Festival & Event Guide: FareHarbor Features and Marketing Tips
No time is as exciting as the lead-up to your annual fall festival or highly anticipated event. Whether you’re running your farm festival for the 10th year in a row or thinking about launching a new food and wine tasting event, you probably have a long to-do list ahead of time.
We’re here to share our top festival and event prep tips and some awesome FareHarbor Dashboard features to make your big day run smoothly.
Start Marketing Early
Even if your farm festival or arts event is well-known within your local community, it’s smart to generate buzz in advance, especially if you’re hoping to draw a crowd from out of town.
Start by focusing your efforts on local SEO and marketing. Festivals can be particularly successful when partnering with other businesses in the area. It’s common for local businesses to set up booths at your event or display brochures at their location, like at a hotel front desk, for example. (Speaking of accommodations, see how you can take advantage of vacation rentals).
During the planning for your event, remember to be active on social media! Share photos from past events, sneak peeks of what’s to come, agendas, or a list of attractions and booths that will be available at the event. When it comes to social media, take advantage of video, as this is the most engaging type of content on most platforms.
Get Employees Up to Speed
From goat yoga and petting zoos to full-scale harvest festivals, all tour operators in the festival and event space depend on their staff for a successful event. As a business owner, it’s up to you to get your employees up to speed ahead of time.
- Hire enough staff to run your festival. Simplify this process by creating a permanent jobs page, posting jobs on the right job boards, and being selective in your hiring process.
- Refresh your memory on some of FareHarbor’s most essential Dashboard features, like user notifications, the availability updater, and items. If you need another quick Dashboard crash course, reach out to our 24/7 Support team to go over the top Dashboard actions you need to know.
- Prepare your team to handle escalations with difficult customers. Hint: listening goes a long way!
- Brush up on these seven ways to improve the customer experience.
Take Advantage of FareHarbor Features for Farms & Festivals
Whether you offer activities on a farm or have another type of weather-dependent business model, it can be a challenge to deal with weather cancellations, rebookings, and long entry lines. Fortunately, there are Dashboard features that can help you optimize the experience for your customers.
Automatic Confirmation Emails
You can help customers plan for their time with you by writing a detailed confirmation email that gets automatically sent upon booking. Create a template for this email right in your Dashboard and be sure to include details like where to park, how early to arrive, safety tips, and weather concerns, among other topics. This will help reduce customer phone calls and save you time.
Online Cancellation & Rebook to Gift Card
Sometimes things come up and your customers have to cancel. But that doesn’t mean their touch points with your business are any less important. In fact, if they have an easy cancellation experience, they’re more likely to rebook for a future date and even become a repeat customer.
You can set up online cancellations so that customers can cancel their booking online without having to call you. This is better and easier for them and it also saves you time.
They also have the option to cancel and rebook to receive a gift card to your business to use at a later date. Weather can often cause issues for outdoor operators, so being able to rebook to a gift card is a great way to retain customers. This is a win-win for you and them!
Ticketed Customer Express Line
Just like the fast pass that lets you cut the line at your favorite amusement park rides, your festival or event can benefit from an express line! This way, people who have purchased tickets online can get in faster and start having fun. You can set up a separate line for people who still need to buy tickets.
FareHarbor’s mobile QR code scanning is the best way to speed up the express line! Check-in staff can simply use the FareHarbor app (or a compatible QR scanner) to scan guests’ QR codes and quickly check them in.
Worried about your internet connection? FareHarbor now offers offline QR scanning for the iOS app (Android coming soon!). If you’re in a remote location, you can still check customers in and create a seamless guest experience.
With a great marketing strategy and a solid plan for the day of, your festival or event should run without a snag!