Your Guide to Planning a Wine or Beer Festival

Hosting a wine or beer festival is a great way to draw attention to local vendors and charities while bringing the entire community together. If you are planning to host a wine or beer festival, follow these quick planning tips and reminders along the way. 


1. Permits/Licensing

Before planning any festival that involves alcohol, it is imperative to inquire about and get any necessary permits you may require. When serving alcohol, whether you choose to do so indoors or out, you may require specific permits based on the location of your event and the region and county you live in.

  • Temporary special event permit
  • Alcohol permit
  • Liability 
  • Special event license


2. Create on online access point (website)

Creating a central online location for your upcoming festival is highly recommended. Having a designated website for your festival provides more opportunities to spread the word about your event and for others to discover the event whenever they are at home or even browsing online on their smartphones.

An online centralized access point is also useful when promoting your event or when tracking the data you receive from online visitors and prospective attendees and guests.


3. Consider how you are going to accept payments

How are you planning to accept payment for the tickets and additional items you sell in relation to your beer or wine festival?

One of the best solutions to consider is to choose an event managing and ticketing platform, such as Purplepass, to help streamline payment and ticketing solutions in one centralized location. Providing many payment methods and options can also significantly increase the overall number of tickets you can sell for any event you manage.


4. Plan your event timeline and schedule

Are you planning to host a one-day festival, or do you have a multi-day festival in mind?

Planning the timeline, schedule, and itineraries for your event ahead of time is highly advisable during the planning process, especially if you are hosting a beer and wine festival for the first time. Planning your schedule ahead of time will also help you better organize additional management tasks that need to be completed before the day of the actual event and festival arrives.


5. Create your event registration system

Create an event registration system with the use of a platform such as Purplepass. Reach out to local vendors and charity organizers to encourage them to participate and attend.

You can host both sponsors and vendors at your beer and wine festival to help with generating revenue and cover the costs of renting the venue and space you are using for the event itself.


6. Plan for entertainment

Planning a beer or wine festival is just not complete without first considering the type of entertainment you intend to provide.

Will you be working with local musicians and artists, or do you have the budget to hire another artist to attend the event? Consider what type of entertainment is most likely to draw in a crowd near you, based on your local culture and the region you are living in.


7. Partner with local causes and charities

Partnering with local charities, causes, and fundraisers is another way to drum up excitement surrounding a local wine or beer festival. Giving back or donating a portion of your earnings to a local cause is also a great way to boost attendance while also motivating others to spread the word about the festival themselves.


8. Disclose terms and conditions/Attendance requirements upfront

Anytime you are hosting an event, it is important to be upfront about the terms and conditions of attending an event, the requirements of guests, as well as any restrictions that may be in place. From mask-wearing requirements to prohibit outside food and drinks, it is advisable to always be upfront with guests regarding the terms and conditions of the event or festival you are hosting.


9. Consider different ticketing options

Having fun with your ticketing options can help you generate buzz surrounding your event, while ultimately helping you to sell more tickets to those who are planning to attend.

To increase the chances of selling tickets, consider offering the following options and/or discounts:

  • Discounted entrance tickets for those who are the DD of a group, or a designated driver

  • Veteran discounts

  • Senior citizen discounts

  • Group discounts/buying in bulk discounts

  • VIP tickets for those who are interested in specialty drinks and/or additional entertainment

  • Exclusive access pass


10. Research other event calendars in the area

Check and research other events near you in your area around the same time as your planned wine and/or beer festival, especially if you have yet to set and complete a date for your event.

Avoid planning your festival on the same date as a similar festival or themed event near you, as this can diminish the overall turnout you experience, even if you are offering more to guests in terms of food, drink, and entertainment.


11. Venue parking and crowd-planning

Depending on the size and scope of your event, you may also need to keep the parking situation in mind. If you are hosting an event outdoors, will there be adequate parking space for all guests and attendees, or will you need to reach out to local parking lots and rental spaces for the additional room?


12. Event safety and protocols in place

Although we are mostly living in a post-COVID-19 world, it is still important to keep event safety and safety protocols in place whenever you are planning a wine or beer festival. Minimizing the spread of germs and ensuring all guests feel safe with proper security is highly advisable for any festival, regardless of its size and whether it is being hosted indoors or out.


13. Bathroom facilities

As always, with any event, considering bathroom facilities before choosing your perfect venue is a must. An event without bathroom facilities is often a recipe for disaster, especially when the event includes alcoholic beer and wine drinks. Consider whether it is more workable to invest in renting portable bathrooms, or if you have a local venue near you that also provides access to bathroom facilities for all guests.

Hosting a successful beer or wine festival can provide plenty of new business for local vendors while also helping you to spotlight artists, causes, and even specific charities. Planning of time for your beer or wine festival is not only a way for you to feel confident in your organization of the event, but it will also provide you with the peace of mind you need to actually enjoy the event yourself. With a solution such as Purplepass, you can streamline the ticketing, seating, and even the sales management of any event you’re planning with ease and without all the hassle.

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