When you’re attending a festival with your arts organization, it’s important to make the most of your booth and attract as many people as possible. After all, the more people you can get to visit your festival booth, the greater the chance that you’ll be able to spread awareness about your organization, make connections with potential supporters, and even possibly sell tickets to a show!
However, with so many booths and vendors vying for attention, it can be difficult to get people to stop by your booth. In this blog post, we’ll be sharing 5 tips for creating an engaging booth that will captivate festival goers, help you stand out from the crowd, and make the most of your time at the festival.
1. Planning your festival booth:
When dreaming up your festival booth and how to make it totally awesome, you are going to want to start by asking yourself these questions:
- What is the purpose of your festival booth?
- Who are you trying to reach?
- How are you going to get festival goers to approach your booth?
- What is your goal in having festival goers come to your booth?
Once you can answer these questions, you are ready to move on to the fun stuff! This is where you can let your creativity go wild!
2. Create an eye-catching display:
Your booth should be visually appealing and attract the attention of festival goers. Use colorful signage, banners, and other eye-catching display elements to make your booth stand out. A Step and Repeat can make a great background for your booth, while simultaneously advertising an upcoming event or your organization’s brand as a whole!
Display who you are and what you do best prominently in your booth! This will give festival goers a taste of what your arts organization has to offer and encourage them to learn more. Weather permitting, setting up a tv to show behind-the-scenes footage, what it’s like backstage, and your season lineup is a great way to add to your display too!
3. Offer interactive activities:
You want to create a lasting experience for people to help set your booth apart from others. A great way to do this is by giving festival goers the opportunity to get hands-on with your art by offering interactive activities.
For example, if you are a ballet company, you could have some of your specialized flooring set up for people to stand or even dance on to feel what it’s like! Or if you are an opera or theater company with elaborate costumes, try setting up a display that people can see up close and personal!
By offering unique interactive activities that give “Behind the Scenes” type experiences, you are helping to make your art more accessible to a wider audience and therefore much more likely to get them to attend a show in the future. Don’t take for granted the things that are “normal” for you in your day-to-day as an arts organization seem pretty magical to the general public.
4. Give out swag that provides information:
Everyone loves free stuff! It is important to have informational materials on hand that explain what your organization does, who you serve, and how people can get involved and swag is the way to get people to remember you! In the past, we all used brochures, flyers, or business cards, but in today’s world, those are just going straight in the trash, making them ineffective for marketing and a waste of money!
Instead, think of items that people are more likely to keep around. Consider giving out small items like buttons, stickers, pens, or even sunglasses with your organization’s logo on them. This will help people remember your arts organization and encourage them to visit your booth again in the future. The more outside the box you can think here, the better!
Also, this creates another terrific opportunity for an interactive activity! Having a prize wheel that people can spin for free by giving you their contact information is a fantastic way to boost your email roster and get people to spend some time at your booth. Some of the bigger swag items can be won by spinning the wheel! Or maybe consider dedicating one spot on the wheel to some show tickets!
5. Engage with festival goers:
Don’t just sit back and wait for people to approach your festival booth. Take the initiative to engage with festival goers and strike up conversations. Ask them what they are interested in and how your organization can help.
Another great way to collect some information is by having a brief survey on a tablet that people can take for a chance to win a prize. You will want to keep this to 5 questions or less, but it can help you to get to know your potential audience a bit more and hopefully understand what might draw them in to a future show.
This part takes energy and staffing! You will want to make sure you have plenty of volunteers signed up ahead of time and even backups in case someone doesn’t show. Using a digital sign-up list (such as Sign-up Genius) is an easy way to get this organized and allow your volunteers to see who else is working and share contact information. Don’t forget to send this sign-up sheet out to your Board too!
Festivals can be overwhelming from start to finish, but by following these tips you can create an engaging booth at a festival that will draw people in and help your arts organization stand out!
Try setting up your booth at home first for a trial run as you will want to make sure you know exactly what you need to bring, nothing more nothing less! Typically, you won’t have a lot of time to load in and set up your booth, so you will want to be as efficient about it as possible! You got this! Good luck!
Ready to speak to us more about what we can do for your organization? Sign up for one of our consultation appointments!
Free Download: Festival Checklist!
Loving our content and looking for more festival booth support?
Enter your email below to receive our free Festival Booth Checklist!