In a tight economy, with Fair admission $12 for an adult, Stanislaus County Fair Manager Chris Borovansky points out that “…we aren’t a bargain… but we can be a value.” The fair put that theory to work on their 10-day fair and came up with a 20% increase in attendance over 2010.
The media packet describes a full page of possible discounts that fairgoers could use to reduce admission, carnival ride or food costs. Some of the options were identified as ‘sponsored by’ a business, others drove traffic into businesses.
Some of the ‘value’ options you might want to consider are
- $2 off admission coupons, available from sponsor businesses. Your event gets a sponsorship fee and your sponsor gets foot traffic in the door to pick up the admission discount coupon. Some were good weeknights only; some were good just one day.
- Savings Coupon Book for food & concessions merchandise inside the fair. This 12-page booklet offered 16 discount coupons ranging from one free small fries with a purchase of two sandwiches to $100 off the purchase of a Honda generator at the Justus Lawnmower Shop booth. The Savings Coupon Book was available at a sponsoring supermarket in the two weeks prior to the fair.
- Free Till 3 Sundays.
- Free parking was offered at two remote locations with shuttle buses running to the fairgrounds. Fairgoers who took advantage of this option received a free Saving Coupon Book on the bus.
- Opening night all rides were $1.
- Sponsoring businesses supported a local food drive and on the first day 2 cans of food could be traded for a $2 off coupon at the gate.
- On a Recycle Sunday promotion, 6 aluminum cans could be traded for a $2 off coupon — and the cans were recycled to benefit a youth organization.
Marketing Director Adrenna Alkhas acknowledged that some of these promotions took a considerable amount of time to produce.
To assemble the Savings Coupon Book, she said she had to call many of the concessionaires several times to secure their participation. In addition, she and her staff visited each participating booth the first day of the fair to be sure that the traveling staff fully understood the promotion and had copies of the valid coupons.
The coupon booklet itself included the coupons, plus for each pair of coupons there was a mini-map of the grounds with a flag noting the location of the two booths accepting the adjacent coupons. Very user friendly.
The coupon booklet included a listing of all the headline entertainment, discounts and promotions. It also listed a full page of ‘Healthy Fair Options’ — from a list of healthier selections of foods to a list of how to burn calories at the fair (FYI, according to this booklet, standing in line for a midway ride will burn 1-2 calories per minute!).
How can you make your event a greater value for your customers?