What I’ve Learned from Running a Giant Pumpkin Event

The end of the pumpkin growing season usually means you will have taken your pumpkin to some sort of event. Be it giant or not so giant. Here’s what I have learned from running a giant pumpkin event.

Depending on where you are in the world, you may have a lot of choice, or you might not. North America has to be the champion of pumpkin events. Here is 8 Great Pumpkin Events to Check Out in the US.

If you haven’t taken your pumpkin to an event, why not? They are a lot of fun, you get to meet other people and you might even win a prize.

Our Event

Over the years we’ve managed to weigh some of the heaviest pumpkins ever grown in NZ at The Great Pumpkin Carnival.

We’re also the only GPC weigh off site in NZ.

I got involved in this after attending the very first event. Over time I helped out, got more involved and am currently the President of The Great Pumpkin Carnival here in Hamilton.
This is what I have learned.

You Need to Try Things

If you have an idea, and it is doable, give it a go. People might like it, or not. As long as it isn’t a core aspect of your event, you can always drop it.

Don’t be Afraid of Hearing No

There are a lot of events out there, a lot of different unique people doing interesting things. Giant pumpkin growing falls into that category. Not everyone will want to get on board, or help out or donate.

Don’t be afraid of hearing no thanks. It means you can move onto the next people. Eventually get the right people, organisations or companies on board with your vision.

Be Excited

Enthusiasm can get you a long way. We all have down days. If you know you have to talk to people, try and make it happen on a day when you are feeling awesome.

This comes across. I know when I start talking about pumpkins and the event, I get rather animated. This has helped me when dealing with people across the board over the years.

Foster the Relationships

From volunteers to sponsors, whoever you have on board. Keep them up to date, mention them, and build upon what you have.

Some people will drop off, withdraw their support or change what they can do. That is OK. For a lot of events, it’s all goodwill and volunteers. Be grateful with what you have, and can do.

Keep Records of Things

Pretty simple, note things down. For me, digital works better. I can easily share something with someone if needed. Use whatever you are comfortable with.

Understand Everyone is Different

From how people communicate, to how they do things. Everyone is different, remember this. Finding the best way to work with others is an important skill.

Something you might be already be doing, or it is something to work on. Clear communication and having realistic expectations are also good skills to have when dealing with groups of people.

Things Will Go Wrong

This is guaranteed. Be prepared, as much as you can. Rolling with the punches, and dealing with things efficiently as possible is the best course of action. Working out contingency plans beforehand can help as well.

Not Everyone is a Good Fit

A lot of events will have a large component of volunteers involved. This is a fact. Lots of events and causes, wouldn’t exist without volunteers.

While people have many different reasons to volunteer, they might not be a good fit for you. Be diplomatic, and you may have to turn people away.

There is Always More to Learn

Like anything in life there is always more to learn. I’m always tweaking things, seeing if there are better ways of carrying out a task. It’s an evolution. Good events take time to grow.

With the people attending, and the way it’s run. If there is something here that sounds interesting, or something you’d like to discuss about running a giant pumpkin event, get in touch and we can discuss it.

If this is new to you, and you like the idea of running an event, giant pumpkin or something else. Check out my free guide you can get below.

My goal is to update the guide later in the year. If you’ve signed up, you’ll get the updated copy when it’s ready.

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