The Windhoek Showground usually means a bunch of festival celebrations, outdoor concerts, art shows and cultural celebrations big and small across the city of Windhoek and suburbs. However, this weekend I watched painfully as I saw organizers of the Windhoek Showground scrambling to try and drum up more attendance for an annual event that has traditionally been well attended.
It has been a disappointing year for event organizers indeed, with most of the local events cancelled due to Covid-19. While this summer event is not immune to the threat posed by COVID-19, which has so far sickened many people across the world, the festival this year, was under strict prevention measures and was hard on the “No mask, no entry” rule. But they just couldn’t get the attendance right and most of the place looked very empty.
I went to the showground imagining a great atmosphere with many people since there have not been many events this year, only to be disappointed. As disappointing as it can be to watch all your hard work planning an event produce less than desirable results, it will be even more disappointing if this year’s event organizers do not learn from mistakes along the way.
The organizers perhaps didn’t get the marketing right this year; many people were not even aware of the event. We are in a fast-paced world with many people becoming more comfortable with the convenience of computers and smartphones. Event organizers should make sure their event marketing efforts reflect the pace we live in. Perhaps moving forward, they can consider promoting and selling tickets for events such as this online. Event organizers can use social media outlets like Twitter and Facebook to let participants know about the event. I think the awareness was done but it was not enough and people were under the impression that this event, like others, was not going to happen this year.
Some attendees took to social media their dissatisfaction with the event’s marketing however, they have been guaranteed improvements in the future. The organizers decided to take action on the complaints, to let attendees know that you heard their feedback.
Nevertheless, this was a good event for those who attended. Gates opened on Friday at 9 am – 9 pm (30th October to the 1st of November). This year’s event was filled with festive shopping, great local products, amazing food and lots of different fun. Packed with Christmas gifts, presents for all the families and delicious festive food & drinks, this was an event that most people enjoyed. We hope to see a bigger and better event, come 2021.