I have had the experience of being involved in running a fair. It was one of the most exhilarating experiences of my life. The mapping and planning, the rushing and coordinating, the general craziness of making sure things go as planned had my adrenalin pumping full force for the whole time.
I’m not going to walk you through every detail of how to run a fair, thought I’m sure some of you would benefit from some of the mistakes we made and more importantly, from some of our logistical and financial success. But I want to tell you about an improvised solution to a problem that is the number two fair killer (number one is bad weather) not enough people.
Like any part or event you might be hosting or attending, that last thing you want is no one to show up. I vividly remember going to a birthday party of a classmate of mine in grade school. He was all excited about everyone coming to his house after school for his party. I didn’t want to go but my parents made me. I was the only one who came. It was a nightmare. But back to my original point, how do you make sure people come to your fair.
There are some standard ways, advertising on a local newspaper, if your budget permits then on the radio and television as well. Some put a lot of stock in flyers. The list goes on. But everyone know that the most effective way to get people to come to your event is that one way that you have very little control over; word of mouth.
It’s something you can’t pay for and no one really knows how to get it going but if it does get going you’re going to make it. However, I realized that so many people come to a fair or event and call their friends and family and tell them to come if the event is good and not to waste there time if it is bad. So I thought of a stupid trick to try to make the fair look fuller. After all nothing tells people that there is a lot of fun going on that a crowded event. So I went to my brother in laws warehouse and borrowed twenty mannequins. I loaded them in the truck and got them outfitted in our fair shirts and brought them to the fair ground. Then I put them inside and next to as many booths as I had mannequins.
I know that this probably did not have a major effect on that turnout of the fair but it was still an idea. If you have any suggestions about how to get word of mouth going please comment or post an article of your own. I would be very grateful.