Choosing a Mascot for Your Annual Festival
It’s that time of year again! Cities and community organizations everywhere are planning their annual festivals and many of those festivals will need a mascot. Mascots are loved by everyone and can help bring people of different ages and cultures together, making your festival a true community event.
Here are some guidelines to help you out:
Above all your mascot should be friendly looking, memorable and portray a positive image. The mascot is a representation of the community or business values you are celebrating and want associated with your group. Make sure to avoid anything with negative connotations. The mascot will be interacting with people at your event, so children will hug it, adults will shake hands and there will be photos. You want that to be a pleasant experience and not leave the guests running away scared.
Probably the most important part of choosing a mascot is the actual character and there are a lot of options. You can choose something that has regional or historical significance, but it should be recognizable to your audience, otherwise it won’t be memorable. A good example is animal mascots because they are wildly popular, are immediately recognizable and often have regional significance.
Funny and cute mascots can be very engaging. People of all ages can’t resist interacting with them, but those mascots can be especially effective if your festival is kid-oriented. Sometimes really young children are afraid of a mascot, simply because they seem so big. Having a mascot that is funny or extra adorable can help ease their fears, keeping it a positive experience.
Alternately, you could opt for a mascot that represents something a little more intangible and abstract. Its design could take into account any symbolism or traditions associated with the event. Or it could be a representation of the spirit of the event or the community values associated with the festival. One example that often takes this form is Olympic mascots.
Will there be items like custom printed t-shirts or custom plush toys with your mascot’s likeness? If yes, then you will want to make sure the mascot fits in with any logos, slogans, or other marketing materials you use. There may be considerations like consistent colour schemes and the complexity of the mascots printed image as well.
If you are using a mascot for promotional materials like those mentioned above, you will need to use an original mascot, something that isn’t trademarked or copyrighted by someone else. Otherwise there could be legal consequences.
There are different kinds of mascot costumes made from a variety of materials and one may be more appropriate than another for your uses. Mascots will be engaging with visitors and moving around through crowds, so you will want them to do that easily and safely.
The mascot costume needs to have appropriate ventilation and cooling, but this is especially important during summer festivals. No one wants to create a potential health risk and the person inside the costume will be able to do a better job if they are as comfortable as possible.
Since this is an annual event it is likely that your mascot will be making a return appearance for many years to come. Purchasing a high quality mascot costume that can hold up for many uses is a must. If your mascot will be making appearances at other events too, quality construction will be even more important.