Why an Interview,,,

Over the years we have been able to meet and talk with some very interesting people. They have shared with us their knowledge and have provided us with a great deal of insight as to how and why festivals and events work and why they are so important to our communities and to the Province of Ontario. With this in mind, we decided that we wanted you to meet and hear from some of the wonderful people who work so hard to provide us all with such wonderful Ontario Festivals and Events! We are pleased and proud to present "THE INSIDE SCOOP"!

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Event Development (continued)

 The following is a continuation of my Event Development Series. Several months ago, I started the series with the first section, “Initial Development” The second section is entitled “Research and Preliminary Planning”. Now that you and your team have decided to proceed with the event, it’s time to get serious! As suggested previously, any thoughts and idea are more then welcome!

Research and Preliminary Planning

Money (continued)

Monies Needed Before the Event

The following are some of the areas I think need to be researched and considered. Depending on the type of festival or event you are planning, more cost areas will likely need to be researched. Hopefully the following will get you started. Most of the big expenses will need contracts and deposits. Make sure you know who you are dealing with before signing binding contracts and handing out large deposit cheques.

Facilities: If you need to rent a hall or grounds, you will probably need to give the owners a deposit. The amount will depend on the facility and the relationship you have with the owner. You will also have to sign a rental agreement where you will have to guarantee full payment. Also, if you cancel your event for some reason, there will likely be a “penalty clause” where you will be responsible for some additional payment or you will forfeit some or all of your deposit.

Tents: If you are holding an outdoor event, you may want to have a tent or tents or some kind of weather protection. If you decide rent tents, you will need to make a deposit. Plus, the tent company will most likely want a guarantee payment no matter what happens!

Electricity: If you are going to have vendors or performers at your event, you will have to provide electricity. If it’s an indoor facility, the building may or may not provide free electricity. If they don’t, you will make a deposit plus you may have to hire an electrician. This can be quite expensive unless you have someone on your committee who can do the work themselves. (To be continued)

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Event Development (continued)

 The following is a continuation of my Event Development Series. Several months ago, I started the series with the first section, “Initial Development” The second section is entitled “Research and Preliminary Planning”. Now that you and your team has decided to proceed with the event, it’s time to get serious! As suggested previously, any thoughts and idea are more then welcome!

Research and Preliminary Planning

Money

You haven’t forgotten about the money have you? No matter how large or small your project, you’ll need “start-up” money! You can’t ignore this part! You must let everyone in your group know that “seed” money will be required and exactly how much you will need. And, this should be determined BEFORE starting the project! The seed money includes any monies you will spend before income starts coming in. And, you have to be prepared for a loss, especially in today’s economic climate! There should now be any surprises. You need to thoroughly research your costs. Don’t minimize the amount to need. If anything, inflate your projected amount by 10 or 15 percent! It will save you a lot of grief in the long run! Remember too, the larger the project, the more you will likely need. So, what are the costs you could incur? I think it’s bets to put them into two categories, “Monies needed before the event” and “Monies needed during the event”. Next week I’ll talk about “Monies needed before the event”.

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Pricing Your Event…

 Gary and I have been debating lately about the pros and cons of festival and event pricing. There are two thoughts. The first is to include all activities in the admission price, while the other is to price activities separately. This would allow visitors to pick and chose what they want to participate in. So, here are some of the pros and cons we thought of. I am sure that there are more. Please let us know what you think.

1.    One Fee Admission
Pros

  • Visitors know exactly what they are getting and at what cost
  • Festival organizers don’t have to worry about which events will earn enough money to pay for themselves
  • Festivals can experiment with new or innovative festival activities and events
  • Festival accounting would be easier to manage with a single fee
  • Fewer volunteers would be needed to collect money

Cons

  • The higher cost of a single fee might discourage some people from attending event
  • Some visitors may resent paying for festival events and activities they have no interest in
  • Might reduce the amount of potential income, especially if there are a number of popular festival activities and events to chose from

2.    Individual Fee Pricing
Pros

  • Might encourage more people to attend, especially young families
  • Allows people to chose what they want to see or participate in
  • Acts as a “survey” for festivals to determine which festival activities and events their “customers” are interested in
  • May be easier to attract event sponsors for specific festival activities or events

Cons

  • Difficult to manage and account monies
  • More volunteers needed for admission sales
  • Festival organizers may not be willing to take a chance on new festival activities or events
  • Visitors may resent being “nickeled and dimed”
  • Possibility of visitor not bringing enough “cash” and then being limited to the number of festival events and activities they are able to participate in

I guess, in the long run, you have to know who your customers are and what and how they are willing to pay. Perhaps the best idea is to have a combination of both pricing plans. That is, keep the main admission price low but charge extra for the more costly festival activities and events. The ultimate solution is to have the expensive events paid for by sponsors. Not an easy task in these economic times!