Thanks for letting me write this stuff. I I certainly could be wrong, but there seems to be nothing to do.
In Ecclesiastes 1:9, King Solomon writes that “There is nothing new under the sun.” It is a cry for novelty, and purpose, from a man who, throughout the book, indulged in every excess in his search to quench the unquenchable desire for novelty, meaning, and satisfaction.
Is this why it seems like people keep demanding more no matter what we, as attraction operators, do?
I was with my family over the holiday weekend. We were with people we like, in a fun place near my in-laws. We played games, watched a movie, went to a Penn State Women’s volleyball game, had Thanksgiving dinner, and then…well, the kids were on their phones, the adults were on their phones, a few naps, a walk through campus, and the neighborhood, and some Black Friday shopping.
It was lovely, but I realized that, after doing all those other things, there really wasn’t much to do. Seriously, go with me here – Name the things there are to do!
- Sporting event
- Movie? (riiight, mainly at home)
- Stream at home
- Card games & board games
- Play Xbox
- Fire ring campfire
- Going for walks
…but be honest – You’ve already done these things, these ‘middle activities/attractions‘ a hundred times!
This is why I LOVE agritourism’s positioning RIGHT NOW for creating new and creative events for a desperately hungry public. If your event offers even a whiff of newness, a hint of difference, a pinch of the unique – it has a chance.
It is the death of novelty driving this trend. Instagram, in particular, creates new ‘content creators’ every day whose sole purpose is to gather likes, followers, and video views. A primary method? Travel.
Statista.com lists 47% of Instagram accounts have 5,000-49,000 followers, with 5,000 followers being the minimum to count as a ‘micro-influencer.’ – That’s approximately 470 MILLION accounts working hard each day to get the ‘scoop,’ the ‘edge,’ to be the first to post something. That means that new stuff, events, activities, craft ideas – They spread rapidly, but then the novelty dies off quickly.
Sunflowers are a recent example. In 2017, we had a single Sunflower Festival post reach over 2 million people – because it was NEW. Since then, we have grown our sunflower festival while purposefully creating a network of operators in our Sunflower Mastermind program to develop their events faster by working together.
Think about that. Every lesson we learned and passed on now multiplies. Lessons, products, operational strategies, pricing (did you know I was big on pricing?), and agronomy practices now multiply quicker in a blistering rush of adoption, and it worked to grow revenue at a LOT of operations.
I realized at a PA Turnpike Rest Stop when I saw a decorative sign that said,
“I’m ready for Hayrides, Sunflowers, Apples & Pumpkins.”
This Mastermind concept of sharing and accountability, fast learning and hard marketing has pushed Sunflower Festivals into the zeitgeist of seasonal entertainment.
Sunflowers are now a ‘thing.’
In the process, however, we’ve become our own worst enemy. Just as guests are making events blow up, then become passe quicker, we create new events, new ideas, significant innovations to keep feeding the public’s novelty-hungry beast.
It’s a tension to manage, not a problem to solve. Make new events. Feed the public. Wring the value out of it. Charge heavily for the value you create because you’ve got to do something new next season, too.
Novelty’s death is timely because few other events can match the versatility of agritourism. One can’t do a ‘big thing’ such as going to a concert or college sporting event or big family vacation every weekend.
With the list of ‘middle attractions/activities’ above a list of ‘been there, done that’, the field is wide open for us.
So what’s next?
Drive-thru lights? Tulips? Super Mega Slide? Lavender? Wine in the maze? Baby Animal Day? Paintball shooting galleries? Apple Cannons? Drunk Easter Egg Hunts? Weddings & proms? Outdoor Laser Tag? Candy drops from a chopper? Christmas Light Trains? Flocking the Easter Trees? Breakfast with a Leprechaun? My Bloody Valentine?
The answer is – yes! The trick is that you have to pick what works for you, NOT what worked for someone else. Maybe you have some ideas on your board that have been done, but haven’t been done by you. That still counts as novelty for your existing audience.
Think about it: We [in agritourism] have parking, fields of space, concession booths, admissions, online ticketing, building skills, growing skills, and so much more.
I don’t think anyone is better prepared to create new, magical experiences than agritourism.
Do you have any novel ideas?
They just might work as an overstimulated public desperate to be famous looks at an underwhelming list of “Been there, done that, already posted it.”
Have a great week,
PS Thinking about Super Mega Slide for your operation? December 1st is the deadline for April delivery, December 31st is the deadline for May delivery, and, of course, saving on your taxes. , then order online or call.