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The National Cherry Festival: Planning for 600,000 attendees in OnePlan

Held in Michigan, USA, the National Cherry Festival is an annual event that takes place over 8 days, requiring 2,200 volunteers and draws in up to 600,000 people.
National Cherry Festival Event Plan
National Cherry Festival






The National Cherry Festival is an annual event that takes place in Traverse City, Michigan, celebrating the region’s cherry industry and features a variety of events, including live music, parades, carnival rides, cherry pit-spitting contests, cherry pie-eating contests, and more. The festival takes place over eight days, requires 2,200 volunteers and draws in half a million to 600,000 people. It has been a staple event in the “cherry capital of the world” for over 90 years and has attracted visitors from all over the country.

The festival has grown significantly in size over the years, and with that growth comes the need for effective planning and execution. The National Cherry Festival was looking for a new planning software to replace the tool they were using before, Visio, which was outdated and clunky to use. This is where OnePlan comes in.

cherry festival
Image by The National Cherry Festival

17-year National Cherry Festival veteran and Director of Event Operations, Brett Knaus spearheaded the search for a new tool, and OnePlan was the perfect solution. The festival explored several alternative planning solutions, but OnePlan was the most user-friendly and economically sound.

“I log in, and the map is right there” said Knaus. “That was a big difference with previous planning methods we’ve used – We had to take a screenshot of Google Earth, put it in and try to get things to scale. With OnePlan, any item placed is automatically to scale.”

The onboarding process went smoothly for the National Cherry Festival team who easily understood the platform and were planning in OnePlan within a week.

“From the precise scaling of all objects to the ease of grouping areas and objects in a detailed excel spreadsheet layout for our vendors and contractors to read, OnePlan truly is a one-of-a-kind company.”

Knaus found it easy to edit dimensions of anything and duplicate items he needed, making the planning process much simpler. Additionally, OnePlan allows the festival to export as a PDF to share easily with vendors, event directors, and other stakeholders.

cherry festival
Image by The National Cherry Festival

Saving time has been one of the biggest benefits seen in their switch to OnePlan. “It saves us a significant amount of time. Because it’s such a large event, we’re creating multiple different layouts. It’s a really technical piece of software while also being easy to use.”

cherry festival
Image by The National Cherry Festival

The National Cherry Festival’s experience with OnePlan highlights the importance of using efficient and user-friendly software in planning large-scale events. With OnePlan’s map-based tool, the festival is able to streamline their planning process, making it more accurate and efficient. We look forward to working together with the National Cherry Festival and can’t wait to see the amazing events they plan in OnePlan.

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