If your venue offers something unique and exciting, there are many people that will come just for the adventure. Trying to find their way out of a cornfield maze at night, riding a horse, shooting pumpkins from a cannon, zombie paintball, or even something as simple as picking their own fruit or petting a cow. All of these can represent adventure for different ages and life experience. What can you do in your venue to kick the adventure meter up to the next level?
What do you want to do this weekend? A common question asked by all those looking to do something fun with those we care about. In my experience, it is extremely rare to have someone show up to a venue alone. That is because an Agritourism venue is the perfect place to experience life with those they care about. Be sure you are doing everything in your power to make those memories even more special.
Friendly staff to make them feel wanted and welcome. Plenty of places around your venue for “photo ops” so they can remember the day and your venue for years to come (and maybe even share on social media). Plenty of seating for them to hang out and eat your wonderful concessions. Fun activities that take them a little out of their comfort zone together.
Can you identify one area in your venue where you are doing this well? How about an area that can use improving?
3. Getting Outdoors
In our current society, it is becoming so easy to always have our head down looking at some device whether for work or pleasure. Kids are doing less and less outside and getting less and less exercise and exposure to real life as a result. Parents and teens are looking for that active alternative to a movie. What we offer with Agritourism is a fun healthy way to spend a day outside, being active and engaged with those we are spending time with. Since most Agritourism venues at a minimum have some outdoor elements we can check this off our list but this is still a good thing to keep in mind when adding new activities. No need to shy away from those that require physical exertion. One of my favorite ways to include excercise with fun would be something like a corn maze or the pedal powered cool water mister.
4: Special Occasions
Agritourism venues can be a perfect place for groups to get together to celebrate a birthday, have a bar mitzvah, or even get married. There is nothing like a wedding in the orchard or in an old barn! If your venue lends itself to hosting any special occasion parties and you have not spent any time or marketing to make that happen, you are missing out! If you don’t feel like you have the facilities to even host birthday parties, buy a couple small party tents or even just designate some party areas around your venue.
What steps do you need to take to increase your party traffic? Look for local websites or publications that have the clients you want to target. Looking to increase birthday party traffic? Look for parenting groups or local parenting websites. Social media is also a great way to get the word out to a specific demographic of people through Facebook Ads and other methods.
5: Special Events
Think outside the box and host your own special events. Battle of the Bands or other concerts are a great draw. Military Day with a discount to service members but also some cool activities to go with it such as honoring local war heroes or having your local military recruiters get involved with some displays for the kids. If you have plenty of space & parking maybe an antique car show or a flea market. You get the idea. Think outside the box and look for ways to use special events to expand your draw. What is one special event that you can add this season?
6: Group Outings
There have been years where revenue from our group bookings made up over 20% of our income. Think of all the groups that you can market to that are looking for venues such as yours. Youth groups, scout groups, 4-H groups, corporate outings, college groups, special needs groups, community fundraisers, and many more!
You don’t need any special facilities to book these groups but if you do have the room, rent them a large campfire area. It takes very little effort to setup and maintain campfire areas that can hold groups from 20 to 200. Our campfire areas were a big draw for our groups that wanted to combine their fun outing with a meeting or group interaction time of some sort in their own private area.
Have you overlooked marketing to any of these groups?
7: For Education
Field Trips can be a great way to serve your community by offering top notch, relevant, and fun material for your area schools while keeping your weekday traffic maxed out. WARNING: To be successful, you need to be good at herding cats! Seriously though, to do this right, you need to be systemized and intentional to get your kids through in a scheduled and controlled manner without sacrificing their fun or your sanity!
We will do an entire book on field trips in the near future but if you haven’t looked at opening your venue up to your area schools you should really take a close look at that. Also, your other guests will really enjoy your educational info boards as they will also be wowed by some of the things they never knew about what you do at your venue.
Step 8: Value of What You Offer
Most of the Agritourism venues I have encountered do a great job with this. As a matter of fact, we as average Agritourism venues tend to under value what we have to offer. With that said, be upfront with your pricing. Make it obvious on your information boards, on your website, in your brochures and be careful not to “nickel and dime” for things once you have them captive.
There are not many places a family can spend ½ a day for as little as you can spend at a typical Agritourism venue but always make sure they walk away feeling they got their money’s worth. Always under promise and over deliver.
Strive for excellence in everything you do and in every new attraction you add. Look around your venue and see what things need a fresh coat of paint or a new façade to match your venue, or signage that needs repair, or general clutter that has gathered.
Take a look around at all the entertainment offerings your community has within a 60 mile radius. What makes you unique? What can you do to stand out even more? Which one of these 8 areas do you need to improve on the most? Pick one or two of these and take action! Take your venue to the next level!