5 Pointers for Setting Up a Successful Festival Stall


The pandemic put a stop to live music and large crowds for the last couple of years. But fear not, festivals are making a big return in 2022. 
And it’s good news for festival goers and traders alike. Barclaycard estimated that Brits spent a total of £1.2bn at pop-up festival stalls in summer 2019. Their research also revealed that 80% of businesses saw festivals as a great way to trial new products and ideas, with half saying they had rolled out a product commercially after first taking it to a festival audience. 
It’s not hard to see why festivals are such fertile ground for traders. People there are relaxed, having a great time and open to new tastes and experiences. They’re also ready and waiting to document their new discoveries on social media. 
If you have your own food or retail business and you’re thinking of hitting the festival circuit this year, read on for our 5 tips for successful festival trading. 

1. Choose your festival wisely

Not quite ready to take your business to the Glastonbury crowds? With new festivals popping up every year, there’s plenty of events to choose from, on every kind of scale and aimed at an ever-widening demographic. A great place to start researching is the Association of Independent Festivals, which lists over 50 festivals all over the UK.
As well as the size of the festival, think about the visitors it’s likely to appeal to. Students and young professionals? Families with young children? Well-to-do foodies? More mature music lovers? Think about the core groups who’ll be there – doing some background research or speaking to other traders if you can – and whether your product is a good fit. Or, to look at it another way, ask yourself who is buying your products and which festivals they’ll be buying tickets to this summer. 

2. Pick the right festival gazebo

A gazebo is a festival trade stall essential. Our first tip here is to choose a tent that’s quick and simple to put up, as you’ll want to get trading quickly and probably won’t have a big team to help you set up. Secondly, you want something durable enough to protect you from the inclement British weather – that could mean driving rain, strong winds or blazing sunshine – and still look good for years to come. 
We’ve been supplying pop up market stalls to festival traders and street food vendors for over ten years now, so you could say we’re veterans of the festival scene. We recommend different types of tent depending where and how often they’ll be used, but our best sellers all have a few key features in common.
All our market stall gazebos have a pop-up design, meaning they’re super quick to set up and pack down for easy transportation and storage. All canopies and side walls are fully water resistant, with UV protection and flame-retardant material, plus reinforced stress points to withstand many seasons of wear and tear. 
Tents in our Aluminium Extreme 50 Series are built to last – they’re one of the strongest pop up market stalls available in the UK and used by professional market traders who are out working every day of the week.
The Aluminium Extreme 40 Series is our mid-range model. They’re strong and reliable but still lightweight and easy to handle.  
And our steel trade-stand gazebos are great if you’re on a budget, or just looking for a good-quality but affordable option to use now and then. 

3. Stand out with unique branding

Now you’ve got the gazebo, you need to make it your own. The competition’s fierce out there, and attractive branding will help your stall look professional and stand out from the competition. 
There are a few ways you can dress up your stall to reflect your brand. First there’s vinyl heat press branding, where your artwork is printed onto and cut from coloured vinyl, which is then applied onto the fabric of a stock colour gazebo using a heat press. It’s one of the most cost-effective printing methods there is, but it does mean the size of the printed graphics is limited.  
Then there’s dye sublimation print, which allows for every part of your gazebo, inside and out, to be printed with the design or colour of your choice. The artwork is embedded onto the fabric of the gazebo before it’s sewn together, meaning you can take your blank canvas and make the most of every square inch. 
Already have a gazebo, or borrowing one for an event? You could try a printed banner, flag or table covering – all temporary solutions that could have a big impact in the festival field. We think a tall flag would double up as an excellent meeting point for friends. 

4. Add a few home comforts

Once you’ve attracted people to your stall, you’ll want to give them plenty of reasons to stick around. We’re talking about those extra details that make your festival food stall a cosy place to hang out, like lighting and heating, plus tables and chairs if you have the space to offer a seating area. Think about how you want people to use the space, and what home comforts you can offer them when they’re tired, cold and hungry. 

5. Create a social-media friendly atmosphere

Finally, a festival isn’t just a place to trade – it’s also a marketing opportunity. See it as your chance to get your business in front of thousands of potential new customers, as well as connect with an even bigger audience online.
Social media and festivals go hand in hand. Organisers and acts alike use platforms like Instagram, Facebook and TikTok to promote upcoming festival appearances, and so can you. You could even offer incentives for people to visit you, like discount codes. At the event, you could tap into people’s willingness to share their festival experience by serving them Instagram-worthy food or drinks or providing a fun backdrop for selfies. And of course, make sure you display your social media handles for all to see. 
So there we have it – 5 ways to make the most of your festival pitch this summer. Whether you’re a food or drink business or a retailer, we hope we’ve given you some ideas and inspiration for making this festival season a success. Happy trading!

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