Faversham Hop Festival verdict

So… The Hop Festival is over for another year.

Prior to this year’s festival there was some controversy regarding the funding for the festival with shops and businesses being asked to donate £100 to aid paying for the weekend. It was suggested that the Festival brings a lot of trade to the town and £100 was “nothing” (not a term used officially by the organisers we might add) for a business to spend.

So… Without divulging any financial information here is what the Hop Festival did for us at The Hobby Shop…

Compared to the previous Saturday (which was a “good” day), on Hop Festival Saturday we had twice as many customers, but took 10% less money. The stall that we were allowed to have outside took 10% of that money from 25% of the customers.

On the Sunday we opened from 10 until 4 which, compared to a “normal” day, is 80% of the usual opening hours. But we took only 25% of a normal days takings.

As an alleged 45000 people attended this year’s festival, we had approx 1 in 400 of those purchase something.

From our weekend it can be surmised that, yes for the pubs and cafes in town, the Hop Festival brings in a lot of trade. For the general businesses in town however, the Hop Festival doesn’t bring in a substantial amount of extra money.

Knowing our profit levels, £100 is certainly not “nothing” and this year’s event certainly didn’t generate the necessary additional income to cover that expense.

What for the Hop Festival’s future? We guess we’ll see… (Just not from a business standpoint on Sunday!!)

About The Hobby Shop

South East England's leading continental model railway specialist. Established in 1988 we stock leading brands' products for model railways, ready-made road vehicles, plastic and wooden kits, radio control cars and various modelling accessories View all posts by The Hobby Shop

One response to “Faversham Hop Festival verdict

  • JC

    Well said! All to often with these events the majority of visitors come to “look” and take up anything that is free. There were no special trains this year which would have brought in possible “enthusiast” customers to your shop, but after paying out for the trip, I bet many would be less likely to spend more money. Food and drink will always score but with other traders that is not the case. £100 up front is a lot to a small trader and I bet many others sustained the same loss as your shop.

    The Turner Gallery recently had its 1 millionth customer but it is free – how many would have gone there if you had to pay? Say no more!

    I personally would be very reluctant to put money up front next year and would forget about the Sunday opening. As a regular customer of your shop I would have probably avoided visiting that weekend (which I did this year) and called in this week on a “normal” day and spent money.

    What organisers of such events “believe to be true i.e. generates more income” is not always factual end result!


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