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Clitheroe Food Festival

"Clitheroe Food Festival is now in its seventh year.  We are counted as one of the top Food Festivals in the UK, renowned for our aim to focus on showcasing the quality of produce in Lancashire. 

Processing exhibitors for our first event in 2011, and until 2013, consisted of us posting or emailing downloadable application forms, and receiving them in the same manner.  It was a huge time drain on our already stretched resources, all cutting in to the events bottom line. We've used Event Owl since 2014.  Our frustration at chasing for missing information and payment has been pretty much eradicated, increasing the planning time, allowing us all to concentrate on marketing and programme development to increase the footfall." 

We were running back and forth to the photo copier with reams of exhibitor paperwork, manually entering data into a spreadsheet and alphabetically filing pocket files in large lever arch files.  Too many phone calls were also made over those first few years to exhibitors, chasing for missing payments and key information.  Our finance department separately issued invoices and receipts, and banked all types of payment, causing another set of problems and time wasting.  Julie, Event Owls founder, was part of our initial team as the Festival Coordinator, and had a lightbulb moment.

Event Owl - and we've worked with her system ever since.

Event Owl is both practical and sensible for both organiser and exhibitor, I am sure we save thousands of trees in the process!   We have seen the initial uptake from when we open for applications, significantly speed up, and our bottom line looks far healthier, earlier.

Electricity, equipment and health and safety information can be drawn off the system to provide our team and suppliers with the information they need.  Event Owl is PCI compliant and all information is kept secure.  Event Owl handles exhibitor payments by card (they have other options too for the less IT confident) which is sent directly to our bank.  It can password protect our booking area for our initial invitees, handles a deposit scheme, calculates the VAT, sales receipts and we can also offer discounts to early birds.  Officer time has been significantly reduced allowing us all time to concentrate on updating our website, organising the layout, marketing, and doing our ‘normal’ jobs.

The community styled approach to working with other organisers really pays off, we benefit from their exhibitors and they benefit from ours, but not through sharing databases per se - the exhibitors themselves can more easily find events to attend - as well as ours.  We've a constant stream of new exhibitors who have seen our event through Event Owl, we might not have come across them otherwise.  We've had so much praise for using the system from our exhibitors.

Julie and her team deliver a first class, hands on service, pretty much seven days a week to both ourselves and our exhibitors.  We do not want to go back to paper!

We recommend all organisers to consider using Event Owl.

Melissa Thorpe, Coordinator for Clitheroe Food Festival, Regeneration Dept, Ribble Valley Borough Council