The South by Southwest (SXSW) festival kicks off in Austin at the beginning of March. More than 1,700 bands, countless artists, and filmmakers from around the world will flock to the Texas capital to perform, participate, and party. There will also be crowds well in excess of 10,000 people heading down to join the festivities.
SXSW is one of the biggest of these arts and music festivals, but it is hardly the only one. There is also CMJ in New York, Bonnaroo in rural Tennessee, and Coachella in Northern California, just to name a few. When these festivals happen, people travel from across the country and around the world to be there, and all of them have needs your business can satisfy.
No matter where you are located, it is probable that you are either close to, or on the way to one of these festivals. With a little planning and foresight, you can attract some of these massive crowds and enjoy a sudden influx of business. Use these tips.
Adapt Your Inventory
Festival goers need food and drinks, but they are also looking for things like lawn chairs, hats, sunscreen, and coolers. Think about what kinds of goods this demographic is looking for, and make sure you stock up. Use your biggest and brightest sign to tell everyone they can buy what they need at your store.
Take this opportunity to run sales, specials, or one time deals that will appeal to the festival crowd, but be sure to plan strategically. Pair cheaper items with more expensive ones, and you are likely to sell more of both. Again, use you signs to tell all potential customers they can save money with you.
Reference the Festival
One easy way to set yourself apart from other business and to build credibility is to simply acknowledge the existence of the festival. Festival goers are more willing to stop in a business if they know the proprietor is excited to have them there. A simple message like “Welcome to SXSW” goes a long way.
Grab the Post Festival Crowd
At the end of the festival, there will be just as many potential customers streaming past your business. Worn out attendees may be looking for a shower, laundry facilities, or a hot meal. You can also advertise special offers to customers who present a ticket stub. Use your imagination, and find ways to specifically serve the post festival crowd.
The final thing to remember is that many festival goers are coming from far away and are not familiar with the area. If you want to attract them to your business, you need to make it easy for them to find you. LED signs are big, colorful, bright, and highly visible. Plus, they are so adaptable, that you can use just a few signs to deliver a wide range of messages. Before the festivals start, make sure you have the tools you need to attract the huge crowds that are on the way.