Enter your free listing for your
Festivals & Events, Vendors & Entertainers
Fair, Festival & Event Promotion Handbook
(planning a successful event)
by Larry Ward
Table of Contents (below and in nav above)
Forward, by Larry Ward, StageForRent.com
This handbook is an idea that has grown from a one or two subject pamphlet into a complete guide to events. It is a beneficial tool you can use. As our stage, sound, and lighting crews would travel these past years, clients would ask the same questions: Where do we get this? How do you book that? Will this activity boost attendance? After we answered their particular question with experience, they would say, "You ought to write a book." So we did!

After much consideration, I decided not to write about what I saw people doing, but to invite them to write the chapters themselves. Now you can learn from the true experts, first hand.

Think of the old saying: "All of us are smarter than any of us!" We first listed the chapters as answers to the questions you asked, and then searched for people with the background and experience to answer those questions. A common characteristic I found with them was excellent cooperation and a willingness to share their knowledge with others. To them we say, "THANK YOU."

So there you have it, the best in their respective field sharing knowledge with you in this handbook.

Editor's note: The above forward was written when we first published this book in 1987. Now here we are 20 years later. The world has changed, events have changed, technology has changed, but the basics have not.

You still should not put the Porta Potties next to the food tent, and you still need to have the horses in the parade behind and not in front of the marching bands! We trust you will find that this newer version is updated, has new contributors, and is still, as the first paragraph says, a beneficial tool you can use. Have a great event!

Larry Ward, Event Production and Management Inc, 800-844-9173, StageForRent.com

Planning a Successful Event, Table of Contents
1. Planning
Why an event (fair or festival)
Writing Objectives
Choosing a Theme and Name
Date and Time
2. Organizing
A look at boards: William Mulligan Jr.
Committees and Volunteers
3. Fundraising and the Finance Committee
Selling Booth Space
Percent of Sales
In-kind Donations
Food and Beverage Sales
Souvenir Sales
Admission Fee
Parking Charges
Lotteries, Raffles, and Bingo
4. Corporate Sponsorship: Eileen Frye, Heart of Illinois Fair
5. Promotion
Brochure Design Tips
Tips for Preparing a News Release
6. Buying Media: Orv Graham, Decatur Celebration
7. Setting the Image of the Event: Fred Puglia
8. Operating
9. Buying Music Acts: Tracy Childers
10. Grounds Attractions: David Musselman
11. Sound, Lighting & Staging: Larry Ward
12. Sample Artist Contract and Rider
13. From the Entertainers View: Katie Brooks
14. Backstage Hospitality: Tara Byrd
15. Talent Contests: Bob Dempsey
16. Queen Contests: Viola Suits
17. Parades: Sheri Rich
18. Horse Events: W.G. Colburn
19. Rodeo's and Horse Events: Tad Whitten
20. Farm Youth Program: Jerry Bullock
21. Choosing a Carnival, Food and Beverage
22. Concessions: Don Frenkel
23. Legalities and Risk Management
24. Event Insurance: Tricia Adams
25. Royalties
26. Location/Physical Facilities
27. Grounds and Facilities: Marvin Perzee
28. Office and Staffing: Keith Kesler
29. Tractor Pulls
30. Estimating Crowd Attendance
31. Festival Evaluation
32. Event Impact Studies
33. Conclusion, Final Word

12 Ways to Kill an Event

Bibliography: Sources and Contributors


Hillside Art, Music & Food Festival

Gibbs Gardens Spring Arts on the Great Lawn

The Christmas Market At The Fair

Wild and Wonderful Arts & Crafts Festival

Chastain Park Fall Arts & Crafts Festival

Food Truck Wars Jacksonville