not being technologically up-to-date. As the old adage goes, if it’s not broke, don’t fix it. The thing is, it is broke. And technology can help fix it.

There are a number of aspects fairs and festivals share, that are messy at best. Things like communicating with vendors, the application and jury process, managing layouts, and collecting post-event surveys. All of these things are vitally important, and can be substantially improved.

Let’s tackle these, one by one.

Vendor Communications

Historically, vendor communications are done through mail, email, or phone calls. There is no single, central location to house these correspondences and manage them in a realistic way.

Using a software program designed to help manage other areas of your market for communications helps bring everything together. A common situation is multiple people (often volunteers), handle these communications. By using a software platform, everyone can see past messages, notes, who sent them when, and any other vital information.

This is a whole lot easier for many people to tackle incoming messages, as well as keep up to date. Not only is it more beneficial internally, but it can reduce response time, and repetition for vendors, which of course will make them happy.

Applications and the Jury Process

We’ve seen many markets still handle their applications through the mail. sometimes it could be a form online, or a PDF that is printed and sent. This clearly isn’t ideal. The postal service isn’t infallible. It also tends to be slow. Mail can also be more difficult for vendors who are constantly on the road.

The jury process is often opaque. What are the requirements? If a vendor doesn’t get in, what can they do in the future to try again? Many markets don’t give out this info, let alone in a standardized way.

Software can do exactly that. You can build a form for vendor applications that can be completed entirely online. Accept digital versions of their work, that can be disseminated among jury members, allowing them more time to judge remotely. When jury members are often paid for single judging sessions, allowing them prep time to review entrants can save time and money for the market.

Layout Management

Layouts have evolved past printed out CAD drawings with booth numbers. You can use real map images for your outside venues. You can overlay different layers of booths, even adjust for different seasonal layouts or locations.

Using pencil and paper can present challenges. Moving booth locations. Re-assigning vendor assignments, or multiple layouts are frustratingly bad when you are having to make frequent changes.

Software can also make it more useful for multiple people to see what is going on, view visual reports, and make assignments simultaneously.

Post-Event Surveys

Many people say the same thing during their events post-mortem. “What worked and what didn’t?” A common practice is to send out post event survey’s to vendors. This is an undeniably great idea! Unfortunately, how do you send them? Mail? Too slow and inconvenient for traveling vendors. Digitally with something like SurveyMonkey? Too difficult to visualize data and import vendors.

A survey system integrated into your market’s management software solves these dilemmas and more. Think about being able to automate the sending of a survey as soon as your event wraps. All of that information can be integrated and viewed year-over-year for important changes.

It would also be great to view it visually, using your layouts to glean important information like hot spots in your market that tend to perform better than others. Maybe these statistically more lucrative locations could warrant a higher lease price. When you have the data to back it up, your vendors can appreciate it.

Wrap Up

Sure, this isn’t a definitive list on how software utilization can turn around your fair or festival. Credit card acceptance, vendor profiles, product categorization, and vendor discovery are just a few of the other reasons that adopting an integrated platform can provide your market.

Very few other investments have the ability too transform this many areas of your business.

What are some other pain points that you see in your business? Let us know in the comments below!

BoothBooks creates best-in-class market management software. Easily handleing payments, vendor registration, layouts, reporting, and more. To find out more visit our website, or check us out on social media.