There’s nowhere quite like a county fair. In small towns across America, they’re usually the highlight of the summer. But county fairs aren’t just for rural farmers — and they’ve got a lot more to offer than petting zoos and pie eating contests.
County fairs and state fairs are also crucial opportunities with which to extend your brand reach and connect with a diverse range of would-be customers.
Some business owners are understandably wary of getting involved in the fair circuit. After all, accounting apps might not feel like an easy sell when you’re competing with a glitzy Ferris wheel for attention. But the truth is, there’s a spot at the fair for businesses of all shapes and sizes — you’ve just got to play to your strengths.
To help get you started, we’ve rounded up a few top tips that will enable you to make the most of your annual fair.
County and State Fair Promotion Plan
1. Become a Web Sponsor
One of the most common and cost-effective sponsorship opportunities will be to enlist as a web sponsor. This will typically earn you a logo or brand mention on the fair’s website, which will enhance your SEO and hopefully increase your own site’s traffic.
2. Get Your Name in Print
They say ‘print is dead’. Yet the fair is one of few places on the planet in which a print advertisement may still generate a bit of business. Event programs are widely circulated and read at these sort of events, and so an affordable advertisement is usually a pretty safe bet.
3. Get Creative with Ad Space
Bigger county fairs are always on the hunt for financial aid — and so just about everything is up for sponsorship. Parking barrels, tractors, picnic tables and horse rings all provide great banner space at affordable prices.
4. Distribute Materials
Every successful business needs a good, old-fashioned street team. The county fair is a perfect opportunity to put that team to the test. If you’ve got promotional materials or fliers, get down to the fairgrounds and make sure they’re getting in the right hands. But don’t just people fliers in silence. Engage with people, work the crowd and give sparingly.
5. Sponsor an Event
We all love fairs for the cotton candy and petting zoos. But at the end of each day when the sun goes down, everything revolves around one big show. Some nights it’s a Cornhole tournament, other nights it’s a demolition derby or a big concert. Either way, each and every event is a brilliant opportunity to get your company name up in lights. Bearing that in mind, you should definitely contact your local fair organizers and ask about event sponsorship opportunities.
6. Become an Event
If money is no object, go all out and turn your company name into an event in and of itself. Plenty of fairs offer event sponsorship deals that will ensure your brand name is tagged onto a big event. You’ll appear on tickets, programs, websites and social media. Although these sort of sponsorship deals may seem quite dear, they’re actually pretty cost effective.
7. Donate an Auction Item
Getting a bid of publicity at your local fair isn’t all about bright lights and tomfoolery. If your budget is fairly non-existent, you can even earn yourself a bit of brand recognition by simply donating free goods or services to the fair’s silent auction. In fact, that’s the easiest way to win customers over one at a time.
8. Set Up a Table or Booth
If your business does have goods or services that can be aptly demonstrated, sold or advertised at a booth, then you should get on board. Food businesses, this is a great time to reach a huge audience. You don’t have to offer your whole kit and caboodle, though. Maybe a food stand that offered a limited range of your offerings. It’s a great way to get your name and great products out to the masses.
Contact organizers about booking a table or booth for peak days across the week, get a few staff members together and show revelers what your business has to offer.