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THE STRESSES of Running an Acroyoga Festival!

Our AcroSpirit Acroyoga Festival 2024 just finished!

And we are in a period of recovery and getting back to our regular schedule.

We have been much more stressed than expected for the past weeks/months in the run-up to this festival for various unexpected reasons.

Plus we had some issues with our email system that meant we weren't able to even send any emails the past week... 

Happily that is fixed for now, and so I thought it would be a good opportunity to share some of our challenges and stresses that come with organising an event like our AcroSpirit Festival, and some of the learnings.

Because interestingly we have even more learnings/takeaways compared to the first year we ran this event!

The main challenge or stress we have faced this year with our festival event is trying to make sure everyone is happy.

Obviously, it is not our job to make everyone happy, so take this with a pinch of salt.

But when we put together a festival there are so many moving parts that we are trying to take care of at the same time.

Firstly ensuring that the teachers are happy and feel valued in what they are being paid and what they are teaching.

Plus this year we had some challenges of teachers getting sick during the festival (which to some degree can be expected), and we dealt with these changes smoothly, thanks to other teachers being willing to swap slots, and I even covered a morning mobility class during the festival.

Second is the guests and participants.

We try to organise things as best as we can to create the best experience for the festival participants, from making the sign up and registration process as easy as possible, to ensuring the event runs efficient, on time and smoothly for everyone joining.

There are way more things when it comes to participants to consider of course, such as the break times, the weather, the noise, the class content, the logistics, the games and prizes and so on, and to be honest to get it all 100% right is incredibly difficult.

On top of this we have local staff to manage, the vendor stalls we want to make sure have a good and profitable experience, and so on.

The reality I am coming to realise more and more is that whatever we do someone is going to be unhappy.

Some people want more jam time, some people would prefer longer classes, some people loved the coffee stalls, some people didn't use the stalls at all, and the list goes on.

On top of all of this we need to manage our own time and energy smartly to make sure we are making decisions that are suitable as a business and that don't end up costing us even more energy and time dealing with so we don't end up unhappy.

It's advice I'm sure you've heard before, as have we many times, that "you can't please everyone"

But with the way we like to approach our work for AcroSpirit we really try to make sure what we do gives value and a positive experience to everyone involved.

So this is definitely our challenge for next years festival, that we take on board feedback and work to improve the things that could have been done better, and at the same time work on accepting that we can't and won't be able to please everyone. 

I also want to share some of the learnings or improvements that we are taking away from this year that we intend to implement next year...

1. Be even clearer upfront with our refund and ticket transfer policy.

We implemented this year a no transfering policy for tickets and a refund option with a 3rd party provider.

The aim with this was for fairness, and also for us to not have the complication of dealing with ticket transfers, refund requests and more in the weeks running up to the festival (which last year had taken up a lot of our time).

In some ways this helped this year, but in some ways we had more messages and requests to deal with.

So the plan for next year is to make it as crystal clear as possible upfront so it becomes easier for us to deal with in the weeks before the festival, and so it is 100% clear for participants. We will also potentially implement a refund system that we directly manage rather than the 3rd party as this ended up working not as well as we would have liked.

2. We will review the space we are using.

We are well aware of the limitations and challenges of the current space we use to host the event.

It is hot, the airflow isnt great and the acoustics are far from ideal (which is always challenging in any big sports hall type space).

There is also a level of expectation from people visting that they expect some beautiful Bali yoga shala.

The reality is to run a festival event of this size at a nicer (more "bali style") location would probably end up doubling or trippling the ticket prices, which is something we would rather not do as this would price out a lot of people who would want to join.

We are nevertheless going to review this again, and take a serious look at other options, as we too would love to have an even more ideal venue for the event, and if we cannot find a better venue then we will do our best to make the current venue as comfortable as possible.

3. Potentially make the workshops 1hr 45mins instead of 1hr 30 mins, and add more jam time slots into the schedule.

The main focus of the festival is the acro, and one thing we did really well this year was create an incredible teacher lineup.

And a learning or potential change we can make next year is to make the workshops longer so people can get even more benefit from the amazing teachers, and increase the amount of time for jamming so people wanting their jam time can really get their fill!

4. There are so many more small changes we have noted (we have a 40 line list of small improvements).

Things like: 

- Improving the ticketing information. 

- Getting more local staff to smooth and speed up the check in process. 

- Get more comfy wristbands.

- Adjust the schedule timings better.

- Get a fresh juice stall.

- Have a 1 day break between the pre fest and festival.

and many many more.

So this is the update for now, and some of our learnings from this years festival.

If you're an event or festival organiser I'm sure you can relate or maybe some of these things are useful to consider.

Plus if you are a participant or join some of our events, please understand that we are doing our absolute best to make the best experience possible for you and for everyone involved.

And we will improve and make things better and better each year where we can!

Lastly, I'll finish with a big thank you to all of you who do attend and support us by joining our events, and the amazing teachers who helped create a great festival this year, we couldn't do this without all of you, so THANK YOU!

Now we will take some rest these days, and you can expect more of the usual acro tips and advice emails next week onwards. 

Cheers, Cas

Acroyoga Festival Group Photo Acro Poses
Acroyoga Festival Group Photo


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