<< Back to articles

Creating Efficient and Flexible Vendor Solutions for Festivals

Andy Robertson

The revenue earned by festival organisers from vendor pitches makes up a significant portion of their overall income. How can festival organisers build and manage their vendor packages to make them attractive to potential vendors whilst controlling costs and providing services that festival-goers want  

Managing hundreds of vendors can be a full-time job for staff of festival organisations so anything that automates the process and reduces costs will be attractive. Automation of processes can make vendor management much more efficient saving time for festival staff and making the application process for vendors easy too.

Automated Processes. 
Most festivals prefer to attract vendor applications well in advance of the festival dates as this helps when planning the festival site layout. The application process should be as automated as possible and many applications are now made using online forms. A well-designed application form can help to obtain essential information like pitch size and type, electricity and water supply needs for example. Collection of this data at the application stage should negate the need for constant communications at a later stage. Once the vendors have been selected organisers can automatically generate vendor contracts and agreements where each vendor will be required to submit some or all of the following: 

  • Public Liability Insurance.
  • Employers Liability Insurance.
  • Fire Risk Assessment.
  • Risk Assessment.
  • Gas Safe Certificate.
  • Food Hygiene Certificate (Food Hygiene Rating).
  • Local Council Certificate / Registrations.

In addition, organisers should be insisting on vendors having cashless payments and contactless ordering (if appropriate) as this is now the expectation from most festival-goers.

Cost Control. 
Selling pitch spaces to vendors should be a profit centre not an expense so organisers should ensure that any associated costs are passed on to each vendor. This applies to electricity and water supplies which need to be charged for. If the organiser feels this is inappropriate, they should ensure that costs are covered by the overall pitch fees. Organisers should ask confirmed vendors to promote the event which helps expand the event marketing reach without the need for additional advertising spend.

Organisers should provide a variety of pitch sizes and formats to give vendors flexibility when considering making an application. Many food and beverage vendors prefer to use their own mobile kitchens as it enables them to arrive and leave easily plus the mobile unit already contains everything they need. Some vendors may opt for a larger pitch space to allow for a custom-built space, such vendors may need more assistance form organisers with their build up and break down. For non-food vendors it may be preferable to construct pre-built booth style spaces which makes the pitch space plug n play for the vendor. There are numerous contractors that supply such modular booth systems suitable for outdoor use.

After each festival it is essential to make an assessment of the vendor processes used to help identify any problems and issues encountered so that improvements can be made for future events. Any assessment should also include a detailed report on the financial performance of this key profit centre for year on year comparisons.

For festival organisers planning their events using a software management platform like Festival Pro gives them all the functionality they need manage every aspect of their event logistics. The guys who are responsible for this software have been in the front line of event management for many years and the features are built from that experience and are performance artists themselves. The Festival Pro platform is easy to use and has comprehensive features with specific modules for managing artists, contractors, venues/stages, vendors, volunteers, sponsors, guestlists, ticketing, cashless payments and contactless ordering.

Photo by Wendy Wei via Pexels

Andy Robertson
Share To:

<< Back to articles

Contact us

Get in touch to discuss your requirements.

US: +1 213 451 3866 (USA)

UK: +44 207 060 2666 (United Kingdom)

AU: +61 (0)3 7018 6683 (Australia)

NZ: +64 (0)9887 8005 (New Zealand)

Or use our contact form here.