Monday, August 8, 2016

Have a festival? Let's examine your budget.

I've worked with a number of festivals in my life - and have produced quite a few. Typically, organizers start work 12-4 months before the event.

I was just in a discussion with an event organizer for an April 2017 festival last week. One of the first things you have to do - after choosing a date, identifying a purpose/theme - is create a budget. Everything costs. Yes, you can get some services donated, but not all. You need seed money up front.

Once you have your expenses figured out, identify which ones need upfront money. Bands, for example, want a deposit. Portable toilet companies want a deposit and will not donate or trade out a service. Sometimes signage can be donated, but the sign maker is in business to make money, too.

So then where is your revenue coming from? Corporate sponsors may be willing to donate some cash. You may find a grant which will pay for a component of your festival. You may also want to establish a fee structure for food, art and craft vendors.

Shop around to nearby festivals to see how much they charge. Flat fee? Percentage of sales? Both?

MARKETING TIP: When you're looking for sponsors, explore opportunities to utilize the company's employees to help on the event day. Have them wear their employee shirts. Put them in high profile places so that your sponsor will be visible - and with a pretty smile. A living person in a company uniform is much more appealing to a corporate sponsor than a sign.

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