A few weeks ago I wrote about the Barossa Vintage Festival (now in full swing) and the role of economic developers in engaging business in festival related opportunities.
One project to achieve this end had been the Vintage Festival Windows Challenge. We coordinated a competition for the best presented Main Street on a particular theme – which this year was
Art Music Design.
The theory is that, you do a few things with this relatively old school notion:
- One, you engage business staff in the coming festival, build awareness and enthusiasm that they hopefully share with visitors and other customers.
- Secondly, you provide passive entertainment for people, particularly visitors, and encourage them into the streets in the evening.
- Thirdly, you create a sense of festival all around you which complements the scarecrow competition entries in the surrounding vineyards.
- Fourthly, with a really good and interesting window, you aim to entice passers by into your store to make a purchasing decision.
And, guess what – it works!
This morning I passed a shop window of local fashion store Lami Saru and was struck by the clever interpretation of the theme relevant to the festival and their store in their shop window. So I went inside to compliment the store owner on her creative window. And yes, on my way out of the store I saw an item of interest and made a purchase.
Caught in my own snare, I acknowledge, but I still find it an interesting example of the value of finding ways to bring people into your store. Encourage them in to the store and let you staff and merchandising do the rest. Engaging business in the opportunity associated with events and festivals has substantive outcomes in a tourism regions.
I would be interested to hear of other success stories of business benefiting from festivals: it is after all why we do them!