What is it that makes festivals work? We like to throw the responsibility onto the Promotions and Marketing Departments, but a festival is an experience. Real growth in a festival is the responsibility of everyone involved. A couple of business truisms should be considered here: 1. It is easier to sell to existing customers. However… Continue reading How to Grow a Festival (part one)
Know what race you are running, and who your competitors are.
One of the first “Industry Truths” I was taught about Renaissance Festivals was this: There are 3 types of people who travel and work Renaissance Festivals. People who have a business that works at Renaissance Festivals. (This includes artists who lean toward costume elements, or pewter figurines, or astrolabes; and service providers who have created… Continue reading Know what race you are running, and who your competitors are.
The Value of a Lifestyle Business
Why is the term “Lifestyle Business” spoken with derision? Is it because “real businesspeople” discount the value of them, or is it because the Lifestyle business owners themselves belittle the amount of income generated by their businesses? In a world so full of people that *don’t * like the things they do to make a… Continue reading The Value of a Lifestyle Business
Choosing the Right Paint Color
Every industry has rules. The trick is in knowing how to get what you want while meeting the rules. Venues with a historical theme have tons of several restrictions that help create the environment that fools the public into the fantasy that they are visiting a 16th century village. I won’t get into the finer… Continue reading Choosing the Right Paint Color
my favorite baker
Just because it makes me happy … One of my favorite photos from the fall show: Vandal works for me during the Texas Renaissance Festival. I snapped this photo one morning while he was ‘bumping’ the mixer, in order to incorporate all of the flour for the Cinnamon Squealers without making a huge mess.… Continue reading my favorite baker
Personal preferences vs menu items that make money
I’m really into food. Most especially, food that is both delicious and healthy. I derive great joy from preparing a meal for friends, knowing it is healthier and (quite possibly) more delicious than anything we’d find at a restaurant. I make my living in food, but it is not the same food that I want… Continue reading Personal preferences vs menu items that make money
The Cinnamon Roll Situation
This past fall, at my biggest show, I made a menu mistake. We were able to salvage it and turn it into a giant win, but not before customer feedback stirred us to action.
Making the market
As an outsider businessperson, I’ve learned that creating a business outside normal parameters requires the constant thought “there might be a good idea here”. Do not expect there to be a trade show tailored to your new genre, just because you are making a living at it. Go to every event that seems to have… Continue reading Making the market
The Pinball Metaphor, planting the seed
Planting the seeds for future roundtables about the Pinball Metaphor for park design and guest movement management …
Reality Check: Fantasy Building Designs Must Meet Local Codes
There is some discussion in the industry about whether or not it is beneficial to have building inspectors involved when trying to mimic a 400 year old village. We are designing retail spaces that look like they belong in an English village in the 1600s. Levels and plumb-lines can make a structure look a bit “too crisp”.