Planning your own Honey Bee Festival requires advance planning, many helping hands, and a lot of coordination. Although there is much to do to host a Festival, the day is incredibly rewarding. All that hard work just melts when you see the children. If you’re interested in hosting a Honey Bee Festival in your area but don’t know where to start, this page is for you!
Where to Start?
At RPBBA, planning begins 6 to 7 months in advance. We have a Honey Bee Festival Chair and divide the Festival planning into several committee’s. The Honey Bee Festival Chair hosts Planning Committee meetings, keeps notes of committee progress, and oversees the Festival. We have the below committee’s
- Guest Experience
- Children’s Activities
Each committee has 1-2 people that volunteer to lead the charge for their committee. Below are some of the items our Festival includes for each committee. Feel free to use our resources and ideas in creating your own Festival!
- Develop A Festival Theme
- Guest Welcome Area
- Festival Program – include the next club meeting date on the Festival program
- Guest Exit, thank you & feedback – see A Word About Festival Feedback below
- Club Table – sign up new members, encourage new and prospective members to come to the next club meeting, and share details of the agenda.
- Photo Booth
- Seedling Giveaway
- Festival Flyer
- Coordinate Media Engagements
- Press Release
- Festival Pictures
- Team up with the admin for club website & social media
- Vendor & Food Truck Signup – Note: For vendors, we look for local small businesses that share a similar pollinator related mission to ours. We have found that our guests really enjoy seeing these types of artisans. We do allow our club members to signup as vendors and sell honey from their own apiary. Honey sales are a hit at the Honey Bee Festival and always sell out.
- Key Messages for Everyone Is A Beekeeper
- Ask a Beekeeper Table
- Woodenware Display
- Buzz Talks
- Observation Hive
- Honey Extraction Demonstration – sample signup & rules
- Honey Tasting
- Drone Petting Zoo Signup
- Advocacy Partners – invite other local groups such as the Master Gardeners
- Face Painting
- Craft Table
- Beeswax Candles
- Coloring Table
- Planting Station
- Seed Bombs
- Dates, Permits, Insurance
- Festival Layout
- Setup & Takedown
- Tables & Tents – Loaner Signup
- First Aid
- Bake Sale Flyer & Signup
- Live Music
A Word About Festival Feedback
The day of your festival is going to be a great day. However the on-going success of your festival from year-to-year depends greatly on gathering and listening to feedback. At RPBBA our Guest Experience committee does a few things to help us learn and grow with the support of of club leadership.
- During the festival, Guest Experience counts the number of attendee’s. If you have the bandwidth, go the extra mile and take note of when the attendee’s arrive in block increments. These type of statistics can help you plan to have the right volume of volunteers and space planning for next year.
- Ask guests for their feedback. Our Guest Experience posts a couple volunteers at the Festival exit asking folks for their thoughts. What did they like? What did they not like? Overall opinion- positive or negative?
- After the festival, ensure your next club meeting is aimed at new & potential beekeepers. Our RPBBA club table gets a good amount of interest from folks interested to learn more about beekeeping. Many choose to come to our next club meeting where we strive to have a compelling agenda
🐝 include topics that will feature existing members (ie – doing a Festival wrap-up; share Festival stats on attendance & feedback)
🐝 include topics that will draw existing club members as well as someone new to beekeeping without being over the head of a new beekeeper (ie – native plants to attract pollinators)
🐝 serve simple refreshments beforehand to allow new/existing members time to interact
- Other ways to gather Festival feedback:
🐝 Create a hashtag to use on social media. This gives the public a way to share their experience and photos!
🐝 Adjust the club website. Replace your Festival landing page with a page thanking all involved for a wonderful day. Include a comment form for feedback. Even a simple thumbs up, thumbs down will get a response from folks without much time.
- Host one final Planning Committee wrap up meeting. This is a time for the festival leadership to come together and take notes. While the Festival is fresh on everyone’s mind, make a list of what went well and what did not go well. Save these lists for next years planning.