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Make it Easy for Festival-goers to Plan Their Festival Experience.

Andy Robertson

Some music festivals can be overwhelming experiences for festival-goers with hundreds of artists to see and plenty of other activities to do spread over several days on a large festival site. What can organisers do to make their experience easier to plan and less daunting, especially for those new to the festival scene.

Experienced festival-goers can be adept at knowing their way round a festival particularly if it’s a return visit and the site layout and scheduling are similar to previous years. Irrespective of the perceived knowledge it is always helpful to provide enough detailed information to enable them to plan their visit. What can organisers do to help festival-goers plan their visit and enhance their overall experience.

Performance Schedules and Calendars. 
Many festival organisers produce a ‘poster’ for their event in an electronic format which can look great on their website. These are great for listing headliners and support artists that are booked for the event but they are more useful as marketing tools. This approach does not really help festival-goer's planning as it may not be clear where and when their favourite artist is scheduled to appear. It is recommended that a more detailed running order and schedule is provided which lists date, time and stage location for every artist’s performance.

Festival Site Maps.
A well rendered simple to follow festival site layout map can indicate where everything is located on a large site. Ideally a festival site map will indicate where car parks and entrance gates are along with stages, vendors, camping zones and toilets for example. This helps visitors orientate their way round a site and are often posted on the festival’s website. Maps can also provide details of useful contact numbers for emergencies and other services often required by visitors and provide an excellent channel for sponsor branding.

Making Information Accessible. 
Festival site maps are often rendered electronically on the event website usually in a downloadable PDF format. The same information can be shared to the festival's social media channels and printed in hard paper format for distribution at entrance gates. The most common solution used by festival organisers currently is the mobile festival app which enables a more dynamic system for mapping the festival site. This can be combined with artist’s scheduling where users can tag the acts they want to see which can be saved in their device’s own calendar app. This process can quickly highlight potential time clashes so that the users can plan their time effectively. The mobile app also allows organisers to notify users if artist’s performances get re-scheduled, cancelled or moved to different stages.

On-site Signage. 
Not every festival-goer wants to use a mobile app to plan their time at a festival so organisers should continue to use hard copy maps and schedules posted at various locations around a site. Additional signage can help direct visitors to their intended site destination and bulletin boards can help notify everyone of schedule changes for example.

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 Kamaji Ogino via Pexels

Andy Robertson
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