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blog category: Event Highlights

FestivalNet, Asheville, NC

How to Make Your Event More Interactive

by Stephanie Brenner, posted 06/02/21 10:47:47   category » Event Highlights
How to Make Your Event More Interactive
You need a team to organize an event. You can't do everything by yourself. So I don't need to tell you further, how important a team is for your event. Event mismanagement is mostly about team mismanagement. Anyone who hosts an event wants it to really stand out in the participants' minds. The best way for it to be memorable is by designing interactivity into your event. If you can get your attendees involved, they will have a more powerful experience. As a result, they will be more likely to attend your events in the future and recommend their friends or colleagues attend your next event.

There are many ways for your event to be interactive even before the event begins. You can start the engagement by generating buzz pre-event using an event app, creating online networking communities, and designating a hashtag for participants that can be used across all social media platforms.

Creating and distributing conference surveys or conference polls before the event will allow you to gauge the knowledge and interest of your audience. You can also use the poll and survey results to create intentional learning opportunities when conducting live question and answer portions.

Ask the event venue if there are some unique ways of tackling the question and answer portion of the live event (stage, spotlight, using auction paddles, etc.) If you use an event app, you can use automated audience response systems for real-time results. You can use this information to springboard into lively discussions.

During the event, try having areas set up so that you can provide hands-on activities for attendees to try products for themselves or areas where structured demonstrations can be held. If you have engaged event sponsors, give them an opportunity to provide interactive elements as well. Getting the participants involved by testing products or seeing products in action can be beneficial for increased engagement as well as improved sales and brand image.

Even if your event setup doesn't allow for interaction during the keynote or presentation, you can always bring elements of interactivity to the event networking portions. Think about ways to get the participants involved with the brand and each other that will move them towards realizing the goals or objectives of the event. Something as simple as having a designated networking area with bar stools and tables (and clearly separated from the buffet!) can encourage attendee engagement significantly.

Finding the right event techniques for your event doesn't have to be expensive or complicated. Getting the attendees involved can be as easy as creating an online networking community or as complex as challenging the participants to compete in an obstacle course.

The whole idea of creating a more interactive event is to make the participants feel involved, energized and excited about attending your event.

archive article courtesy: Stephanie Brenner of Bizzabo
image courtesy:

11 Tips on Promoting Events Using Social Media

by Ken Mueller, posted 05/24/21 12:48:24   category » Event Highlights
11 Tips on Promoting Events Using Social Media

1. Plan and organize

Like any other aspect of marketing, go in with a plan. Know what your goals are, identify your target audience, and have things mapped out.

Start with a clear idea of what sort of promotion you are going to do on which channels, and what you hope to accomplish


2. Organize your Street team


Think of your fan base as a street team. Before you even put anything together, find your core fans and let them know what you are going to do. In a climate of social media clutter, it's important to stand out. A big part of that is word of mouth from your influencers. Get them to commit early to helping spread the word, both online and offline, and you'll have a better chance of being seen by the right people. Mobilize them and give them the tools they need to help you promote your event. This might include downloadable flyers that they can either send to friends in email, or print out for distribution. In some cases you might be able to reward them with free admission to the event, or perhaps a t-shirt or other item.


3. Create your event properly online


(Or course add your event to for free first!)

If you're creating an event on Facebook or other event websites, make sure you include as much information as you can: title, date, time, any important details. Also include important links. Make the details as specific as you can. And use pictures and videos if they fit. If multiple businesses or organizations are partnering on the event, choose just one of them to create the online event listings. If every participant creates their own event, it will cause confusion and water down the effectiveness.

If you are selling tickets, make sure you link to information about ticket sales. If it is a free event, but you need a hard and fast RSVP count, make sure that is clear and link to that RSVP page.


4. Set the viral sharing in motion


Once your event is created and published, you need to get the word out. If it is part of a page or group, the members/fans SHOULD see that it exists, but don't rely just on that. You and anyone involved can use the "share" function to post the event on your personal walls, thereby letting your friends know. You can also use the "invite" function to personally invite any number of friends. As people RSVP that they are coming, encourage THEM to share and invite. The more the merrier. And make sure that anything you do online is easily shareable, and actually ask for the share. Note: Be selective as you invite. If the event is in Lancaster, and you have friends in Kansas.. probably best not to invite them. Invite your friends that you are pretty sure would be interested in this specific event.


5. Compliment your Social with Traditional


As powerful as social media can be, don't stop there. There is nothing wrong with a full marketing campaign with whatever elements you think will work and will fit into your budget. I've done events with posters that we plastered all over town. I've also secured free promotion through traditional PR and media outreach measures. And depending on your event, there might be value in some sort of paid traditional marketing and advertising. You might even consider purchasing ads on Facebook or Google if it makes sense in your particular situation.


6. Tap into multiple channels


Don't overlook other channels of promotion. In many cases, people tend to focus on Facebook, but platforms like Google+, Pinterest, Twitter, and LinkedIn, among others, might also be right for you. And don't forget video on platforms like YouTube, Vimeo, Vine, and Instagram. Also, everyone involved should use their websites to promote the event, giving you better reach on search engines.


Also, by using multiple channels you are also getting multiple touchpoints. If you can reach someone in three different places, they are more likely to remember your event. If someone sees your event on Facebook, Twitter, and a poster, it will reinforce the brand of your event in their mind.


Be open minded as to how to get the word out. And of course you have people blog about the event.


7. Frequent Updates


As details change, add them to your event pages. Keep your audience engaged. That way, if people have RSVP'd to your Facebook event, they will get notified any time you add any sort of information to that event online. Not only does this make the information current, but it pushes the information out to the Facebook feeds of those who are involved. Keep people excited all along the way.


8. Give people opportunities to participate


If someone is involved in an event, they feel more invested and are more likely to spread the word. If you are using employees or volunteers, or even outside vendors who are donating equipment, supplies, or services, make sure they are aware of what you are doing online so they can all share. And make sure they are getting proper credit for their donations of time and services. Because their name is attached, they are more likely to help us out with promotion, both online and on the street.


9. Engage


Announcing an event isn't enough. If people comment, make sure you respond and engage them. Draw them into conversation. Give them a reason to post on your event wall. Answer their questions in a timely fashion. Encourage them to take the next step of involvement, whether it is purchasing a ticket or sharing the event with their friends.


10. Be Creative


Think of unique ways of promoting the event. In the past, I've used local podcasts as a way of talking about the event beforehand, and even had live podcasts during events. There are a number of services, including YouTube, that will allow for live streaming. Another thing that often works is getting "supporters" of your event to change their Facebook profile pictures and Twitter avatars to something related to your event

11. Promotion doesn't stop once the event starts


Too many event organizers promote the event up until the time it starts, and then they stop. But why not promote it as it is happening? Live tweeting or live blogging an event can keep people informed even if they can't attend. It also might get people to show up in the middle of the event. Posting pictures and videos on Instagram, Vine, and other social channels will let them feel a part of it, and also let them know what they are missing.


Create a hashtag for the event and use it yourself, while encouraging those in attendance to use it as they live tweet. Encourage them to post pictures and videos on Instagram and Vine, and tag themselves in official photos of the event. All of this will generate some great online buzz about the event.


And once the event is over, don't just move on to the next event or business as usual. Keep talking about the event while posting pictures online. The goal is to keep people thinking about the event, whether they attended or not. This will help you keep the ball rolling as you promote future events, and even as you just go about your day to day marketing for your business or organization.


Every event is unique and your approach to promoting an event will be different every time. As you create and produce more events, you'll learn from what you and others have done in the past.

Archive Article by Ken Mueller:

Image Courtesy:

Roll Call! State Breakdown for the Return of EVENTS!

by FestivalNet, posted 04/29/21 11:58:14   category » Event Highlights
Roll Call! State Breakdown for the Return of EVENTS!

Raise your hand if you miss attending live concerts and fair.

Yeah... us too.

The good news is that with Covid-19 vaccines becoming more widely available, there’s at last a light at the end of the tunnel, as some venues have tentatively begun scheduling events again.

Here’s a breakdown of all the things happening (or not happening) in summer 2021 in several states. This blog post is a work in progress this spring.


Alabama is seeing a return of many large scale events while some counties are still under tight restrictions. The mask mandate is lifted state-wide.


California will reopen on June 15. Attendees of large events must show proof of vaccination.

The Gold Country Fairgrounds in Auburn has begun scheduling events and rehiring laid-off staff.

However, it’s going to be a while until California is back on track. The High Sierra Music Festival has been cancelled for the second year in a row, but will return in summer 2022.


A tiered system in Colorado means restrictions differ from county to county. The Montrose County Fair will return in full force this summer, and the Red Rocks venue has been cautiously scheduling live concerts again.


Large outdoor gatherings are still banned in Delaware; however, organizers can get special permission from the Division of Public Health. The M&T Bank Grandstand is making changes to their ticketing policies to accommodate social distancing requirements.


There are no limits on outdoor gatherings in Florida, although organizers are urged to observe social distancing guidelines. The Central Florida Fair is on this year; and the Pecan Park Flea Market and the Waldo Flea Market are in full swing.


The ban on large gatherings in Georgia was lifted on April 8. The historic North Georgia State Fair will take place as usual this summer, as will the Imagine Festival.


Presently, gatherings of 50 or more are still banned in Illinois; but plans are in place to gradually lift these restrictions over the summer.


The Illinois and DuQuoin State Fairs are in the works. The Logan Square Farmers Market is ongoing with some social distancing restrictions in place.


Local officials will determine restrictions for events in Indiana this year. Look for the Parke County Covered Bridge Festival to take place in October.


Kentucky has no restrictions or bans on outdoor gatherings, but things are not fully back to normal yet. The Forecastle Festival has been cancelled for the second summer in a row, with plans to return in 2022.


Massachusetts now allows outdoor gatherings of no more than 150, and indoor gatherings of no more than 100. Popular events like the Boston Calling Music Festival have been postponed for yet another year.


Mississippi has had zero restrictions on indoor or outdoor gatherings since March 3. The Iona Free Fair Association Board has expressed optimism that fairs might start up again this summer.


Outdoor events are now allowed in Nebraska at 100% capacity. Though the NE State Fair has run into financial troubles resulting from the pandemic, plans are in the works for its return.


Nevada is set to reopen on June 1, with individual counties making decisions about capacity. The popular Electric Daisy Carnival, originally scheduled in May, has been pushed back until October.

New Jersey

Outdoor gatherings of up to 200 are allowed in NJ; indoor gatherings are limited to 25. A series of drive-in concerts is scheduled to take place at the Sussex County Fairgrounds.

New York

Venues in New York are currently allowed to open at 33% capacity for concerts and fairs. The Excelsior mobile pass is an option for streaming live events. The Erie County Fair is scheduled to take place in August.

North Carolina

There is no cap on gatherings in North Carolina; however, a mask mandate remains in place. The North Carolina State Fair will be back in full force this October.


While capacity limits have been lifted in Ohio, social distancing and mask mandates remain in place. The 175th Canfield Fair will take place in September as planned.


Events in PA are allowed at 25% capacity for indoor events and up to 75% outdoors. The Elements Music & Arts Festival is one of many events scheduled to go on in 2021.


All facilities in Texas have been operating at 100% capacity since March. All summer events, including the Old Gruene Market Days on the third weekend of every month, are on.


Entertainment venues in VA are operating up to 30% capacity right now. Masks and social distancing are required. Many popular events are happening this summer, including the Rockingham County Fair.


Gathering restrictions in Washington vary from region to region. The Northwest Washington Fair is scheduled to take place; however, it will be limited to only 9000 attenders at a time.


Restrictions in Wisconsin vary depending on the region. The Elkhorn Flea Market is still open during several weekends this summer.

West Virginia

Large gatherings are only allowed in WV if they have been deemed essential. The Calhoun County Wood Festival and the West Virginia Renaissance Festival will both take place; however, attendance is limited.


Don’t forget to check out FestivalNet for details about your favorite fairs in the summer of 2021.


photo courtesy: Olia Nayda

7 Ways You Can Benefit From a Home and Garden Show

by FestivalNet, posted 04/13/21 08:58:43   category » Event Highlights
7 Ways You Can Benefit From a Home and Garden Show

A home and garden show is a venue for industry vendors to display products to their customers.


Whether they’re interested in installing a pool, replacing some windows, putting in a generator, or just about any other home improvement you could think of, visitors can find a wide variety in materials and appliances for their needs.


You can find a home and garden show in just about any part of the country. Some of the most popular of these shows include the Denver Home and Garden Show, the Colorado Home and Garden Show, and the Cleveland Home and Garden Show.


Are you thinking of working as a vendor at a home and garden show? There are many benefits.


Here are a few.

Lead Generation

Visitors to a show like the Cincinnati Home and Garden Show already have an interest in purchasing products for their homes. You can give them your business card and get them to follow your website or social media page so that they are likely to make a purchase from you in the future.

Customers Who Are Ready to Buy

At other kinds of shows, you’re likely to get lots of visitors who are “just looking.” While this is fun, it’s not as profitable as working an event like the Cleveland Home and Garden Show, where customers show up with the intention (and the money) to make an immediate purchase.

Cleveland Home and Garden Show 2021

This year, the Cleveland Home and Garden Show used a Virtual Showroom, an ingenious way to reach new customers online.

Brand Recognition

With potentially thousands of visitors, an event like the Denver Home and Garden Show is the perfect opportunity to get your name out there. Make the most of this opportunity by giving a demonstration or handing out some free samples. When it comes time to make a purchase, visitors to the show will remember you.

Standing Out From the Competition

What’s the first step in standing out from your competitors? Knowing what those competitors are doing, of course. An event like the Colorado Home and Garden Show gives you firsthand knowledge of what other vendors are doing, what your target buyers are looking for, and how you can provide them with something unique.

Testing New Products

Do you have a new product that you’re longing to try out? An event like the Cleveland Home and Garden Show is the perfect space to try out that product on your target market with almost no risk. You get to witness their reaction to your product firsthand, giving you valuable knowledge of what works and what doesn’t.

Cleveland Home and Garden Show

Get a booth quote for selling at the Cleveland Home and Garden Show, where you can make a year’s worth of sales in one day.

Immediate, Face-to-Face Contact

Unlike the Internet, the Cleveland Home and Garden Show (or any other home and garden show) gives visitors a live, in-person look at you and your product. They can’t close the window or unsubscribe, because you are right there. It yields all the benefits of old-fashioned face-to-face marketing without all the risk and expense.

Engaging All Five Senses

There are just certain qualities that don’t come across in an Instagram photo or a YouTube video. At the Cleveland Home and Garden Show 2021, visitors have the rare opportunity to taste, touch, smell, hear, and see your product.


Are you convinced? Check out a home and garden show near you to start taking advantage of this amazing opportunity to interact with your client base.



Let's Get to the Florida State Fair!

by FestivalNet, posted 04/09/21 10:28:25   category » Event Highlights
If good things come to those who wait, then the Florida State Fair 2021 must be one of the best things to come around in a long time.

Postponed from its traditional February date due to Covid-19 restrictions, this time-honored event is back, bigger and better than ever.

Best of all, the Florida State Fair 2021 truly has something for everyone, whether it’s unique and delicious fair food, the thrilling rides, or one of the most entertaining music festivals in Florida.

Here’s what you can expect from the Florida State Fair 2021.

Florida State Fair Dates

This year, the Florida State Fair will run from April 22-May 2.

Of course, one of the best things about the fair season in Florida is how long it lasts.

The Central Florida Fair (Pictured Below) ran March 3-13 and the North Florida Fair will take place from November 4 to November 14.

Central Florida Fair

For planning purposes, here are some important Florida State Fair dates:


  • Dark Knights. Watch a medieval jousting tournament live and in person. Every day at 1:30, 3:30, and 7:30 PM from April 27 to May 2.

  • Tour of Destruction Demolition Derby. Watch the carnage until only one car is left. April 23 and 24 at 1 PM and 7:30 PM. (Seating is limited.)

  • Deep Fried Dash. This annual race through the fairgrounds will take place on May 1.

  • All Fired Up. This one-of-a-kind Benatar tribute band performs at the fair April 22-26.

  • Dollipops. The newest and best in kids’ entertainment will perform from April 27-May 2.


Of course, most Florida State Fair events are ongoing throughout the entire 11-day stretch. Here’s a breakdown of some of these events and attractions.

Florida State Fair 2021

No matter who you are, you will find something to thrill you at the Florida State Fair. Here’s a sampling.


This is your yearly opportunity to sample culinary creations like the PigRig, a grilled cheese sandwich stuffed with barbecue pulled pork and mac n cheese. Other foods on offer: the legendary Cookie Pail, the Loaded Tater Burger, and a blue raspberry lemonade served within a pineapple.


The Daredevil Daze 2.0 features danger-defying stunts like FMX and Motorcycle on a High Wire. And don’t forget to check out the Gascar Crazy Animal Races and the Mango and Dango circus performers.

Live Music

Florida State Fair also features one of the best live music festivals in Florida, with a choice of four stages. Enjoy Divas Through the Decades as they honor female vocalists from every decade since the 1940s. For the sound of classic Americana, check out Society Funk Band. And the Dweebs can always be counted on for not just music, but plenty of fun.


If you just can’t get enough live music, check out some other great music festivals in Florida.


Take a walk through the Florida Center to enjoy works of art from the greatest talents in Florida. Tour authentic homes in “Cracker Country” to get a taste of life in the 19th century. And learn about Florida forests in the Florida Forest Discovery exhibit.


Florida State Fair features the best Midway in the U.S., with tons of thrilling rides including WipeOut, Street Fighter, and Midway Sky Eye.

A word about safety

Like the North Florida Fair, the Florida State Fair 2021 will have safety guidelines in place to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Life Is Beautiful Festival Tickets Sell Out in One Day

by FestivalNet, posted 03/15/21 13:08:19   category » Event Highlights
Life Is Beautiful Festival Tickets Sell Out in One Day
You might say people are reallllly ready for their festivals to come back.  When Life is Beautiful Festival released tickets for their IN REAL LIFE, 3-day September 2021 event in Las Vegas, Nevada, they sold out their multi day passes in one day. The festival will be releasing one-day passes soon.

“We are overjoyed by the result and can't wait to give every member of our community the experience that they've been craving for over a year,” said David Oehm, CEO of Life is Beautiful.

According to the event's website, Life is Beautiful Festival exists to shift perspectives.  "When you shift a person’s perspective, you shift their reality. Science tells us that being kind and speaking positive thoughts boosts serotonin and dopamine, creating feelings of satisfaction and well-being. We believe that the simple act of saying, reading, and hearing “Life is Beautiful” more often can make the world so."

This is a great time to shift perspectives and bring back some positive vibes as we leave 2020 in our rear view.  We wish the festival the best of luck this year!

There is safety information available on the event's website.  Food vendors may apply now for the festival, Learn More here.

When and Where:

September 17-19, 2021
Downtown Las Vegas with entrances at Fremont & 7th street and Fremont & 11th Street

Guest Blog: A Roundup of the Top Music Festivals in New York

by Guest Blogger, posted 02/16/21 09:29:21   category » Event Highlights
Guest Blog: A Roundup of the Top Music Festivals in New York

The Empire State has a huge number of events taking place that might have slipped under your radar. Some of these are incredibly popular in the region but don’t find a place on the map. Here’s a compilation of some music festivals that should be on the list of music enthusiasts, artists and others looking to have a great time in general:

Nyack Spring Street Festival

The Nyack Spring Street Festival brings several other activities to a close due to its sheer size, with up to 30,000 people in attendance at the event. People come in from all over town and other parts of the Empire State to become a part of its festivities. The big numbers pouring in are greeted by local and national musicians jamming out as Main Street is taken over by the people. It’s a great platform for artists to showcase their talent and earn some rep across the circuit.

WoodstockNew Paltz Art And Crafts Fair Spring Show

The Ulster County Fairgrounds will be full of some incredible sounds come May as WoodstockNew Paltz Art And Crafts Fair Spring Show kicks into action. Beyond its 250 juried exhibitors and cash prize, a great attraction to the show is the host of talented musicians taking the stage. Artists from the local and national circuit represent their talent each year.

New talent is also welcome and gets a chance to shine on this prestigious platform. It’s a great event for families, pulling in big numbers every year.

New City Street Festival

New City Street Festival will take place in New City, NY this year in October. Expect the area to get packed as more than 10,000 people take to Main Street to enjoy the hustle and bustle. The management set up a stage for several regional, local and national musicians to wow the crowd with their prowess. Lots of new names and familiar faces appear on stage, with fresh talent making a name for itself around town.

Other attractions include an art competition as well as multiple attractions for children to stay entertained for the day.

Suffern Street Festival

Like other biannual festivals, Lafayette Avenue in Suffern is occupied by the public in April and September when Suffern Street Festival is taking place. Musicians from all over come to town play hits and entertain the crowd. Apart from the local and regional favorites, it’s a great space for fresh talent to make its mark and upcoming talent is appreciated in this area.

An overall well-rounded event with beer, amusements and a wine garden set up to ensure a good time for all visiting.

Sign up for some of the best music festivals near you with the help of FestivalNet. Up and coming talent can find Call for Artists through their services, giving them the boost they need to establish a name on the music scene. FestivalNet curates a wide range of event listings, ranging from music festivals, farmers markets, craft shows, holiday events and food festivals


Virtual Event Spotlight: “Hoggetowne at Home: a Virtual Medieval Experience”

by FestivalNet, posted 01/07/21 09:57:17   category » Event Highlights
"Due to the continuance of the plaque, the King and Queen of Hoggetowne have sought out the talents of Merlin the Magician to transport the annual festival into a most magical realm called - the internet..."

Hoggetowne at Home: a Virtual Medieval Experience

I for one will be checking out this virtual event from the depths of my comfy couch this winter. I have always wanted to go to a Medieval Festival, and while online events are not supposed to really replace the real thing, they do keep the spirit alive! And that is what it's been about these last hard months with a pandemic underway. Reminding each other we will be back together soon!

"...Guests can safely shop the medieval marketplace, watch performances and demonstrations, play along in the interactive quest, and engage with characters during live shows."

Where and When:

January 30-31 & February 6-7:
11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Merchant Marketplace and pre-recorded demonstrations and performances are available any day January 30-February 7. ​Live demonstrations and performances are only available on scheduled days.

Admission Prices:

This virtual event is free for all to attend.

Bookmark the FestivalNet event page and mark your calendar!

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