Anytime you're planning a giant event not related to the life cycle (birth, wedding, etc.), you should have a solid "why" behind your choice.
The "why" will keep you motivated when the slog starts and will help you stay focused, especially when choosing venue, vendors, entertainment, etc.
So why a Renaissance Faire?
1. The Vision of our Non-Profit
I resigned from teaching in 2021 to pursue my own business ventures in belly dance, leather working, and experiential learning. I also joined a non-profit called Round Table Community.
The purpose of RTC is to help local artists grow financially through events, workshops, and classes. We do that by connecting the artists to the community in ways that bring more diverse elements together.
We want the artists to be seen, and we want the community to feel included--to feel they can be themselves and be around artists. Too often the public-at-large feels disconnected from the arts, and they shouldn't.
The Renaissance Faire is a big tent event that encourages audience participation and artistic license.
2. A Gap in the Community
Before 2020, we had a small, 2-day Ren Faire in Greenville that was growing yearly. Unfortunately, the uncertainty surrounding Covid and combined with the difficulties of organizing these large affairs shut them down permanently.
We knew from their success that we had a chance and that the audience existed.
The Greer/Greenville area is also a growing community, and almost all of our surrounding states have large, successful Faires. We wanted to create something similar for our people.
3. The Need for a Renaissance
The last Renaissance emerged from the ravages of a Plague, in a war-torn world, and in turbulent economic times.Why can't a second do the same?
Our local businesses in town as well as the artists needed a jumpstart into the fall sales. A large turnout would accomplish that and give everyone some much needed hope.
(And it did! Local businesses other than the artists had tremendous turnout).
4. Experiential Learning that Encourages Audience Involvement
Any large market could have checked the above boxes, but the founders of RTC (self
included) are passionate about immersive learning experiences.
The Renaissance Faire is basically a brand now. People expect to dress up, see spectacle, and be immersed in another time and place.
All we had to do was live up to the brand and bring in the people who would provide the experience.
We found actors, vendors, performers, living historians, and re-enactors who are just as in love with teaching as we are and put them with an audience hungry for knowledge.
Having a solid set of reasons for our event provided us with focus for decor, vendor choices, and how we searched for entertainment and will continue to help us as we seek to make the 2022 event even better and more efficient!