Pumpkins, cider, donuts, and fiery orange and red leaves. All the best ingredients for the perfect fall! Not to mention days spent at cider mills and orchards, fall festivals, and haunted houses.
There are plenty of great ideas out there for fall events, but what’s the secret to hosting a successful fall event?
It All Starts With A Great Idea
Something has to spark the fire of imagination, usually that spark is a great idea that slowly takes flame. The key here is to pick something that is fun and engaging, and to choose a venue that brings your idea to life. For example, hosting a pumpkin patch event is much better suited to an outdoor venue than a concert hall. So, once you know what event you’d like to host, it’s time to find a venue that compliments your idea!
Start Planning Early
Don’t put off planning and organizing your event until it’s too late - start as soon as you can. For smaller events you may only need a month of preparation whereas larger events typically require 4-6 months at least. When planning a fall event, weather is always an unknown and unpredictable factor which could require extra planning and preparation on your part to account for all possibilities so allow yourself enough time to put together backup plans.
Define Your Audience
One key part of hosting a successful fall event is keeping your target audience in mind and creating an experience they’ll love. Defining and understanding your audience will allow you to make well-informed decisions and tailor the experience to your guests. Identify their likes, dislikes, motivation in attending your event, and obstacles which may stand in the way of their attendance.
Then, use this information to fuel your marketing efforts. If you decide your target audience is 18-30, out of high school, etc. platforms like Instagram or TikTok may be the most appropriate for marketing to your audience.
Prepare for Fall Weather
Contending with unpredictable fall weather can be tricky, to say the least. Some days are unseasonably warm with sunshine peeking through, while others are overcast and rainy. This unpredictability can cause issues, especially if your venue is located outside. In this case, you should always have a backup plan in case the weather turns and doesn’t suit your event expectations.
That could mean having tents on standby that can be setup or space heaters/fans to counteract temperature fluctuations. It could also mean preparing an alternate activity or activities which can be enjoyed inside your venue in case you get rained out. Lastly, watch the forecast like a hawk. A bad forecast the day of may be all that stands between you and hosting a successful fall event. If the forecast isn’t looking good, communicate your backup plan with your guests and staff so everyone can be prepared.
Pick the Right Date
School is in session, sports have begun, and life is starting to get busy for many of your guests. Every Friday night the stadiums will be abuzz with excitement and anticipation as football teams across the country play their hearts out. Plenty of other school sporting events (basketball, tennis, soccer, volleyball, etc.) and carnivals will be happening as well.
You need to stay up-to-date with all the events happening in your area this fall and decide which are direct competition and which are less likely to appeal to your guests. Don’t schedule college night at your pumpkin patch on the first day of Oktoberfest, use the audience definition you created to pick a date when your guests are most likely to be available.
Start Selling Tickets
Now that you’ve nailed everything else down, it’s time to decide how you’ll charge admission for your event. Will it be free admission? All-inclusive? Will you charge per experience/attraction? You may also want to think about bundling tickets - allowing guests to purchase tickets to multiple attractions as a bundle, or a ticket + merch bundle, etc.
Set up your ticketing as soon as possible so you can start promoting your event page and selling tickets. You may even consider offering discounts to guests who purchase tickets early as an incentive, this could be a percentage discount, or a bonus item, or anything in between.
Looking for the right ticketing platform? Set up a demo with our team today to see if Passage is the right fit for you.
Promote Your Fall Event
Promoting your event is especially important during this busy season. Don’t leave it until the week before your event. Imagine how amazing it would be if you started selling tickets early and ended up having a sold out event before you’ve even opened the doors?!
Investing in email marketing campaigns, social media marketing, creative landing pages, etc. could go a long way in spreading the word. Make sure your target audience knows when and where your event will take place and why they want to attend.
Need some ideas for promoting your event? Check out our guide with 11 Secrets to Increase Your Event's Ticket Sales.