This year’s festival will take place on Sunday, November 1, from 10am to 4pm at Coffman Memorial Union on the University of Minnesota Minneapolis campus. Mark your calendar! Tell your friends! Shout it from the rooftops and get your soapboxes out!
As we mentioned previously in our last blog post, Venue Quest 2014, finding a venue for Twin Cities Veg Fest 2015 has been a challenge. The size of the festival has nearly doubled since our debut in 2012, from 1,200 attendees the first year to 2,300 last year. While Coffman isn’t a new venue, we’re going to make it new by adding even more rooms to the festival.
We’ll be moving the speakers to the President’s Room, where we had cooking demos, and moving the cooking demos to the Coffman Theater. All of last year’s cooking demos were standing room only, so by moving the demos to the four hundred seat theater we’ll make sure that everyone has a seat.
All of these moves free up the Mississippi Room on the 3rd floor to hold more exhibitors. Our plan right now is to make this our food court. This will free up space in the main exhibitor hall, let us set up queuing stanchions for the food vendors, and also give us a place to have seating for people while they eat. The additional space in the exhibitor hall will let us space out the most popular exhibitors (the ones offering food samples), and we can also put queuing stanchions in front of those booths. All of this will help reduce crowding and make for a more orderly, pleasant experience for attendees.
We are also discussing ways to incentivize attendees to show up throughout the day, rather than creating a big bottleneck in the morning. One idea we’re tossing around is to distribute goodie bags in batches on the top of each hour, rather than all of them first thing in the morning. This should encourage people to come throughout the day and further reduce crowding.
We hope you’re excited about the festival as we are. Please check us out on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, and Instagram. And of course, tell your friends and family. We’ll be recruiting sponsors, exhibitors, and volunteers soon, so stay tuned to this blog and our social media outlets!