Schnitz franchisee Daniel de Vries has some advice for fellow business people contemplating what to expect when White Night takes place in Bendigo for the first time.
“If you are in the right location, brace yourself,” he said.
White Night organisers were in town on Wednesday and joined the City of Greater Bendigo for a briefing with 120 local business people and stakeholders.
The event’s artistic director David Atkins said the briefing was an opportunity for local businesses to understand what organisers wanted to do and what to expect ahead of an expected spike in trade.
The council’s major events manager Terry Karamaloudis said it was also a chance to explain what businesses could and could not do regarding topics like trading hours.
The regional offshoot of the all-night light festival is scheduled to take place in Bendigo on Saturday 1 September.
Mr Atkins said it was a bit hard to predict exactly what will happen when the event kicks off.
“At the very least, we will have an experience like the one we had the first time in Ballarat, where the city will see an influx of anything up to 40,000 people on the street,” he said.
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“White Night will be a unique experience for the public and traders because View St and Pall Mall will close (to traffic) and the public will completely take over.
“We fill the streets up with projections, installations, music and all sorts of things.”
Mr de Vries was the franchisee of Schnitz in Bendigo as well as Ballarat, where two White Night events had been held.
His Ballarat store had recorded its biggest days of trade for the year during White Nights.
“For local retailers and eateries there’s the potential to get your products in front of a lot of people,” Mr de Vries said.
Mr Atkins said Ballarat’s experiences would be valuable as Bendigo prepares for its first White Night.
“When we did it in Ballarat for the first time, none of the retailers had any real idea about what to expect. And to be honest, we didn’t either, in terms of how many people would show up,” he said.
“There where silly little things, like the local ice cream shop running out of products the first time we did it. They didn’t the second time, obviously.”