A few years we visited a festival that was held within a large well known attraction. The attraction, itself was great, but the festival it was trying hold, fell well short of expectations.
Gary and I thought, given the prestige and type of attraction, that the festival would be fun and interesting. Unfortunately it was far from it. After entering the attractions grounds, we started to look to see where the festival portion was being held. As we passed through the gates, there was a large festival sign greeting us. However, there were no directional signs to tell us which way to go. After looking around for a short time, we asked a passing by volunteer where the festival was being held. He pointed to a foot path and said “just follow the path and you will come to it”. What he failed to point out was that there were several paths that split off from the path he pointed to. After several attempts to find the festival area, we came across it by chance. We had passed it once before, but there were no signs and the “festival” grounds were very small, with little apparent activity. It was no wonder that we had missed it the first time past. The “festival” volunteers were trying hard to make the most of the event, but there were too few activities to make it interesting. While we were there, very few people came to the site. I believe that if an attraction is going to hold a festival or event within its grounds, it should put its best “foot” forward. Unfortunately, that is not what happened here.
Festivals and events will bring people to an attraction. If the event is interesting and well run they will come back and bring their friends. However, the converse is true. If the festival or event is uninteresting and poorly run, people will stop coming to the attraction and will tell their friends about their experience. If an attraction is going to hold separate events, they must treat them as a “total attraction experience” not just as an “afterthought”!