I am sure that Gary and I are not the only ones who visit out-of-town festivals and events. While we are normally able to find most places, there are some smaller towns that need the help of directions to find them. It is important, therefore, for festival organizers to include directions or better still, a map, to their town. These directions should also include directions to the festivals location. This, however, is not enough!
This brings me to my greatest complaint against festival organizers. Most festivals have few or no directional signs. They seem to expect that out-of-town visitors will just know where the local fair ground or community centre is. The problem is, out-of-town visitors don’t know where these locations are. I can tell you from experience that having to drive around looking a festival site is very frustrating and usually takes the fun out of visiting the festival. All that is needed are few well-placed directional signs scattered strategically around town. I don’t think organizers are lazy (just the opposite) or are trying to save money. I think they are so familiar with where everything is located in their town that they think very one else is too, even out-of-towners. Festival organizers must get out of this mind set and start imagining themselves as festival visitors, not festival organizers. By doing this their festival will become more visitor friendly, which will eventually lead to greater attendance. Greater, more diversified attendance will help the festival grow and prosper. If you think this is an isolated problem, I can assure you it is not. Of the 40 plus festivals we visited this past year, over 90 percent has poor to no directional signage. This is not a good statistic. Those who did put out directional signage, did a very good job. To the others, look for signage opportunities. Think about contacting local merchants and asking them to create and pay for directional event signs (with their names on them)… good for the festival, good the merchants and better still, good for the people who want to visit your community and event!