Autumn and Harvest loom and the Barossa Vintage Festival draws nigh. This Festival has been going since 1947 – it is Australia’s oldest and largest wine festival – and is essentially a community celebration of the grape harvest, a celebration that welcomes everyone to join in.
Each year is a little different, with new events and new places to showcase, new expressions of old traditions. It sometimes happens that businesses miss the opportunity to fully leverage the event. Events offer the opportunity to showcase your business, what you do best, to visitors to the area as well as locals. For many, events bring a substantial boost to takings and can offer opportunities for business expansion, particularly recurring events. We all know small businesses people are extremely busy with operational mattes; there is a real role for the economic developer to nudge businesses to benefit and perhaps facilitate them doing so.
Getting in early we can work with the organiser to have as much local content and services
(e.g. temporary fencing, party and marquee hire etc) as reasonably possible. We can support the organisers to prioritise and showcase local food and chefs, music and art. We can assist business with data on visitor demographics and known preferences, we can facilitate cooperative hosting of events and exhibitions. We can seek cooperation from regional neighbours to showcase the festival posters to create district awareness. We can help with tender processes involved. It is important to engage bricks and mortar businesses in the positive outcomes from markets and pop up events – encouraging them to participate as the novelty draws attention to products that is missed in passing by.
You can even host an event of your own, promoting the region and its people to the locals as well as visitors. RDA Barossa will host an event to showcase its “Everyday Extraordinary Barossa” stories – a project upon which RDA Barossa collaborated with Chris Sands of totallylocally.org.uk to bring to life stories of every day Barossa and Barossans, a window to the real Barossa. This project happily won a national EDA Award for regional marketing so if you missed the conference, head over to the Barossa for the Vintage Festival this April, stop in and offer your suggestions for better leveraging the festival for economic growth – and/or respond to this blog with your good ideas.