Over the years, I have visited about 250 Ontario festivals and events. Although I have found them have been interesting and enjoyable to visit, I have also seen many challenges. In this article I will describe 5 of the Top Ten Challenges I have experienced.
8. PROGRAM GUIDES – I like festivals and events that produce a nice informative program guide. To me it shows that it is a well-planned event and that they care about their visitors. I also like informative program guides because they provide me the information, I need to enjoy the event. I don’t believe that guides need to be overly ornate to serve its purpose. Like websites, content is “king”! Here are some of the components that I think are necessary to make a guide effective.
Ø A site map should be included showing the location of all events and activities and all important facilities, washrooms, information booth(s), first aid station(s), ATM’s, disabled parking, shuttle bus stops and designated food areas.
Ø Activities and descriptions should be included along with times.
Ø Contact information should be given with telephone numbers that can be used during the event
Ø Finally, a list of event sponsors
I am sure that more could be added, but this a start. If cost is prohibiting an event from producing a program guide, festival organizers should contact the local newspaper to see if they would be interested in publishing the guide. If you give them the advertising rights, they will likely produce the guide for free and in some cases they may even pay for those advertising rights. Another inexpensive way of producing a program guide is to make it part of your website. If you go this route, make sure that the program is not too long, that it is in the “PDF” format and that it can be printed in “black and white”. One of the best festival program guides I have seen is produced for the Cobourg Waterfront Festival by one of the local newspapers. The newspaper pays, through sponsorship, for the right to publish the guide.