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Planning Your Oktoberfest Celebration
Oktoberfest may have started in Munich, Germany more than 200 years ago, but that’s no reason that these celebrations aren’t just as much fun today, in the United States.
That is, of course, unless an Oktoberfest festival isn’t well-planned. In the article "Why? An Introduction to Festival Planning," Hope Tschophik Schneider notes, “Festivals are not necessarily ‘good’ things, nor are they always very good parties or great communal celebrations. Indeed, most festivals are awful.”
How can you prevent these problems? Our best tip: beginning planning early. Starting your planning in June (or even earlier) may seem premature, but it’s not. In fact, it’s a smart idea to start planning as soon as possible, so your event doesn’t go down in the annals as an “awful” festival.
Here, we’ve provided a checklist that will help you make sure beer and fun - not the opposite - center your Oktoberfest celebration. Besides, you don’t want to be scrambling come September, so you’ll have plenty of time to celebrate with your loyal customers.
Prepare for the unexpected.
Even if the forecast has been projecting sunny skies for months, you still need a contingency plan for your festival. If you plan to host the event outside, decide if you'll move the festival indoors if there's rain, or if you'll need to book tents in case of bad weather. If the day is supposed to be unseasonably hot, too, you'll likely want to consider how you'll accommodate a large crowd that wants to stay mostly indoors.
Consider your liability.
There are significant insurance considerations that cover a festival event. These include Damage to Rented Property insurance, medical expenses insurance, and excess liability coverage. Remember, because a festival brings so many more guests than your normal operations, your insurance considerations – and the possible liabilities – will be more considerable.
Think about your beer logistics.
There are lots of ways you could consider handling your revelers’ beer consumption. You could have them buy a certain number of tickets, or you could limit their pours. Of course, you need to consider the ounce size of your samples, too. Once you have these ideas in place, then you’ll be better equipped to have the right amount of beer on hand and plan the delivery schedule of your chosen brews if need be.
Order your supplies.
Oktoberfest is a jolly festival that can really boost your customer loyalty. So, don’t let them forget who is putting on the festival. Boelter offers tankards and boots that will let your guests prost! in style. Offered in both glass and plastic, our German Isar Tankards come in one-liter, half-liter, and .3-liter sizes, while our Diamond Tankards are available in liter and half-liter sizes. Our boot drinks – yes, they look like actual boots in true German style – come in liter and half-liter glass sizes and a liter plastic size.
The important thing is making your event feel authentic with this drinkware. What’s more, Boelter helps your guests remember who threw them this great party – you, of course! – with branded drinkware, along with pennants, wristbands, and other memorabilia you might need.
Schedule your staff.
A large-scale festival like this one requires a lot more planning than a normal night at your tap room. With that in mind, you want to schedule your staff early. Do you need to hire temporary workers? Or can you make do with all your permanent staff members? Do you need to staff more bartenders than usual?
Hire vendors and musicians.
To make a festival memorable, you’re going need more than just beer. Instead, Oktoberfest-goers are usually looking for German food, music, and even arts and crafts vendors. If you’re looking to expand the scope of your festival, you likely want to start tracking down your vendors as soon as possible.
Create your advertising and your marketing schedule.
You could hold the best festival ever, but if you don’t have attendees, then all your careful planning will have been for nothing. Create a marketing schedule so that you can start spreading the word about your event. Send out your materials early so that your potential guests won’t make other plans.
Oktoberfest is an iconic, worldwide celebration of fall, food, and of course, beer. But a word to the wise is this: planning ahead - really ahead - ensures that your festival goes on without a hitch – both for you and for your guests.
Brewing, Distilling, Vinification—We Serve Your Craft! At Boelter Beverage, we know that what you do encompasses so much more than a beverage. Every day you pour your heart into creating the beer, spirit, wine everyone loves, and every day you’re building a personality, a philosophy, and a culture. As the craft brewing, distilling, and wine industries have grown, we have focused our attention and expertise on mastering what it means to serve your craft. Since 1970, we have been invested in your product, your mission, and your story. We are here to help you sell it and tell it.