Thursday, May 31, 2012


First impressions count, and the entrance to the Faire is where you get to set the stage for anything and everything that comes once you’ve passed through it. More importantly, the entrance is the departure point, where guests leave their 21st century lives, and their cars, behind and travel back in time. The entry gate is a time machine, and it is the very first moment you get to confirm to your audience that they aren’t in Kansas anymore*. There are lots of ways to construct this entryway, but my personal favorite is those gates that allow costumed actors to greet approaching guests from above. Although this may be impractical all day long, it is the perfect location to create an elaborate opening ceremony to mark the beginning of the day. Building anticipation, pointing out people in the crowd, and suggesting the wonders just beyond the gate is the perfect way to begin any Faire day. Since the Faire is all about arriving “just in time” for a celebration, this is the point where the celebration begins. Walking under that gate changes your audience and suggests that once through this threshold, it is time to get down to some serious Play!

When you are making your initial investment in a new Faire I always recommend that a large amount of your budget be spent on making the entrance look its best! Even though your guests will only experience it fleetingly, the quality of your entrance is what will set the tone for the experience within. A poor first impression is very hard to scrub away, but a good one will bolster up expectations and create a lasting impression as your audience exits again at the end of the day.

*Alright, unless you are at the Kansas Renaissance Festival

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