Organizing a Farm to Table Meal (Part 2)

In a previous blog Virginia Cooperative Extension’s Megan Dunford, Virginia Farm to Table Coordinator, and Eric Bendfeldt, Community Viability Extension Specialist, provided thoughts for planning a farm to table meal. In Part two, they go into greater detail on tickets, marketing, and print resources for the event.

Things to Consider

Will you sell tickets? In addition to recovering event costs, proceeds from sales could also benefit area agriculture, a local farmers market, or healthy food access programs, like SNAP acceptance or matching value programs at area farmers markets.

  • Is there a maximum number of tickets that can be sold and will they be sold in advance?
    • Consideration should be given to the number of guests the venue can comfortably fit and the number of participating food vendors. By offering pre-sale tickets, you streamline the purchasing process, create positive “buzz” for the event, can monitor registration numbers leading up to the event, and help attendees focus on enjoying their experience once they arrive. Printed tickets could be sold in advance at a local farmers market, grocery store, etc. Online ticket sales can allow for payment flexibility and the chance to reach new audiences who might prefer to sign up for events virtually.
  • Will you sell any tickets “at the door” during the event and do you have event volunteers to help with this?

Will there be a difference in price for tickets purchased in advance versus at the door?

For example, tickets could be $15 in advance and $18 at the door.

How will you market the event?

  • Will you utilize social media advertising?
    • Is it appropriate to create an event through sites like Facebook? Encourage event organizers to share the event with their unique “audiences” (followers).
  • Will you make use of printed advertisements? Where will you display printed materials to advertise your event? In community businesses or meeting spaces? At a local farmers market?
    • How will you print the materials you need?
      • Is there someone that can print the materials you need for a reasonable price, or as an event donation?

Printed materials you might need before the event:

  • Posters or fliers for event promotion and printed tickets

Printed materials you might need during the event:

  • Posters with suggestions of how to connect with local farms or a farmers market, and printed fliers or coupons to encourage patronage after the meal.
  • Posters recognizing farms that provided food items for the meal (slideshow of images could also be used).