I attend a lot of events, and often I’m there on my own – And one thing I love to do is go to events in regional areas because the people are so nice and the experience is often much greater than something I can find in the CBD.
But sometimes it doesn’t go like I think it’s going to go and so I’ve penned a few clues that I think make a great experience for day visitors to turn them into overnight visitors…
- Accommodate people like me to hit the road on a whim
- Make sure everyone is primed to welcome visitors, including the volunteer SES on the gate.
- Design the ancillary activities to draw the campers out of their caravan sites to create greater connection.
- Help single-day or first-time visitors navigate the program
- Highlight what else there is to do on-site
- Make the food offering easily accessible and local
- Maybe even list available accommodation left in the area – I took an overnight bag to the last festival I went to, just in case I made new friends.
- Prime the major towns along the way, that visitors are coming and to make them welcome.
- Make your regional event info marquee HUGE and noticeable, and a welcoming place for a cuppa and to find out about the region.
- Have a festival newsletter that highlights reasons for people to come back. I was just made aware of a retreat at the last glorious venue I went to but from a friend!
- Curate your market stalls, find your local home-based businesses, and help them design a visitor experience – oh, and don’t forget to install a Wi-Fi tower if the connection is dodgy – they need EFTPOS to sell.
- Offer a VIP soundcheck experience – we can all hear it anyway, so why not create a special space and experience to bring fans together and start building anticipation of the show.
- If there are VIP locations on site – use them. This property had a gorgeous lawn and pool – a premium pool party ticket would have gone like hot cakes.
- The gardens of this property were divine – consider creating additional ticketed fringe events like garden parties, soirees, fine food and entertainment experiences.
The key is to think about not only this one audience that is coming to your event, but all potential audiences. And how can you connect everyone to come together. We’re coming to live events to meet like minded people. There’s nothing greater than a shared experience – help us connect with those around us, enjoying this incredible thing you’ve created for us.