FestivalNet, Asheville, NC
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Along with a whole host of eased restrictions, Phase 3 brings back fairs and festivals, although a lot of the big ones like Jazz Fest have already been rescheduled for the fall.
Right now, outdoor fairs and festivals can be held at 50% capacity with no cap on attendance, but everyone there has to be six feet apart.
“We literally cheered in my office when we heard the governor said Phase 3,” Jefferson Parish District 5 Councilmember Jennifer Van Vrancken said.
As far as spring parades and festivals in Metairie, Van Vrancken doesn’t think it will be any of the big events quite yet.
The Jefferson Parish Council dropped a measure allowing Mardi Gras parades to roll in May and the parish says St. Patty’s Day parades are still off as it focuses on vaccinations.
Van Vrancken says it’s hard to tell what can happen until the Fire Marshal releases specific guidelines.
“If we can do fairs and festivals by submitting some sort of plan to the State Fire Marshal to say ‘this is how we’ll keep people socially distanced or the crowd limited’ in whatever way they require, we’re going to try and find those paths forward so that people can get back out there and we can begin to enjoy what I think we’re missing so much,” Van Vrancken said.
Canceling for the first time last year, Vice President of the Louisiana Crawfish Festival Foundation, Cisco Gonzales says he can’t go another year without the St. Bernard Parish gem.
“To cancel it is a heartbreaker to all of us, I mean, this is a volunteer organization,” Gonzales said
The Louisiana Crawfish Festival, originally set for March 18, brings in over 120,000 people every year over four days benefiting different charities.
“We’re not canceling at this time whatsoever,” Gonzales said. “We want to have this festival as bad as everybody wants to come out to the festival, so we’re looking at probably late May or early in June.”
Gonzales says he’s beyond excited about the news but is going to wait until phase three expires on March 28 to make a solid decision.
“Just not big enough yet for us to pull the trigger,” Gonzales said.
Gonzales has concerns over being able to meet the marshal’s requirements with how big the festival has gotten over the years, but has it planned out, from the music to the social distancing.
“I’d say three weeks to 30 days, max, we can have this festival up and going,” Gonzales said.
Organizers with the Irish Italian Parade in Metairie say it’s scheduled for June 6, but they will do whatever the Parish Council allows them to.
The State Fire Marshal says enforcement of any COVID protocols at fairs and festivals will be up to the Parish.
Please Bookmark and share our COVID-19 STATE-BY-STATE Guide about Mask Mandates & Mass Gathering Info. This information can also be found on every state page; search for events in your state.
Helpful Resources to our Community:
EVENT CANCELLATIONS: https://festivalnet.com/covid19-event-changes.html
EVENT UPDATES: https://festivalnet.com/recent_updates.html
VIRTUAL EVENTS: https://festivalnet.com/virtual-shows
A Few Helpful Articles
It’s safe to say that the Covid-19 pandemic forced us to rethink everything we thought we knew about marketing. For those who already had a solid handle on engaging their customers virtually, they just had to up their game a bit. But if you have always relied on old-school marketing tactics, navigating this new world can be a struggle. Not to worry, though. These tried-and-true strategies for virtual engagement will help you get back on your feet again in no time.
Live stream events
In these unprecedented times, we can all take a lesson from the fashion industry. When it was no longer safe to hold fashion shows, they moved online without missing a beat. Of course, online fashion shows have already been around for a while... making it easier when it was time to abandon pre-Covid ways of doing it. Can you host your own show, highlighting your products, your team, your goals and ideas? It may not have all the panache of a fashion show, but it gives your virtual customers a fun way to connect with you.
A webinar is another fun way to engage your audience. The slideshows, videos, and instant interaction which can take place during a webinar make your audience feel connected to you in a tangible way, despite the physical distancing. Another great perk of webinars? It gives you the chance to interact with your target market in a personal way, similar to what you would do if you could meet them face-to-face. It allows your unique voice and personality to shine through just as if you were physically welcoming them into your store or office. That “personal touch” can make you stand out from the competition in a socially distant world.
Who doesn’t love a good old-fashioned party? And thanks to the wonders of technology, a virtual happy hour or customer appreciation event is completely feasible. To make it even more personal and fun, send your customers everything they’ll need to celebrate ahead of time: drinks, snacks, even decorations.
Whatever platform you use for your “Happy Hour” event, don’t forget to include some games and live chat to make it feel like a real party (because it is!). Give them an occasion to remember... and they’ll be back.
Offer a Product Demo
Let’s be honest. These times of social isolation are hard on everyone, including your potential customers. What might make them feel better? Why...free product of course! Send them a product that’s still in the testing phases and give them the chance to check it out. Make it even more meaningful by including some store swag, and maybe a few other freebies, in the package. And of course, make sure they know that you value their feedback.
Host a Virtual Conference or Trade Show
Remember that sense of camaraderie you got from interacting with others in your industry? Well, so do your customers...and they miss it just as much as you do. How about getting some other interested parties involved and hosting your own conference or trade show? It definitely fills an empty place that’s missing since Covid-19 hit... and your target audience will remember that you are the one who filled that gap for them.
Yes, it’s true; the Covid-19 pandemic has ushered in a whole new era, with new ways to engage with customers. But with a little creativity and a lot of dedication, you can transform this time of loss into a time of opportunity. And then... no one can stop you.
Let us help! In addition to offering extensive event details (including VIRTUAL FESTIVALS and FAIRS!), a membership to FestivalNet will give your business exposure in the Festival Biz Directory and allow you an online shop in the Marketplace!
We hope these tools are part of your marketing pie this year!
It’s been a long time since we welcomed hordes of people to our tents at festivals & craft shows. In the time since Covid-19 burst on the scene, many things have changed. We’re a lot more cautious now, as well we should be. And the thought of facing all those large groups of people again is exhilarating, but scary, too.
Encourage the use of face masks.
Wear a mask yourself, and insist that anyone working your booth with you do the same. Make sure that anyone who works with you understands the proper wearing, removal, and care of masks. Do what you can leading up to the event to notify your public that masks will be required in your tent, so that they won’t be taken by surprise. The CDC recommends that masks are your best protection in large crowds where social distancing might not be possible.
Physical markers can serve to remind people to remain six feet apart. Space out any chairs for sitting, and put tape on the ground to show people where to stand when they’re viewing your exhibit or waiting in line. You can also use tape to indicate where the entrance and exit is to reduce overcrowding in these areas. Put up signs in visible locations to remind visitors about social distancing, handwashing, and masks. You might even consider putting up signs in large print or Braille so everyone can read them.
Do what you can to encourage your visitors to wash their hands as frequently as possible. If it’s not possible for them to readily access a sink with soap and water for handwashing, make hand sanitizer available to them. Anyone who collects tickets or picks up garbage should wash their hands afterwards with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If you need to use hand sanitizer instead, just make sure that it’s at least 60% alcohol and you rub your hands dry afterward.
Outdoor craft shows are less risky, because air is constantly moving, dispersing the airborne droplets that spread the virus. If you’re indoors, make sure the space has adequate ventilation. Outdoor air should be circulated as much as possible. If you’re using a fan, just make sure that it doesn’t blow directly from one person to another, as this can spread viruses. If you’re in a tent, put all the sides up if weather permits to maximize airflow.
Not only does this cut out the danger and inconvenience of handling cash, but it makes transactions quicker and lines shorter. And the encryption technology helps protect you from fraud. Check out Square or PayPal for contact-free payment options. You will find that most of your customers will be relieved to have this option for payment. Increasingly, consumers are rebelling against the idea of carrying cash around.
It’s a personal decision as to whether you’re ready to take on the craft show scene again. But rest assured that taking a few precautions can go a long way towards keeping you safe.
It’s that moment craft show participants everywhere have been waiting for.
At last, there’s a light at the end of the Covid-19 tunnel and it looks like we’ll get to display our work at craft shows and events again.
Of course, we’re still not entirely out of the woods.
If you’re worried about safety during the upcoming craft show season, there are ways you can set up your booth to keep everyone safe.
Here are a few simple recommendations for the socially distanced craft booth in a post-Covid world.
While this may be difficult to enforce, asking visitors to wear masks can go a long way towards stopping the spread of Covid-19. The CDC still recommends the wearing of cloth masks as one of the simplest yet most effective ways to mingle in public safely. Even after the vaccine is distributed and for some time, wearing a mask is a visible sign that you are taking precautions and care about the safety of your guests.
Be sure to wear a mask yourself and politely encourage your visitors to wear one, too. This will make more of your vulnerable visitors (the elderly or immuno-compromised) feel more at ease when they come to your booth.
Set out individual pieces separately
It’s all part of the experience: large numbers of people putting their hands on items as they look at them. After all, touching and handling prospective purchases is part of the fun.
Unfortunately, it’s also a prime way to spread dangerous germs.
To minimize this, spread individual pieces out along your tables so that visitors can look at items without putting their hands all over everything. Ideally, invest in a case that can protect your items from handling unless requested.
Limit the number of items out for display.
For the same reasons mentioned above, keep just a few diverse, good-quality items out for display. Avoid overcrowding on your tables. This makes it possible for people to look through items while still maintaining a safe distance from one another.
Bring some extra merchandise to replenish empty spaces as items are purchased.
Make sure there’s adequate space between your booth and others
Work with other vendors to keep your booth a good distance away from those on either side of you.
This can help minimize any crowding as people move from one booth to another.
As this may not be entirely within your control, it’s worth it to contact the venue and find out what arrangements they are making for social distance between booths.
Use a plastic screen.
Shield your register with a plastic screen and stay behind when ringing up purchases and interacting with visitors.
As their name suggests, these “sneeze guards” protect you from flying particles when anyone sneezes, coughs, or even just talks.
Keep hand sanitizer on hand.
Make hand sanitizer readily available to visitors as they move through your booth and handle your merchandise.
Bring enough with you to ensure that you don’t run out.
And give your hands a rub as often as possible throughout the day to protect yourself and others as well.
Make your entrance display as compelling as possible.
You’ve always known that your success depended on an enticing display at the entrance of your booth, and that’s even more true now.
Visitors decide whether to enter or not based on your display, so make sure it’s an accurate representation of the goodies inside.
Also, if more of your merchandise can be seen from the entrance, it means a smaller crowd in the space within, making it safer for everyone.
Accept credit cards
If you don’t yet use Square, or some other app that allows you to accept credit cards, now’s the time.
Reducing the amount of cash that changes hands is one of the best ways to keep transactions germ-free.
Craft shows may never be quite the same in a post-Covid world. But with a few precautions, you can set up your booth in a way that’s profitable, enjoyable, and safe.
by Carolyn Edlund for Artsy Shark
Our industry has changed forever, and there is no going back to the old ways of doing business. Even traditional selling models will have to develop virtual components—or fail. Luckily, creative thinking is squarely in the wheelhouse of every artist and crafter. Are you using any of the following strategies?
Polish Your Artist Website
Your art website is the best place to showcase what you do, since you control content and presentation. Design it to display your art beautifully with stunning images and plenty of them. If your website isn’t ready for prime time, your sales will suffer. Does your About page share a compelling story? Do you provide information for shoppers about your art and how to purchase it, including terms and policies? Do you have prices listed and a shopping cart? If your answer to any of those questions is no, it is likely there is “friction” on your site that is preventing sales rather than encouraging them.
Get Comfortable with Video
Anyone with a smartphone or computer can make videos. Present a collection of your work and tell your story authentically to reach your audience most effectively. Online tools like Lumen 5 are useful for this purpose.
Then, place your video content in multiple places, such as your website and social media profiles. YouTube is a massive platform filled with videos of all types—and as the second-biggest search engine in the world, it’s an excellent place to start. Many artists who teach have switched over from live workshops to video lessons on YouTube with very positive results. Videos are perfect vehicles for Instagram Stories and are also the format for Facebook Live. Sales can literally be made directly on these platforms.
If you’re camera shy, or fear that you don’t take a good photo, it could be slowing you down. Resolve to get past that hesitation. Start now by making a video about yourself and your work, then share and gauge the results. It gets easier over time, and you will most likely be glad you took the first step.
Celebrating festivals that can still happen during this unprecedented time has been so eye opening - the inventiveness, the creativity, the gusto. How so many festivals who can, will, keep shining their bright light for the music and wonderful times that only a festival can provide.
Coming up quick is the Delaware Friends of Folk. With the state of Delaware's helpful guidelines giving shape to how this outdoor event can take place, Friends of Folk website lists its rules for campers and attendees to follow. In true festival form, their final rule asked patrons to "sing, dance, have fun & be safe!" Take a look at other guidelines that allow this Delaware festival to take place.
Delaware Friends of Folk COVID-19 Rules
We here at FestivalNet wish your event all the best, Friends of Folk!
When and Where:
The 29th Delmarva Folk Festival will be October 2-3, 2020.
Location: 352 Downs Chapel Rd, Clayton, DE 19938 (near Hartly)
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