10 Must-Have Fall Festival Marketing Tools

August 23, 2017

Whether you’re hosting a Harvest Fair in California, a pumpkin-launching contest in Delaware, or an Oktoberfest in Ohio, you know a fall festival can raise major funds for your community or organization. Fall festivals can draw tens or even hundreds of thousands of guests, not to mention sponsorships and vendors – of which spend money to be at your festival.

Of course, even the most uniquely-themed event will fail to draw crowds without a strong fall festival marketing strategy. Use the following 10 must-have fall festival marketing tools to promote your event this year.

1. Banners

Vinyl banners are staple event marketing tools, whether you’re hosting a local, regional, or even national event. The keys to successful vinyl banner marketing are:

  • Short, memorable messages
  • Attention-getting design
  • Strategic placement

Print event banners and place them in high-traffic areas, which allow you to mass market for cheap, as well as targeted areas your audience is likely to see them.

 Pawtrero poster

Poster for Pawtrero

2. Brochures

Guests demand quick access to event information, and brochures are cost-effective ways to tell your audience about your:

  • Fall festival schedule, dates and time
  • Festival attractions and shows
  • Festival history
  • Sponsors and vendors
  • Website and social media pages
  • Tickets and associated fees

Brochures are versatile, too: You can place them in prominent public areas, on tourism racks, and send them via direct-mail.

3. Posters and flyers

No fall festival marketing strategy is complete without posters and flyers, some of the strongest visuals you will produce to promote your event. Posters and flyers are great for marketing your festival at:

  • Public bulletin boards
  • Grocery stores and local department store lobbies
  • Restaurant and bar lobbies
  • Tourism associations and information centers
  • Curbside handouts (club card flyers)
  • Direct-mail (folded flyers)

Like banners, posters and flyers should feature concise, memorable content wrapped in an attention-getting design.

 Veg fest poster

Poster for World Veg Festival designed by Annie Maley

4. Postcards

Print direct-mail postcards to promote your fall event to targeted festival-goers. You can use your existing mailing list; or, augment it by creating a mailing list comprised of those who match your crowd demographics (age, gender, geography, occupation, family status, etc.).

Print ultra postcards to make your event direct mailers stand out. They feature an attention-getting stripe of edge color on triple-thick paper stock.

Consider adding an incentive for presenting postcards at your festival, which will help you measure campaign success.

5. Social media

Use social media to promote your fall festival. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and other social networks can boost your visibility via shares and paid advertising. Engage your audience with:

  • Photos from past events
  • Contests for your upcoming fall festival
  • Attraction highlights
  • Polls and questions for your audience
  • Event schedules and other downloads

 film festival

Brochure cover for Petaluma International Film Festival

6. Sponsor booklets

The most successful events attract well-funded sponsorships, so you need to impress potential donors with a professional presentation that details exactly what benefits and exposure they’ll receive by sponsoring your fall festival.

Sponsor booklets, identity kits, sales sheets, and other materials can help convince sponsors to open their wallets.

7. Stickers

Hand stickers out to festival-goers so they’ll display them year-round, which invites their peers to inquire about your event and contributes to your overall branding efforts.

You can also distribute stickers via direct-mail and place them in public areas where likely attendees will pick them up before your fall festival.

Make your stickers fun and inviting, and create them to lend a sense of identity to your audience. This is the best way to influence them to place stickers on everything from their cars and refrigerators to their bicycles and guitar cases.

 blues festival poster

Club card flyer for East Palo Alto Blues Festival

8. Website

Give your fall festival the credibility it needs with a website that’s packed with:

  • Information about your event
  • Sponsorship and vendor information
  • Links to sign-up forms, tickets, and social media pages
  • Email newsletter sign-up
  • Forms to request mailed information about your event
  • A photo gallery
  • And anything else that will compel your audience to attend 

9. Email

Work to sign attendees up to your email newsletter (you can do this through your website, social media, posters, banners, and direct-mailers, as well as via contests and incentives at past events). Then, send email updates about your event on a regular basis.

Email is also a great tool for influencing your audience to request printed materials; those tangible tools make your event seem more real and more desirable.

 fall festival poster

Poster design by Mike Houston of Cannonball Press for Save the Waves Coalition

10. Business cards

You need business cards to hand out as references to your fall festival vendors, sponsors, and stage acts. A lot of communication is required to pull off a successful festival, and a business not only serves as a handy contact reference, it makes you appear more professional – and your festival, therefore, more attractive.

Another great way to use business cards is to print fall festival highlights on one side and your schedule on the other. Or, turn one side into a coupon redeemable at your event to measure response.

Your business cards can be distributed to targeted locations, stapled to other marketing materials, and handed directly to your festival contacts.

Ready to make your fall festival a success with a strong marketing campaign? Do it for less with discount online printing services.

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About Brian Morris

Brian Morris serves in various capacities as a freelance writer, content developer and public relations specialist for growing small businesses. When he’s not writing, he can be found on the racquetball court - usually getting his tail kicked by guys 20 years older.

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