Starting a beer festival can be a lucrative and fun business venture. However, there are a few things you need to know in order to get started.
Here are the 10 steps you can take to get started on building your very own beer festival.
10 Steps to Launching a New Beer Festival
1. Choose Your Type of Beer Festival
The first step in launching a beer festival is to identify the type of beer festival you want to launch. You might choose from the following types among others:
- Small, local beer festivals
- Large, regional beer festivals
- National or international beer festivals
2. Name Your Beer Festival
Give your beer festival an identity so people will think of it as a well-known and respected brand. You can take the name of your beer festival from your industry, focus on a geographical location, or use your own name among other options.
The main goal for naming your beer festival is to make it sound appealing and trustworthy so people will want to attend.
3. Determine Your Beer Festival Business Model
There are several possible types of business models for a beer festival including:
- For-profit: A for-profit beer festival is organized to make money for the organizers.
- Non-profit: A non-profit beer festival is organized to promote a cause, raise money for charity, or both.
- Cooperative: A cooperative beer festival is owned and operated by a group of people who have a common interest.
No matter which model you choose, make sure that it aligns with your business goals and the products you offer.
Read more about choosing the right business model for your beer festival.
4. Choose a Legal Form for Your Business
By incorporating your beer festival, you will limit your liability. You can incorporate as a Limited Liability Company (LLC), a C Corporation (C-Corp), or an S Corporation (S-Corp). Or you can operate as a sole proprietorship.
The business structure you choose for your beer festival will determine the amount of taxes you pay and which state or federal tax forms you need to file.
Read our article comparing the most common beer festival business structures.
5. Write a Beer Festival Business Plan
All beer festival owners should develop a business plan.
A business plan is a document that outlines the goals, strategies, and operations of a business. It can be used to secure funding from investors or lenders, as well as to guide the day-to-day operations of the business. The business plan should include information on the company’s products or services, market analysis, financial projections, and management team among other things.
When developing your beer festival business plan and strategy, you should think about the following questions your customers might have:
- What is the cost of admission?
- How many beers will I be offered?
- Are there any food options?
- What types of beers will be served?
- Who is hosting the event?
- What is the dress code?
- What are the event hours?
- Where is the festival located?
- What are the age restrictions?
- What is the refund policy?
- Is there entertainment?
- What are the festival rules?
Answering these types of questions will help you develop a business plan and strategy that is tailored to your beer festival.
Read our article about how to write a beer festival business plan.
6. Apply for the Necessary Permits and Licenses
There may be required licenses and permits you need to obtain before launching your beer festival.
For example, if you plan to serve alcohol, you will need to apply for a liquor license from the state Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Board. You may also need to obtain a special event permit from your city or county. Special permits are typically required for events that will be held in public places like parks, streets, or sidewalks.
You must also register your beer festival as a legal entity with the state where you plan to do business. You can simply file an online form through your Secretary of State website.
Registering with the federal government is also essential so you can properly pay taxes for your business. You will also need an Employer Identification Number (EIN), which you can apply for at the IRS website, if you plan to hire employees.
Read our article about obtaining the proper beer festival business licenses.
7. Determine Your Budget & Apply for Funding as Needed
In developing your beer festival business plan, you will figure out how much funding you need to start and grow your business.
If you have your own funds to invest in your beer festival, you may consider taking advantage of that. In addition to your personal funds, other forms of potential funding for your beer festival include traditional bank loans, SBA loans, credit cards, angel investors and family and friends.
Read our article about the costs associated with starting a beer festival to help you determine if funding is needed.
8. Get the Technology & Software Needed to Run Your Business Efficiently
When you start your beer festival, it’s essential to have the right technology in place to maximize efficiency. You definitely need a computer with Internet access, and accounting software for tracking expenses and revenues.
You may also want to invest in software specifically designed for beer festivals. For example, software can manage ticketing, vendors, and marketing your event.
9. Market Your Beer Festival to Potential Customers
Before you start selling your products, you have to let the world know you exist. The first step is to create a website so people can learn more about your products and how they benefit them.
After you launch your website, start promoting it through social media channels like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Also consider networking with other people in the beer festival industry through social media and blogs so they can help share your business.
You also need to start gathering the materials needed to execute on your promotions strategy, which is your strategy for attracting new customers. Beer festivals should consider the following promotional strategies for which you should start getting prepared:
- Host a beer festival in a popular tourist destination: This increases attendance from people who are already in the area and looking for something to do.
- Run a contest on social media before the event: Offer free tickets to generate buzz and excitement online.
- Collaborate with local restaurants and bars to promote your beer festival.
- Create a press kit with information about your beer festival to garner media coverage leading up to the event.
- Get involved with local charities and community events: This will generate goodwill and get your name out there.
Read our article about how to market your beer festival for more tips.
10. Get New Customers & Grow Your Business
When you promote your products, you’ll start to get interest from potential customers.
Make sure you’re ready to serve these customers. Also, be sure to establish systems to ensure consistency and reduce costs. And be sure to find and train the right people to help you grow your beer festival.
Read our article about how to effectively grow your beer festival to learn more.
Starting a Beer Festival FAQs
Why Start a Beer Festival?
The beer festival industry is growing rapidly, with the number of festivals increasing every year. This provides a great opportunity for entrepreneurs to start their own businesses. Beer festivals are a fun and exciting way to sample new beers, meet new people and learn about different brewing styles.
What is Needed to Start a Successful Beer Festival?
To start a successful beer festival, you need to have a passion for beer and brewing. You also need to be organized, creative and have a good marketing sense. Additionally, it’s important to have the right technology in place to run your business efficiently. And finally, you need to market your event to potential customers.
How Can I Market a Beer Festival Online?
There are a number of ways to market a beer festival online. Social media is a great way to generate buzz and excitement about your event. You can also collaborate with local restaurants and bars to promote your beer festival. Additionally, you can create a press kit with information about your event to get media coverage. And, finally, you can get involved with local charities and community events.
What are Some Tips for Starting a Beer Festival?
Here are some tips for starting a beer festival:
- Research the market: Make sure you understand the beer festival industry and what it takes to start a successful business.
- Develop a business plan: A specific plan will help map out your goals for your beer festival.
- Choose a catchy name and create a strong brand: This will attract attention and build a loyal customer base.
- Find the right location: This is one of the most important aspects of starting a beer festival. You need to find a location that is accessible and has enough space to accommodate your event.
- Get the necessary permits and licenses: Before you can start promoting your beer festival, you need to make sure you have all the necessary permits and licenses.
- Invest in good-quality equipment: This will ensure that your beer festival runs smoothly and efficiently.
- Promote your event: There are a number of ways to promote a beer festival. You can use social media, collaborate with local businesses, create a press kit, or get involved with local charities and community events.
- Make sure you are prepared on the day of the event: This means having enough staff to help with set-up and clean-up, as well as making sure all your equipment is in working order.
- Follow up with customers and vendors after the event: This will help you get feedback and improve your business for future events.
Where Can I Find a Simple Checklist for Starting a Beer Festival?
A simple checklist to use when starting a beer festival is as follows:
- Choose Your Type of Beer Festival: This should be based on what you are best at and how much experience you have. Remember to keep your interests, skills, and experience in mind at all times.
- Name Your Beer Festival: This should be done with care, as your brand is important for attracting the right customers. A simple, memorable name will go a long way.
- Choose a Legal Form for Your Business: Whether you choose to become a sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, corporation or another option will depend on your business. Ensure that you are aware of all the implications of each type.
- Determine Your Beer Festival Business Model: Determine how your business will make money. Will you sell products, services, or a combination of both?
- Write a Beer Festival Business Plan: Your business plan will also help you determine what your start-up costs will be and will provide a roadmap with which you can launch and grow.
- Apply for the Necessary Permits and Licenses: In most locations you will be required to apply for a business license and/or permits before you can begin operations.
- Determine Your Budget & Apply for Funding as Needed: You will need to know how much money you have to spend on all of your business-related expenses before opening any doors. If needed, apply for a small business loan or other funding options.
- Get the Technology & Software Needed to Run Your Business Efficiently: You need to have the right tools in place to succeed. Implement software that will help you manage your time, contacts, and business operations in general.
- Market Your Beer Festival to Potential Customers: A solid marketing plan will be crucial to your success. It should focus on attracting the right customers so that you can provide them with the products they truly need.
- Get Customers & Grow Your Business: Once you have a solid marketing plan, it's time to actively pursue and secure those who could benefit the most from your products.
Starting a beer festival can be a great way to enter the hospitality industry. To stand out from the crowd, you need to have a strong brand and offer a unique experience. By following these tips, you can start a successful beer festival that will attract customers and grow your business.