Festival Tips For All

If you are a brewery at a festival or if your brewery is being represented at a festival or event that equates to community outreach, customer development and marketing, bear these things in mind:

  1. Make sure you have clear concise signage above the heads and shoulders of the crowds. Anything below 6 feet high is worthless; no eyes can see it from across the room and above the other folks eager to get a taste.
  2. Make sure any signage or banners are clear, simple and easy to read. Use basic logos, lettering and only the key elements: name, location, online address. Keep it clean and simple.
  3. Make sure those pouring your beer know how to do it, even in a state controlled by the state alcohol body. Proper pouring methods and amounts are really important to goers and to making sure your beer stretches as far as it should. It’s your currency, yes? Make it work for everyone.
  4. Make sure there are dump buckets and clean rinse & drinking water at all times at your tables. Best opportunity for the flavors of your beer require rinsing glasses between tastes and hydration for guests.

Know how to 'do' a festival from your vantage point

For Festival Organizers:

  1. Make sure there is sufficient lighting for the attendees, volunteers, brewers, distributors – everyone – to see where they are going, what they are doing and what they are getting. If inside, dimming lights may ‘set the mood’ but it’s difficult on the vendors and pourers as well as the guests. If outside, ensure lighting for proper viewing and safety.
  2. No plastic one-use cups. By the time a few years have gone by using ‘disposable’, you can afford to have bought commemorative durable glassware or rented glassware to use (cleaning and rental fees included) which never truly go away – they just go somewhere else. The care you display for our planet will encourage more attendees and more revenue. It’s irresponsible to use anything less. You have a budget for a reason; use it wisely. We don’t take care of the planet and festivals will be a moot point.
  3. Make sure all booths and vendors have clear and free access to their space. Vendors help make festivals possible and to have one vendor hog or greatly spill into the space that another vendor bought is careless and may not discourage them from returning. Finding new vendors that fit are harder to get than keeping the ones that already fit and support the event.
  4. Make sure the level of any music included does not exceed normal conversation volume. Music that drowns out the regular range of conversation makes it difficult for pourers and vendors to converse and sell their goods. Music too loud = sales killer which is bad for the vendors and guests. You’re not at a concert, keep it reasonable.

For Recreational Consumers:

  1. Wear sensible footwear. Flip flops, spiky heels, and shoes that can slide off your feet are silly and unnecessary. Plus you’re drinking alcohol; be kind to your feet and select appropriate shoes to enjoy the festival in.
  2. Say thank you to the pourers, whether they are the brewers/breweries themselves or volunteers. It’s sometimes a thankless job to pass out hundreds of pours to people. You’re at a brew fest – don’t punish the messenger (pourer) if you don’t happen to care for the beer; it’s a taste – not a commitment.
  3. Support your local festival. Many to most of the beer oriented festivals out there have a small to large component of volunteerism and donation. Organizers, breweries, pourers, and security – they are all working hard to provide a safe and fun environment. Festivals are very reasonable financial investments, should be fun and support many aspects of our communities in different ways.

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Response and Clarification

I love lively conversation and there’s room for all of it. It’s one thing I love about WEB and the reactions and talk it generates. Conversation makes the wheels of progress move, whichever way they will…In that vein…

Instead of a lengthy and sometimes edited response, I wanted to offer up some clarity to this post on my own blog.

Refresher: Women Enjoying Beer is about just that – enjoying. It’s also about learning, education, the experience, the why, the voice of the every woman represented and so much more. Focus groups, events, knowledge sharing, on site research. It’s about opportunity and enlightenment. It just happens to encompass 50.9% of the population segmented by gender.

Cicerone = another great education format

What WEB is not about: Drinking. Please get your facts straight when you publish material. Per the cited post, Jennifer and I have never spoken, and had one email exchange which occurred June of 2009. Since then I have not heard anything from her or had her contact me requesting accurate information. Here’s her mistake: “And while Women Drinking Beer’s Ginger Johnson is…”

Part of the post: “A couple of months ago, female-facing beer marketing consultant and Women Enjoying Beer blog author Ginger Johnson took our group to task for the use of the word “Girl” in our name. “Women are not ‘Girls,’” she admonished in a post on “dos” and “don’ts” of marketing to women. But while this pretty traditional feminist line surely resonates for some ladies, for people in my group, it’s just way too serious and PC of a consideration.”

People that take time and take more than a superficial look find that the info that WEB shares and offers is based on hundreds of women speaking up across America when given the opportunity. Women aged 21 to over 80 years old, of all kinds of demographic and psychographic slices of the American pie. It’s not about me, personally. It’s the voice of the women.

Also know – I did indeed comment to the GPO post and got a welcome response from Magen Peters specifically, inviting her to talk about it and providing my phone number so she could call me. I neither got an email reply nor a phone call. Your court. We can only swing at the ball when it’s returned.

From that email from Magen: “I don’t think our name has stopped women from coming to our events or learning about craft beer.” Hmmm….I’m confused. Why use ‘women’ here and ‘girls’ there? Which way do you want it?

And I’d still ask – is using an even slightly questionable label for a group that (a large majority) doesn’t want worth it? There are lots of ways to be creative, appropriate and clever without any ‘backlash’. Is the group about women or about you personally?

“Admonished” – fine. Use whatever word you want even though it’s inaccurate – it’s your right to freedom of speech. I simply brought up the fact that 100’s of women have universally and unanimously told WEB that a girl is under 12. If you don’t want to hear part of the conversation, don’t eavesdrop or ask what they’re talking about. P.S. – most women don’t like being called “ladies” either – but you obviously don’t want to hear it.

Feminist – as defined by Dictionary.com =


/ˈfɛməˌnɪzəm/  Show Spelled[fem-uh-niz-uhm]  Show IPA –noun

1. the doctrine advocating social, political, and all other rights of women equal to those of men.
Last time I checked then, feminism is a good word. Labels based in uneducated stereotypes or inflammatory definition are never useful. Leave labels for packages.
Next, look at market segments as just that – segments. Women, men, red heads, dog lovers, Jeep drivers. Step out of the gender and into the segmentation – a reality of marketing.

WEB is about bringing beer to life

And next – this snippet: “Johnson asserts that her own focus groups have shown the word to trend badly. But I have evidence to the contrary: The term resonates, especially in the foodservice industry. The Melting Pot, for example, ran a smashingly successful “Girls Night Out” promo in 2009, a time when most casual-priced restaurants like it were suffering. It resulted in a sales uptick that gave the brand a little reprieve from dropping numbers.”

Great and so be it. Good for the Melting Pot. It may resonate, but so does an out of tune violin. Was it a sustainable uptick or a one time deal? Did the “girls” come back? Was it a 1% uptick or a 25% uptick? Did they do a “Boys Night Out” too? Do you work for melting Pot – is that how you know this and what is the specific number to this evidence please? Do you carefully chart and track this information or is it casually handed off by a source? I’m not saying it’s incredible, I’m saying back it up. Tell the women of the world this is what they should expect and be happy with it – to be called an underaged girl and to be happy with it.
Is the supposed food industry support of the implied uneducated sexism the reason why so many restaurants and bars have the women wear low cut shirts, push up bras and the men are allowed to have pants that hang to the knees and shirts all buttoned to the top of their throat? (Why is there a Hooters but no ‘Dick’s’ or ‘Woody’s with himbo’s? Is that the equality you want?) Is that success? Just because of one successful event, does that make the whole picture painted with the same brush? Why don’t you ask the women.
You can call yourself a girl all you want. What women tell Women Enjoying Beer is that they don’t want that kind of label given to them by others. There is a clear difference. It matters not what you think of your title; what matters to the greater whole of global society is the impression the chosen titles and labels (!) are perceived by everyone else. Get out of yourself and your own thinking to that of the population of which you speak – in this case, women.
Up next, this snippet: “But I can bet Johnson would have some choice criticism.” How much do you in fact want to bet? This smells like rotten bait. Don’t assume you know what I or the hundreds of women who answer the call to speak up think. That’s arrogant. And arrogance is never attractive. If you’d ask me, I’d tell you. WEB is not about my personal feelings (again I’ll repeat

Turn your own ideas around and listen to others

this), it’s about 100’s of women being invited to converse and sharing what they think.

And by the way, I know Cathy in Houston and talked with her recently about the success she is pushing for all beer enthusiasts (which is also a core of WEB).
Appropriate humor in good taste is genderless, clever is good. Sexism in any form for any gender is never appropriate in civilized society.
And lastly, I’d point you towards the well respected and highly knowledgeable marketing to women expert, Marti Barletta. We had a wonderful illuminating (for both of us) lunch just over a month ago. Get her book, read it, then get out of your selfish self and listen to what thousands of women have offered. Here’s a link to her book, Marketing To Women: How to Increase Your Share of the World’s Largest Market.
So, thanks Jennifer. I enjoyed the post and wish you all the best. Keep enjoying (not necessarily drinking) beer.

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