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Improving the Festival Experience.

Andy Robertson

Festival organisers should never stand still when running events year on year because too many things can change that affect overall financial performance. How can organisers determine what improvements to make and how do they implement them in a cost-effective manner.


Festival organisers can get complacent if their events are financially successful and the following quote by Andy Grove sums this up very well. ‘’Success breeds complacency. Complacency breeds failure. Only the paranoid survive’’. It would therefore be prudent to aim for some constant improvement in running a festival whether that’s from the artist line-up, operational logistics, staffing or the overall festival-goer experience.

Assessment and Feedback. 
After every festival the organisers should have a formal process in place to conduct an assessment of every aspect of the event. This will help identify problems and issues and should include feedback form festival-goers, vendors, contractors, staff, volunteers and sponsors. Once the assessment is complete a plan should be formulated to act on issues identified with each element prioritised. At this stage is may be possible to ascertain the financial cost of making specific improvements.

Customer Experience.
Organisers should conduct some robust research with all the festival's customers and understand what was done well and what wasn’t. The different research audiences should be segregated to assist in the evaluation process. Did the sponsors and vendors feel well looked after and did the experience live up to expectations and was their investment good value for money? How were staff and volunteers treated by the organisers? did they feel well cared for and was it an enjoyable experience? Most data will come from festival-goers and this can help identify common issues like toilet facilities and queues for example.

New Technology. 
The technology available for running festivals is ever evolving and organisers should keep up to date with new developments. Embracing new technology can touch just about every aspect of the festival organisation and can include anything from automating festival operational logistics to introducing frictionless ticketing and payment systems for festival-goers. Other recent technology advances have included the availability of 5G networks on remote sites and exploring the use of alternative power generation equipment.

Some improvements can be made at a very low cost and others will require more investment, however, the benefits gained can vastly outweigh any expenditure. Conducting a good cost benefit analysis will help identify the priorities for future improvements. Once improvements have been implemented for future events it’s essential to communicate these to all target audiences. This demonstrates that the festival organisers are listening to their customers and acting on feedback received.

For festival organisers planning their events using a software management platform like Festival Pro gives them all the functionality they need manage every aspect of their event logistics. The guys who are responsible for this software have been in the front line of event management for many years and the features are built from that experience and are performance artists themselves. The Festival Pro platform is easy to use and has comprehensive features with specific modules for managing artists, contractors, venues/stages, vendors, volunteers, sponsors, guestlists, ticketing, cashless payments and contactless ordering.

Photo by
Wolfgang via Pexels

Andy Robertson
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