Tradestands At Food Festivals

10 Aug

I have had too many comments over last few months from food producers who are not happy with some food festivals. Visitor numbers down is one complaint, with the other one being that not many people are spending. Well there is little choice but to accept if the organisers have got the visitors to their event, then the onus is on the producers to try and clinch those much needed sales. However if organisers are failing to attract visitors to their event, then you have to question what their PR & Marketing plans are – well that’s if they have them. Now that is not a flip comment, as I am well aware that many food festivals are totally reliant on volunteers and many volunteers have never done PR/Marketing/Advertising before.

The Welsh Country team ring around the festivals that are supported by Welsh Assembly Government, WAG Food, hoping of course that they will come with us on the advertising side. If they do then we can really help by giving them editorial in the next issue of Welsh Country and also put all their Press Releases on our website, giving them additional ways to gain extra publicity for their event. But when we are told ‘they’ haven’t planned their advertising for a festival two months away, or even worse don’t have any advertising budget, despite money from WAG – then my alarm bells start ringing. They have taken up front money for tradestands from producers, but haven’t bothered working out how they are going to get local people there – let alone any visitors or holidaymakers. Ok I have a PR & Marketing background, but this really isn’t that tough a job, it just needs planning and preparation and some hard work. If help is needed, surely WAG can give some guidance…………………….

This is really something that needs looking at and at least give our food producers a fair crack of the whip to sell their produce – it is their livelihood after all.


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  1. Caroline Sanger-Davies

    August 16, 2010 at 7:58 pm

    I’m not involved with WAG or WAG funded food festivals – however I do handle PR & Marketing for a very successful Farm Shop, and I know how important marketing is when planning an event or festival. Do WAG not ask to see a marketing plan for an event which they are funding? I would have thought this would be a logical part of the process…

  2. Debra Harris

    September 27, 2010 at 4:53 pm

    I agree that the onus is on the organisers of an event to ensure it is well marketed, however, getting a new festival off the ground is very difficult particularly as events with no track record received little or no WAG support. Consequently the budgets are not always available to undertake on-the page advertising and many new festivals (such as Taste Dolgellau 15-17th October) have to rely heavily on PR and web activity to reach as wide an audience as possible. It’s catch 22 as without the commercial support of food producers, we can’t afford to undertake the advertising which would help bring in the punters. A

  3. foodie

    February 18, 2011 at 11:49 am

    there’s no excuse for poor marketing or in many cases no marketing at all
    my sympathy is partly with organsiers but really mor so with traders – it’s their livelihood and it’s a huge expense to attend and event not to mention hard work with long hours and travel.
    If you have fresh goods and few customers – you have a serious problem
    the organisers must get themselves up to speed with marekting and advertising otherwise don’t run and event. People will travel a long way for a good festival but they can’t if they don’t know about it……