Farm Events and Shifting Travel Patterns

It’s easy to see that the last few years have been volatile for agritourism. This really nice article from Modern Farmer spoke to the pandemic spikes (and now declines) in locals looking for farm experiences and raised some good ideas for trying to extend that momentum as travel resumes.

A few good takeaways from the article include:

  • Focusing on a few big events rather than many too many, too lightly attended small events
  • Creating intimate events where guests can have a really personal interaction with the farm
  • Incorporating teaching into your experiences to create memorable experiences
  • Working with other local farms and agritourism destinations to build a mutually-beneficial trail of agricultural destinations

We really loved the range of practical takeaways discussed, and the message that it’s not necessarily about doing more but about doing better with the events and on-site opportunities that you choose to focus on.

Beyond Local

One additional area of opportunity that stands out as travel resumes: expanding your online presence to reach visitors to the area and building a reputation as a travel destination.

Keys to expanding your reach beyond your region include:

  • Professional, branded websites. Put a little extra attention into your farm website, and make sure every event or tour opportunity has it’s own website with consistent branding and clear ticket purchasing options.
    • Use photos on your website(s)! A real photo of people having fun on your farm is always more effective than a professional, but generic photo.
    • De-mystify your location for travelers by including detailed driving directions, distances from major attractions in the area, and parking details. It may seem redundant, but you want to remove any intimidation factor for out-of-towners.
    • Highlight the “local” aspect of your farm by teasing store items that are only available regionally and providing opportunities to see how they are made.
  • Build your email list. Create a regular newsletter of events and happenings and keep in touch with your visitors after they’ve left. They may not return to your area, but chances are someone they know will, and you want to be the first recommendation they make.
    • Consider gathering zip codes during ticket purchases to target local and out-of-town visitors. Locals may want regular updates on what they can do at your farm, while travelers might be more interested in online merchandise sales and your largest events of the year.
  • Feature on local “to-do” lists. Online “best things to do in…” lists are a goldmine for attracting travelers. Keep up with all your local calendars, including:
    • Local media (newspapers, TV stations, radio)
    • Community organizations (churches, neighborhood associations, civic associations)
    • Business promoters (tourism boards, chambers of commerce)
  • Get on social media. Time is limited, but you don’t have to be an influencer to get value out of social media. Simple opportunities to grow from social media include:
    • Create public Facebook events to make your events easier to find
    • Manage accounts on Facebook and Instagram that regularly share pictures from events and highlight unique product offerings
    • Join local Facebook groups to share your events according to group rules
  • Offer online ticket sales. Capitalize on in-the-moment purchasing by making it simple for potential visitors to buy a ticket online (or on their phone). Money spent becomes a commitment and helps ensure that visitors actually make it to your farm.

One of our goals at TicketSignup is to make it cheaper and easier for you to attract visitors and do business so you can focus on the on-site experience. As the name suggests, that means providing online ticket sales, yes, but it also means free websites, free unlimited email, and a suite of tools for marketing your event and managing Event Day. We can offer you free products because our source of revenue (processing fees) is simple and aligned with your business, meaning that helping you succeed is the only way we succeed!

Subscribe to Our Blog