This visitor profile of the 2011 Irish Fair of Minnesota includes items such as visitor demographics, willingness to pay admission, information sources, as well as a comparison of 2007 and 2011 visitors.
Leading, preparing & supportingthe tourism industryfor success & sustainabilityThe 2011 Irish Fair of Minnesota attracted approximately 100,000 visitorsto Harriet Island Regional Park August 11-14. To inform marketing &programming efforts, a visitor profile was conducted.The 2011 questionnaire was the second such profile of Irish Fair attendeesconducted in a 5-year span (the previous questionnaire was conductedduring the 2007 event). For the 2011 visitor profile, several attendee itemswere of key interest:Fair experience:• Majority repeat attendees (62.6%)• Diverse set of activities (Figure 1)• High satisfaction (Figure 2)• Expenditures across a range ofcategories (Figure 4)• Average 5 hour stay at fair• Top reasons for attending the fair:o Celebrate Irish heritage (19%)o Know a performer (14%)o Live music (13%)Information sources:• Fair information primarilydisseminated through socialnetworks.• Repeat attendees more likely touse Irish-community sources(Table 1).Origin:• 80% within 25 miles (Figure 3) • 5% traveling 50 miles or moreDemographics:• Female (53.1%)• non-Hispanic (97.5%)• Average age 43 years• White (89.1%)• of Irish descent (69.3%)• $50,000-$74,999 income (19%)Table 1 Comparison of informationsources used by repeat and first-timeattendees to 2011 Irish Fair (n=532)% using sourceInformation sourceRepeat(n=326)1st-time(n=195)Word of mouth 48.5 43.6Other 24.2 27.7Newspaper 19.0 10.8 *Pioneer Press 10.1 5.6Irish Fair Webpage 15.0 5.6 ***Irish Bar/Restaurant 12.0 6.2 *Irish Gazette 8.9 1.0 ***Radio 8.3 4.6TV 7.1 10.3Facebook 7.1 6.2Poster/Flyer 7.1 2.6 *Indicates difference is significant at* p .05. ** p .01. *** p .001Willingness to pay admission potential admission charge:• Majority of attendees willing to pay potential charge (Figure 5).Compared to 2007 visitors, 2011 attendees…• Younger (43 years vs. 47; p = .001)• Less reliant on newspapers for information (16% vs. 41%; p < .001).• Spent more on parking ($9.71 vs. $7.29; p < .000) but less on souvenirs($39.91 vs. $50.87; p < .05)Results: Fair Attendees and ExperienceA collaboration of the University of Minnesota Extension& College of Food, Agricultural & Natural Resource SciencesProfile of the 2011 Irish Fair of MinnesotaAndrew Oftedal, Graduate Research Assistant & Ingrid Schneider, Ph.D.MethodsOnsite questionnaire: Based on 2007 questionnaireSampling: Varied to ensure coverage across festival activities and grounds.Administered onsite by trained volunteersResponse: 550 completed (70% compliance rate)Introduction & PurposeLive Music40%Dance Stage14%Food & Beverages13%People Watching8%Sports Area7%Vendor Marketplace4%Cultural Area4%Other4%Childrens Activities2%Pub Experience3%Mass1%Figure 1 Most enjoyable attributes of the 2011 Irish Fair of Minnesota(n=528)17%14%55%13%2%NoanswerZero $1-5 $6-10 >$112% 5% 6%30%54%77%$21 $20 $20$25$10$30Lodging (in$10s)Off-site food& beveragesOther Souvenirs Parking On-site food& beveragesSpent at least$1.00 (%)Mediandollars spent($)Figure 4 Attendee expenditures at the 2011 Irish Fair of Minnesota(n=528)Figure 5 Range of admissioncharges 2011 Irish Fair ofMinnesota attendees willing topay (n=532)Special thanks to Sarah VanSickle, Angela Mens-Eastman, and the manyvolunteers who assisted with data collection. Additional thanks to ArtNash of the U of M Community Vitality Center for working with the zipcode data. All photos courtesy of the Irish Fair of Minnesota.Results: ComparisonsVerySatisfied56%Satisfied34%VeryDissatisfied6%Unsure3%Dissatisfied1%Figure 2 Satisfaction with 2011Irish Fair of Minnesota (n=522)ImplicationsAdmission charge would likely impact visitation:• 30.8% would not pay a charge or refused to answer the question.• 13% cited the fair’s affordability as their main reason for attending.Marketing focus:• “Live music” and “food & beverages” most enjoyable but not mainreasons for attending. Marketing should use a mix of customer pulls.Shift in information sources:• 2011 attracted a younger demographic who relied heavily upon internet-based sources for information• Word of mouth still significant information sourceAcknowledgementsFigure 3 Regional map of attendeeplaces of residence (n=513)Results: Experiences and Expenditures• Demographics• Experiences & satisfaction• Expenditures• Information sources• Willingness to pay admission• Comparison of 2007 & 2011 visitorsLeading, preparing & supporting thetourism industry for success & sustainability