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Our Guide to Successful Festival Planning

Guide to successful festival planning header, shows people socializing at an outdoor event, contained by yellow crowd barricades

A lot of work goes into planning a festival. Making your vision for a festival come to life and ensuring that it is done safely is no easy task – and in the early stages of planning, it can be overwhelming to think of everything that will need to be done before putting on a festival. Whether you’re planning a music festival, art festival, seasonal festival, or other event, here is a step by step guide to beginning your planning process.

1. Set Firm Goals

Before you begin planning a festival, it’s important to set goals for what a successful festival would look like. This should include festival activities, crowd size, profit, and other details and should be as specific and measurable as possible. Having firm goals in place will help give you a better idea of the steps you should take in order to achieve success. Be sure to document your goals in the early stages of the planning process to give yourself and your team something to reference when gauging success throughout the event’s planning.

2. Create a Budget

Once you have some measurable goals in mind, it’s time to evaluate your finances to determine how much money you have to make your goals a reality. Festivals are expensive, and there are likely more factors to consider when planning expenses than you realize.

Important items to budget for might include:

  • Venue rental
  • Staffing
  • Talent and entertainment
  • Food, drinks, and other catering
  • Sanitation
  • Security
  • Equipment rental
  • Necessary permits

And more.

Having a firm budget set for each of these items and any more that you might need will make the process of finding a venue, booking talent, hiring staff, etc. much easier as you will know what you are able to do based on your finances.

3. Find the Right Venue

Finding the right venue for your festival should be determined by the size of the event and what location would make sense based on the demographic of attendees you are hoping to appeal to. Make sure that you are considering accessibility via public transportation, the possibility of onsite (and nearby offsite) parking, and space needed for vendors, performers, and crowds when reviewing your options for venues.

4. Book Talent, Hire Vendors and Staff

Once a venue is secured, it is time to hire all of the people who will make your festival feel like a festival. Book talent for your event that will bring in a crowd and make sense with the type of festival you are planning – whether that includes a top 20 pop artist or a local rock band.

After the talent is booked, it’s time to reach out to local businesses and vendors to see who would like to participate in your festival. This should include restaurants, bars, food trucks, small shops, and any other business or service that you feel would have a place among consumers at your festival.

When the talent and vendors are booked and festival planning is fully underway, it’s time to hire the staff and volunteers that will keep your festival running smoothly. You will need staff to help attendees with directions, security to manage crowds, and volunteers to help with miscellaneous tasks which could include clean up or helping out vendors and talent.

5. Market Your Event

Once your event is planned, it’s time to get the word out about it. Market your event on social media with the help of festival staff and volunteers, and contact local news outlets to inquire about getting coverage about the event. Be sure to begin marketing your event with plenty of time for potential attendees to hear about it!

6. Think About Safety

Now that planning is fully underway and your event is on the calendar, it is time for one of the most important aspects of festival planning – considering the safety of everyone in attendance at the festival and how you can work to ensure that it will be a high priority among staff.

Hiring adequate festival security personnel is an efficient way to manage crowd sizes and ensure everyone has all the information they need to stay safe throughout the event. Another important item to consider is crowd control barriers. Plastic safety barriers can efficiently manage crowd sizes, keep attendees out of secured areas, and make navigating festival grounds a breeze. Plastic barriers should be considered for any festival as an alternative to traditional metal or concrete barricades, as they are easier to move and place around the venue during festival planning and preparation.

7. Enjoy Your Festival

When the day of your festival finally arrives after months of preparation and planning, it’s likely you will be feeling some stress. While this is normal, it is important to relax and enjoy your day as much as you can – after all, festivals are meant to be fun, and it should feel rewarding to watch all of your hard work pay off as your goals are met. While you are enjoying the festival, you should be prepared for last minute issues which could include:

  • Bad weather – do you have a backup venue, rain date, or refund policy for ticket holders in the event that your venue is compromised due to unexpected bad weather?
  • Staff or volunteer callouts or no shows – do you have any backup staff members, waitlisted volunteers, or a plan for being understaffed in the event that several staff members of volunteers don’t show up at the last minute?

Prepare for these and more unforeseen circumstances, and try to remain flexible in your expectations of the event. In addition, you can save yourself from some stress on event day by knowing you can have confidence in your crowd control products. By choosing to incorporate billboard barricades, you can enjoy the event knowing that you’ve checked off crowd safety and security, sponsor advertising, fun aesthetics all into one tried and true product. As long as you have planned for every possible scenario you can control, your festival should run smoothly.

Planning a successful festival is a lot of work. Be sure to give yourself adequate time to complete the festival planning stages – from creating a vision for your event to managing crowd safety on the day of the festival, there is a lot to account for and plan.

OTW Safety would love to help you build your next festival and keep all attendees safe. Contact us today for help with event planning and consulting services, Billboard Barricades, and Custom Signage.

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