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Type of Events


Festivals are grand, glorious multi-phase events that often take place over several days. Festivals require a great deal more organization than an event that takes place over a few hours.

Organizing a festival usually begins by deciding a festival theme and dates. For a major event like a festival, make sure that there are no date conflicts with other major events in the area. The festival theme may help direct the planning effort; i.e. the Strawberry Festival takes place during strawberry harvest.

Themes are often suggested by local landmarks or products such as Covered Bridge Festival, or Strawberry Festival. They may also be derived from holidays, local history, ethnic or cultural events, holidays, or the arts. If there are several themes to choose from, consider which theme may be easiest to promote both now and in the future. Also consider which themes lend themselves to a variety of activities. It may also be easier to recruit volunteers of obtain sponsors with a popular theme.

A festival is usually a community project and often begins by selecting a board representing a cross section of the community. Community leaders may be recruited from area corporations, small businesses, professional organizations, social clubs and civic clubs, as well as local government, school.

Typical board positions include a Chairman, who has general responsibility for the event; Vice-Chairman, who assists the Chairman and often assumes the Chairmanship for the following year; the Treasurer, responsible for budgeting and finances; a Secretary, responsible for keeping minutes and maintaining communication. There will also need to be Chairmen for each subcommittee you need to establish. Typical subcommittees include: Facilities, Sponsorships, Vendors, Promotion, Arts and Crafts, Hospitality, Entertainment, Gate and Security, and Volunteers. It is vitally important to maintain communication between committees, especially in areas which may overlap.

It isn’t unusual for a festival to take a year or more to plan, especially the first time. (In subsequent years it may be possible to shortcut some planning by “doing what we did last year”, but it’s a good idea to keep trying to find ways to improve the festival by eliminating or cutting back on some things while introducing new features.

A professional event planner can help to coordinate all the complex details and help your festival run smoothly and successfully.