Re-Imagining Fairs and Events


The Wisconsin State Fair took a new approach to their beloved summertime festival. Read on to learn how the Fair celebrated its fair food favorites and branded merchandise in a fun and safe way.

Each summer, Wisconsin residents look forward to celebrating state pride at the Wisconsin State Fair. Enjoying the distinctive fair food and picking up the latest merchandise from TSMGI are both favorite fairgoer traditions.

“This summer was no different. However, rather than walking the fairgrounds in the heat of the summer, fairgoers celebrated from the air-conditioned comfort of their own cars. As a way to continue this summer tradition, the Fair offered a drive-through food fair on several weekends in July and August. TSMGI was there, along with 15 food vendors, to offer 2020 commemorative fair merchandise at a drive-through retail booth. The Wisconsin State Fair was the first retail pop-up for TSMGI since the beginning of the pandemic.

Special pre-packaged Swag Bags were sold that included a “Stickin’ it to 2020” tee shirt and decal, Cream Puff mask (cream puffs are a fair specialty) and lapel pin. Items were also offered a la carte. By the second day, all tee shirts and masks were sold out, creating great demand for the items, which were quickly reordered and printed in short order to deliver to the next weekend’s fairgoers. Sales exceeded our forecast by 167%!

The event was a huge success and other state fairs are using the Wisconsin State Fair drive-through as a model for their own events during this non-traditional fair season. Neither the Fair nor TSMGI knew what to expect and both were surprised at the overwhelming response from attendees. During this challenging time, the drive-through reminded fairgoers how much they love the fair and their home state of Wisconsin.