Summer festivals are some of the biggest and most successful events to plan. People love being in the sun with friends, music, and good food. There are lots of things to consider when considering a festival like which bands to book and how to get the word out. However, there are many important steps that often get overlooked until it’s too late. These 10 tips will help make sure you are planning the important logistics along with the bands to ensure the success of your summer festival!

1. Will there be tickets?

Ticketing structure and platform is something you need to know early in the planning stages. It can help you determine location and length of time if you have limited space available. It can also help you understand the quantities of items to order like swag bags, wrist bands, and beer kegs. Know what you are going to do early and promote, promote, promote!

2. How many do you expect, and where can hold that many people?

Festivals tend to be huge draws, so please do some research on similar local festivals to get a good understanding on size of the location. There is nothing worse than realizing there is not enough space for huge numbers of people. Fyre Festival was a good warning to event planners. Learn the lesson!

3. Liquor permits take at least 30 days to acquire

Do not forget to apply for a liquor permit if your venue doesn’t carry one. It can take up to 30 days for the permit application to process. Be early with that application or the police can shut down your event and now you are giving refunds instead of making a profit!

4. There’s never enough port-a-lets

Bathrooms are always a cause for concern at events. There never seems to be enough. Good news, most people expect to wait in large gatherings, but more is always better.

5. Staging is crucial for success. Make sure it is big enough.

Don’t forget to leave yourself space to have a backstage area for performers and sound crews especially in an outdoor venue where the stage can be accessed in multiple places. Your will want a barrier between them and the crowd. You will also need another staging area that is easy for your workers to access for storage items like ice and drinks.

6. Fencing will be your new BFF

Research temporary fencing. It will be a lifesaver to keep people in the area you want them. A wide open field is great, but if people don’t know where the limit is of your liquor permit or where the “employee only” areas are located, they will certainly enter them and cause problems. It’s inevitable.

7. Food trucks are an easy alternative

Don’t worry if you don’t have a built in catering or food point-of-sale option. Food trucks have become so popular and are a great (and cheap) alternative to feed the masses. Do some Google and Facebook searches to find local food trucks and feel free to ask them to participate directly!

8. Make sure there is easy access to water

Water is vital. You don’t want people getting sick during your festival. It looks bad. Plan on having free access to water fountains at the very least. Allow people to bring in water bottles to fill up at your festival. Also allow food trucks to sell water. The more options the better. People that are hot will not be patient if they have to wait in ridiculously long lines to just get a drink. I’ve been to a festival where this has happened and it was not pretty and the health department had to get involved.

9. Rain plans don’t exist for festivals. Plan on rain.

Generally, festivals are too big to move inside. If there is a massive storm coming that you know of before hand, maybe moving dates is an option, but generally you will just have to ride out any rain during your event. Tents or an indoor option for people to get out of the weather will prevent people from leaving early if it does rain.

10. Permits and police. Make sure you have them.

Make sure you understand the permits you need from the city/county for things like temporary structures like tents and staging. Also, contact the police early if you need their assistance with things like street closures or even to just be aware and available for quick help if needed. Consider a security team as well for another added layer of protection for your guests.

The event planning tips you really need to know

How to plan events

Is your event set for success? Do you know how to make it the best one yet? It’s not always easy to organize an event, but there are a few steps that can help. Read on and find out nine tips for planning a successful event like a pro.

Step One: Pinpoint Your Target Audience

This is essential in order to create an experience tailored to them. Who do they work for? What interests do they have? What will keep them talking about your event? What would really wow them? What is most important to this group? What is the best method to get their attention?

Step Two: Set Goals For Your Event

Now that you know the “who” for your event, set some goals to help measure your success. How many people do you want to show up? How much revenue will be needed to make a profit? There are also more creative goals to consider that don’t necessarily have a defined number to achieve. What do you want your guests to walk away with? Brand recognition? A new sense of purpose or pride? Or even a memorable or sharable experience?

Step Three: Decide on a Date that Makes Sense

Crucial to the success, is to make sure your event date and time is not competing with anything majorly important to your target audience. Are there specific holidays to avoid? What other events are already scheduled that is also targeting your audience? Don’t make your audience choose.

Step Four: Find a Venue that Holds Enough People

You don’t want your event to be the next Fyre Festival disaster. Find venues/locations that can hold the number of people you want at the event. Then visit those locations to get a real sense if it will appeal to your target audience. Make sure you ask questions about sound and lights capabilities, any restrictions they may have, and if you will need any special permits for your event.

Step Five: Create a Unique Experience

At each of your events, try something new and different. Offer attendees something they won’t get anywhere else-a chance to meet face-to-face with someone from their industry who inspires them or a preview of a highly anticipated show or even a sampling of a new craft beer company. Don’t forget to consider all the senses when creating a unique experience and cater to what your target audience would appreciate most.

Step Six: Get the Word Out Early

Whether you are selling tickets or doing an “invite only” event, start getting the word out as soon as you know the date and time. Create an FB event page and a few graphics on Canva to really start pushing your event early. Remember, it takes an average person 7 times to remember an ad. Think of multiple ways of getting message out through social channels, emails, and personal calendar invites. Get on their list, and get on it early.

Step Seven: Create Event Assets to Share

When people commit to an event, they will want to know the details right away. Create all the marketing assets as soon as possible, but don’t forget things like entertainment schedules, maps that include parking locations, bathrooms, food options, and/or vendor locations. Having these assets ready to circulate prior to the event will ease your guest’s anxieties and prevent you from fielding all the these questions individually.

Step Eight: Keep a Detailed Timeline

Your timeline will be your new best friend. It will be crucial to keep updated throughout the planning process, and to keep yourself organized the day of the event. You will want to know what time vendors will be setting up, what time entertainers will be arriving, what time staff will be arriving, and so on and so forth. Another key detail you will want to keep on your timeline is contact info for important vendors. Keeping it all in one place will save you time and a headache searching when someone is late or a question pops up unexpectedly.

Step Nine: Understand Your Staffing Requirements

Easiest way to kill your event is for guests to be standing in lines waiting. Whether that is for food or for entry tickets. Make sure you have enough staff to handle the volume of people you expect. One person may be able to get 100 people through the check-in line in an hour but will not be able to make individual orders of food in the same time period. Know how many people (staff or volunteers) will be needed to prevent long lines and agitated guests.

Get my exact goal setting check-list to help you with the pre-planning for any event!!