I recently stumbled on a flyer for a hair festival to be held in my neck of the woods on social media with what I considered to be a steep cover charge. I have no problem paying a reasonable amount of money as a cover charge to attend a hair festival but no way will I be willing to pay a ridiculous amount of money to attend one especially when they are not going to be telling me anything I do not already know or that I can find for free on the internet. So I decided to call the number on the flyer to get more information on what I would gain from attending the festival. The lovely lady on the other end told me I would get refreshments and I forgot to ask what kind of refreshments, I will attend workshops and be a participant in the discussions taking place; would get a chance to talk to stylists present and learn more about hair. So for me that translated to other than refreshments I would be paying for information that I would readily get for free on the internet.
Essentially there is nothing wrong with organizers having a cover charge; I guess they have to pay for the venue and stuff. But this one was a little bit on the higher side for what I was told I would get and the information I got from their flyer. Scrolling down their facebook page I discovered that the event, which had been advertised for quite some time had actually been pushed forward by one week and the original cover charge lowered significantly. The original cover charge was even higher and they had an early bird special for those who pre-booked their attendance which was still high. Those who decided not to pre-book but attend on the day would pay double what the early birds paid! I am no expert but this told me that maybe the venue had been double booked hence the change of date but how then would you explain the significantly lowered cover charge? That to me looked like very little or no bookings had come in hence the decision to lower the charges I may be wrong but that is the only reason I could come up with. This festival even had information for vendors who wanted to sell their products so my understanding is that vendors will already be paying for space which can help you cover your costs so why are you charging attendees that much…at least the vendors will be getting value for their money through product sales and advertising their businesses at the event not to mentioning networking.
Dear hair festival organizers if you are going to charge would be attendees ridiculous amounts of money for your event please make sure that;
· Your event is going to be one of a kind with some new and refreshing information that cannot be found anywhere else or a world/national renowned stylist in attendance that everyone and their mama is dying to meet
· You provide adequate refreshments and finger food or snacks
· You provide free product samples and/or a goodie bag to take home
· You have stylists on hand to provide free hair makeovers, whether it is a trim, cut or styling. In other words make it worth our while.
Explore the option of partnering with brands to provide the free product samples and stylists for hair makeovers etc this is free advertising for them and any brand that values advertising will most likely want to work with you. And get a cheaper venue while at it because this particular event was being held in a slightly upscale hotel which may explain the steep cover charge. I actually did a mini survey on some friends and told them about the festival and most were happy to attend until I told them how much it would cost and the overwhelming feedback was why should they pay that much to go and get information they can get for free on the internet. Over to you hair festival organizers - well those that have steep cover charges anyway.