One of my favorite Twin Cities events – the Minnesota Irish Fair — and I’m only Irish by marriage. You can stand in one place and hear 5 different bands; watch some traditional sport, dancing, or animals; or eat and drink both classic and neo Irish foods — Irish Nachos anyone? Not to mention all sorts of literary, history and Irish-language tents. And it’s free — at least for now–thanks to the many sponsors.

Experience it all

Being a St. Paulite, I had no idea what or where Ahern’s Irish Pub hailed from–the primary sponsor of the event. So how did they do? Was their investment worth it?

As much as I bet they wanted their presence to be bigger, it was subtle — at least on the opening night. Yes, the first booth you encounter walking down the main aisle to Croagh Park – the main location for all non-music events–is the Ahern’s Pub booth, but unless you stop to look or have to stand in line for the ATM, you’d never know about the free Kid’s T-shirt or the no-fail contest to win an Ahern’s branded fan, pen, cozy or frisbee.

Ahern's Kids T-shirts

The T-shirts are cute and the kids in-the-know enjoyed coloring them with fabric markers. What great strolling advertising for a pub and restaurant that’s not offensive to families. Green Ahern Frisbees were a common site flying around or vainly keeping patrons dry during the occasional downpour.

Food and beverage ticket include a coupon for Ahern’s Irish Pub with each 10-pack of tickets sold. If nothing else, that should get savvy consumers across the river and into Ahern’s door vs. other Minneapolis Irish hotspots (Google search for Minneapolis Irish Bars). But whoops! What’s missing — Ahern’s Irish Pub doesn’t show up on the list, but Brit’s does and it’s not even Irish.

This could be a problem. Where’s Ahern’s Irish Pub marketing director? Establishing a Google presence is easy and absolutely necessary. But it gets worse, go visit their website (Ahern’s Irish Pub) are they open or is the site just not updated? Good points include the link FaceBook and the Irish Fair Banner which doesn’t link to the Irish Fair, but only a PDF about their sponsorship of the fair. If you read it, you’ll find out they haven’t opened yet! Just an important piece of information that needs to be obvious and not buried in text that only marketing profs read.

Give us an opening date. Publish a sneak peak at the menu. All the history is fun, but I’m not going to come visit unless I stumble upon your establishment or know what I’m getting into.

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