8 Reasons Why Festivals and Fairs Need Social Media this Summer More Than Ever 2020: The Summer of Back to Back Live Events

8 Reasons Why Festivals and Fairs Need Social Media this Summer More Than Ever 2020: The Summer of Back to Back Live Events

Thousands of festivals across Canada and the United States were canceled last year due to the pandemic and we are already starting to see the domino’s drop for 2021.  Just last week Toronto, the fourth largest city in North America (and home to hundreds of festivals and events) declared that all public events are effectively canceled until July 1, 2021.

While Toronto hosts some of the biggest events in the world, what it means for so many smaller festivals and fairs is that they either need to pivot to adopting an online, virtual model, or go without for yet another year. Whether your event plans to go virtual or not, it is incredibly important that you communicate with your audience.

Remain Relevant to your Community
Like most major catastrophic events, the pandemic has changed our habits. People have started to enjoy working from home, watching movies at home, spending most of their entertainment at home, and simply loving it.  Yes, we look forward to the day we can go out again, but it may be less frequent and there is now more interest in home-based events. We have become the ultimate couch-potatoes.

We all know that the crowds will return eventually,  but if you want them to return to your event, it is time to start building your email list and developing your content for social media before the traditional summer festival and fair season. If you fail to, you may just lose your relevance when this is all over.

Communicate with your Community

Your social media channels are the best way to communicate with your audience. It is a place where people in your community can feel welcome, ask questions, find out more about local agriculture, farming, and animal practices. It is very easy to keep some of your traditions alive by hosting your contests online for crafts, baking, animals, quilts, fruit, and vegetable. Developing a platform on your site for simple submissions for judgment in these contests is incredibly easy.

Fundraising

It is more important now than ever to address fundraising; it provides the community with events to participate in, reminds them that you are still active, even though there may be no fair this year, and provides ag societies with often, much-needed funds.

Find Volunteers

What a great time to recruit volunteers. Families are at home, looking for projects that they can all participate in. You can effortlessly develop a strong social media campaign targeted at volunteers. This will naturally attract a younger demographic who are typically more knowledgeable with digital media than most people who sit on the boards.

By letting some volunteers take the reigns of social media, you can attract the type of volunteers that understand what appeals to the next generation of fair-goers. This is your chance to spend the next year understanding and getting to know the people who attend your event. So why not find the cheerleaders and recruit them!

Connect with Sponsors

The grand majority of festivals and fairs have the same group of sponsors each year. Just because you are not producing an event this year, does not mean that you should ignore your sponsors. On the contrary, you want to let your sponsors know what the plans are for your event and you may wish to consider partnering on some promotions with them to show value and build the relationship, even if you don’t have a fair this year.

Market Research

Again, this is your opportunity to speak with your audience, why not conduct polls and communicate online with them to determine what your followers would like to see at this year’s virtual fair or next year’s public fair? Maybe your audience has outgrown classic rock bands and would like a change, or maybe they don’t like the fact the beer garden is too close to the kid zone. Use this time to sharpen your focus.

Increase Your Attendance, Beat the Competition

It is nearly always the case that when you increase your social media followers and reach, that you will increase the attendance of your event. If you are not planning a virtual event for 2021, this summer is the time for you to build anticipation for 2022.

“Canadians have come to understand that things will not necessarily start to get back to ‘normal’ until the summer of 2022, and guess what? On the weekend of your event, there are also going to be a tremendous number of events also being held in and outside of your community to compete with”

Use your social media accounts this summer to start teasing about your next live event. Start speaking with your vendors and book the best talent in advance.  Start planning your ticket sales early.

Have fun with it – Contests
The entire purpose of festivals and fairs is to bring together a sense of community through fun, and social media provides a great many ways to experience ‘fun’. Whether you are producing a virtual fair or not, there is no reason why you cannot connect with some local sponsor to partner on some contests and giveaways. Social media allows you to connect with your audience in a variety of ways, from fun reading to opinion polls, to farm and ag-related memes and content,  to sharing music and video; there is no end to the possibilities.

Social media has become an incredibly important tool for business and if you don’t know where to start or have some questions, we here are Festival and Fair Marketing are more than happy to help you with your social media and can be accomplished very cost-effectively. You can review our case study of how we increased engagement by up to 3000% for one of our fair clients. Simply send us an email here with your name, phone number, and website and we will call you.

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