There is no way you could have missed it..… Spring is ‘on’ in the Netherlands! Bright coloured flowers are popping up at the most unexpected places and people express their sunny state of mind by ‘unique’ fashion statements. As soon as Spring hits the skies, food trucks hit the road and food festivals pop up everywhere, just like those little flowers do. Lots and lots of them. But how do festivals ‘stand out in the crowd’ and attract more visitors than their competitors?

In the last couple of years the number of food truck festivals in the Netherlands grew enormously. Every weekend, every park and every old factory building transformed into a local food festivity where people eat, drink and dance till they drop. Since the food festival prices are known as quite high, various festivals strongly look alike, and the ‘been there, done that’ kind of feeling is taking over, festival organizers have to come up with other ways to attract their audience.

© Eline van Nunen

Unlike the many ‘regular food truck festivals’ last year (TREK, Lepeltje Lepeltje, Amsterdam Kookt, Rollende Keukens etc), this year the focus and niche approach seems to be the key to success. Why not organizing a food themed ‘Nutella festival’, a ‘Wine festival’ or a ‘Sushi Festival’? Or location themed ‘SCHAFT festival’? Same trucks, same playground, fresh approach. And visitors seem to like it. However, only if the festival offers what they promise. If the concept is not clear or the food trucks do not match the theme, people won’t ‘buy it’. Not for these prices. Since the ‘newyness’ of food festivals is gone, the focus and theme have to be integrated in every detail. E-ve-ry detail. Again a successful festival is all about creating the right experience. And that is why copy cats will disappear as soon as they came. The foodie recognizes an authentic vibe immediately and copy-paste environment is not the same thing.

© Eline van Nunen

As I stroll down these food festival a lot, I saw this happening. And it is the same with creating awareness for destinations and tourism related companies. A themed approach is important and will stick in the mind of our audiences. General stories about a destination, about a hotel or festival are no guarantee for success. Not at all. Creating experience is what it is all about. Sounds like an open door, but here again, copy cats will not make it in the end. The story has to come from within. From the heart of the concept. And that is what we aim to do everyday.