Technology & Festival in the Pines
Posted: September 12, 2014
I used to think that everyone who owned one of the larger area festivals was raking in the big money. Thousands of people attended multi-day events where people ate, drank and partied. Then I purchased a two-day arts and crafts festival called Festival in the Pines and began to realize that perception doesn't always match reality.
This year's past Festival in the Pines was deemed a success. Nearly 10,000 people attended the event, which featured nearly 200 arts/crafts booths, great food from regional vendors, a free petting zoo, live family-oriented entertainment and games and inflatable rides for the kids.
However, despite all of the publicity and advance advertising about the festival, the number of attendees was down from other years. (In 2013, the extreme heat had a negative effect on attendance when only 8,000 people went through the admission gates).
This past year, I learned that technology can be a festival owner's worst enemy. Dozens of guests showed me their cell phones on the first day of the event indicating that a storm was only a couple of hours west of Carson Park and was going to wash out the festival in a matter of time. But, despite the forecast, not a drop of rain fell that day in Carson Park and the temperature never rose above 82 degrees.
On Sunday, the weather forecast called for high humidity and temperatures in the low 90s. But once again, clouds ruled the day. It was a bit humid, but the temps never got above 82 degrees until the sun broke out about 90 minutes before the festival closed its doors.
A well-attended Festival in the Pines usually attracts about 13,000-15,000 guests. The last two years have not produced those numbers, which means that all of the bills get paid, but the owner does not have much left at the end to pay himself. That's o.k., though. The lower attendance figures force me to "think outside the box" and come up with new ways to attract more people and modernize the event.
I have often said that the Festival in the Pines is a joy to own and operate. I have also gone on record stating that I have not yet quit my day job.
As always, I am open to suggestions from those who are regular attendees at Festival in the Pines on ways to enhance the two-day event. You can e-mail me at: email@example.com.