How Food Festivals Boost Local Economies

How Food Festivals Boost Local Economies

food festival ticketing software

The economic gains food festivals generate are staggering, not just for the festival operator, but for the host city. Here's how food festivals boost local economies and some tips on choosing the right food festival ticketing software.

Nosh In Nashville

In recent years, food festivals have become the event du jour for municipalities to generate much needed revenue. It isn't that other types of events, like conferences and trade shows, are no longer viable, it is simply a matter of popularity with the people.

A perfect example is the upcoming Music City Eats food festival in Nashville Tennessee. A combination of food and music, the event is set for later this Summer and brings a new aspect to the food festival format - famous musicians as hosts.

The Music City Eats food festival is a collaboration between celebrity chef Jonathan Waxman (video above) and the Grammy®-winning rock band Kings of Leon, who got their start in Nashville. Editor of the Nashville Business Journal, Eric Snyder, published all of the details pertaining to Music City Eats food festival in a recent article. And the nature of the aforementioned source is important to note. The food festivals' anticipated economic development was enough to get the attention of a leading business journal.

The economic development mentioned by chef Waxman in the video above is echoed by the mayor of Nashville. Already well known as a city for music, the mayor's office envisions a Nashville with even wider appeal, which includes increasing the number of food festivals like Music City Eats.

"Music City attracts musicians, artists, and entrepreneurs from all over the world, making Nashville an incredibly unique place to live. With a strong focus on public safety, public schools, and economic development Nashville is the place to live.” -Mayor Karl Dean

The influx of people (and their cash) expected for Music City Eats food festival begins with the tickets being purchased online. Once available through the official website, the festival ticketing software will offer two tiers of tickets. A standard two-day pass for $250 per person and more exclusive "all-in" passes for $500 each. The savvy way in which Music City Eats is offering two types of tickets is representative of the latest trend in food festival admissions (all inclusive packages at high profit margins). There is a third package being offered, but it is designed for out-of-town visitors and includes hotel accommodations.

Wilmington Is Willing

Nashville is not the only city that has found great affinity for food festivals. Wilmington, North Carolina will be host to the Wilmington Wine & Food Festival this weekend at the historic St. Thomas Preservation Hall. The event has the goal of providing "a diverse range of interactive epicurean experiences while showcasing the area’s unique and rich culture and history, and promoting local businesses."

Shea Carver interviewed local business owner Chrissy Bonney and asked specifically about the economic gains the food festival will bring.

We want our local businesses to benefit and we want people to take away from this experience the confidence to try something different off the wine list at their favorite restaurants...from the beginning, it’s been about promoting and bettering Wilmington.

Ticketing for the Wilmington Wine & Food Festival comes in the form of an "everything included" pass, just like the Nashville event, selling for $48 dollars each. Unlike the Nashville event, tickets for the Wilmington food festival are available from the online festival ticketing software and in-person at the local businesses participating in the event.

TIP: Reach out to your local Economic Development Council

Both the Nashville and Wilmington food festivals have the full support of their respective city economic development programs. If you are the operator of a food festival, it is worth your time to reach out to your local economic development council (EDC). The EDC in Juneau, Alaska is a prominent supporter of all types of festivals, including food fests.

As seen on the Juneau EDC website, this weekend's Juneau Maritime Festival is described in as "being a benefit to maritime history, culture and commerce."

It may very well be the case that your city's EDC offers incentives and cost underwriting for food festivals, knowing the long-term gains to be had. Cathedral City, in California, is doing exactly that for the ‘Arts, Music, Film and More Festival’ (AMFM).

ThunderTix Food Festival Ticketing Software

After looking into the available support from your city, the very next step for a successful food festival is choosing a ticketing technology that supports "everything included" packages and doesn't dilute your profits by charging you ticket fees.

ThunderTix's food festival ticketing software has all the robust tools needed for creating tiered ticket packages and, of course, we do not charge you per-ticket fees.

Plus, we offer sophisticated barcode ticket printing and scanning in our food festival plan. We save you time with barcodes on the thermal paper tickets you print in your box office . ThunderTix is an industry leader in thermal ticket printing and we support the popular models you may already be using. We also offer the cost savings of Print-at-Home tickets that attendees print themselves using their printer ink and paper, not yours.

Want to see how our food festival ticketing software can help make your festival more profitable? Be sure to take a look at our other features and sign up for a free trial today!