Talk with your friends and family about their experiences at agricultural sales destinations and you are sure to hear many different takes on what makes a lasting impression – either good or bad. Some visitors want an all-out experience with lots of physical activity involved. They look for venues where hiking, games and organized family events are the stars of the show. Other visitors enjoy a relaxing atmosphere where they can unwind and enjoy an afternoon in the country. And some want a bit of both. Clearly, individuals, families and groups seek the level of entertainment and atmosphere that most reflects their own personalities and tastes.
I once spoke with a farm winery owner who was puzzled why so few people were enjoying the porch at his venue. The porch was indeed lovely with a wide, covered veranda, comfortable rocking chairs and a beautiful view of a pond and lush green fields. Given all its relaxing aspects, it was perfect for rocking and sipping some good wine. The greatest negative factor, however, is that the winery owner had decided the spot right next to the porch was a great place for musical acts and loud rock bands which entertained on weekends. Obviously, the two “experiences” clashed. What works operationally, does not always serve the needs of different clientele.
Managers and owners who have learned from customer feedback, know the significant interests of their customers, and put that information to good use when planning a venue and subsequent events. As pumpkin and Christmas tree u-pick operations have learned, not everyone wants to go to the field to pick a pumpkin or a tree. Some visitors are happy to shop in the gift store, purchase a cup of cider or hot chocolate and buy a ready-cut item. The many different farm wineries across the region have also found what works best for their customers. Some specialize in highly organized events each weekend, while others allow visitors to appreciate café settings and quiet walks around the grounds.
Even in agricultural sales and tourism, one shoe does not fit all customers. And, you will never be able to fully meet the needs of each and every customer. What does play well into business success, however, is to know your strengths and build on them. You may have the perfect set up for family activities, or opt for an adult audience. You can blend several types of experiences if you have the facilities, labor and time, but this demands a lot of pre-planning to make it work well.
Over time you will learn where each audience segment and subsequent sales show the most promise. Ultimately that will direct you to where to place your time, attention and energy. Better than anyone else, you know what your capabilities are and what unique attributes add to your appeal. Filling those shoes tends to give you the better return on your investment anyway.
The above information is provided for educational purposes and should not be substituted for professional business and legal counseling.
The above information is presented for educational purposes only and should not be substituted for professional business and legal counseling.