One of the largest fairs in the country, this 17-day event from September 15 – October 1 in West Springfield, MA is projected to attract over 1.3 million people from southern New England, New York, and beyond. New Hampshire Department of Agriculture, Markets, and Food owns a full-size replica of New Hampshire’s original State House that is located in a section of the fair called the Avenue of the States. Within that building, the New Hampshire Division of Travel and Tourism Development fully manages an Information Center Booth that sees over 800,000 people throughout the fair.
The New Hampshire Building is part of the Avenue of States, which boasts impressive replicas of each New England state’s original statehouse sitting on land actually owned by that state. In 2022, 1,603,354 people made the Big E their destination for fun. An estimated 90% of those fair-goers visit the Avenue of States, according to Big E exit surveys. Most of those (82%) are looking for food and shopping, but a substantial number (38%) are seeking travel information. In real numbers, that’s about 1.4 million visitors to the Avenue of States, and 609,275 people who are specifically looking for tourism information. About 75% of those who were looking for travel literature planned to travel to NH after the fair (that’s 456,956 guests).
Typical quantities we request are 200-500 brochures and up to 1000 for some regional guides. There is no cost to participate!
GUIDELINES FOR LITERATURE THE 2023 BIG E
The New Hampshire Division of Travel and Tourism (DTTD) is responsible for the New Hampshire Tourism Booth in the New Hampshire Building on the Avenue of the States at the Big E fairgrounds in West Springfield, Massachusetts for the duration of the Annual Big E each September. The NH Tourism Booth has space for approximately 175 individual brochures. All tourism businesses or event coordinators are invited to have their brochures displayed and distributed during this 17-day event. Space will be allocated by business category on a first-come, first-serve basis. Space fills up remarkably fast each year.
Here are the guidelines that we will enforce:
- Brochure content must be tourism experience/activity focused
- Brochures must be current and applicable following the Big E dates (Events that happen or businesses that close before Sept 16 will not be able to display)
- Brochures cannot be smaller than a standard brochure size otherwise they will not stand up in the brochure racks. Postcards cannot be accepted. We only have a few spots that can accommodate a newspaper format.
- Brochures must be of a strong enough stock to stand upright in the brochure racks
- Brochure images, text, and other content must be appropriate for family viewing
- Unattached inserts are highly discouraged
All brochures that do not meet the above criteria may not be accepted.
Recognizing our limited space, and in order to provide guidance to you and assure we have available the topics that guests at the Big E most request, we have put together some observations compiled by evaluating the past six years.
Most of the guests who visit the NH Information Booth at the Big E are from NH’s immediate driving market and plan frequent vacations and day trips to Northern New England.
Factors affecting the quantity and type of brochure consumption:
- Outside weather/temperature (rain vs. sun; heat vs. cooler fall temps)
- Number of fair admissions (economics, gas prices, weather)
- Current events/news (New Hampshire’s advertising themes such as family activities, foliage, outdoor adventure, etc.)
- Brochure location (grouping/categorizing, eye level, kids level, etc.)
- Brochure types (collaborative vs. individual; attraction vs. museums, etc.)
- Booth Signage (wording, categories, and sub-categories)
- Brochure design, size, color, wording, and cover photo (from year to year) also impact the numbers of brochures the guests consume each year
By tracking literature inventory reports and gaining feedback from volunteers during post-Big E debriefings, we have determined that the most popular brochures fall into the following general categories:
- Statewide Publications (most information in one piece)
- Comprehensive Regional/Area Maps & Guides
- Regional Activities (family-oriented, especially those containing attractions,
- Collaborative Dining guides that present uniquely NH properties
- Collaborative Events Guides that feature uniquely NH events
- Activities & Adventure (outdoor recreation, scenic tours, larger attractions)
Not all brochures are popular at the Big E. Based on tracking brochure consumption and visitor inquiries at the booth, it can be concluded that the Big E is not an effective venue to promote the following; therefore, the following brochure types typically perform very poorly at the Big E:
- Individual lodging and camping brochures
- Individual antique or specialty stores (i.e. rug stores, furniture stores, pottery)
- Individual restaurants
- Chain or Strip Malls
- Opera, theatre, or individual shows
- Most individual or area event guides (not including signature events)
- Historic Society information
- Individual non-tourism-oriented town and chamber information
- Individual Historic Properties (Homes, etc)
We hope these guidelines will help you with your decision whether or not to seek placement at the Big E. Our management team is here to answer your questions, talk through your decision process and provide the best possible support to your business.
Please note that we cannot return any unused brochures. Through our tracking over the years, we know what we typically distribute and only request that amount to minimize any waste. Typical amounts we will request are 200-500, and up to 1000 for regional tourism guidebooks.
DTTD is not responsible for lost or damaged brochures. If you have any questions please contact Kelly Bryer, contracted management for the NH Information Booth at The Big E on behalf of the Division of Travel & Tourism Development at 603-851-8624 cell or firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Hampshire Division of Travel & Tourism
Big E Management Team, email@example.com
Volunteer webpage: www.nhgranitestateambassadors.org/bige
Note: Granite State Ambassadors are contracting partners for the New Hampshire Division of Travel & Tourism Development to assist with the planning, volunteer management, and onsite management of the New Hampshire Tourism Information booth within the New Hampshire building on the Eastern States Exposition grounds in West Springfield, MA for the Big E (September 15 – October 1, 2023).