+ Ancillary Revenue Manager

Forefront is seeking a highly motivated and experienced ancillary revenue manager to oversee the planning and execution of all ancillary programs at the Austin Trail of Lights (TOL).

The ancillary revenue manager will be responsible for leading and growing revenue generating initiatives outside the core consumer and corporate hospitality programs.

Revenue generating initiatives include but are not limited to:

  • H-E-B Café – a storefront located at the entrance to TOL selling pre-packaged products sourced from H-E-B.
  • Trail Shops – storefronts located throughout TOL selling official festival merchandise including hats, sweaters, ornaments, and more.
  • My Holiday Traditions – an online store selling official festival merchandise including hats, sweaters, ornaments and more.
  • Corporate Gifting – an online catalog featuring merchandise offered to corporate party planners for their guests.
  • S’mores & Cocoa Programs – stations located throughout the festival selling cocoa and s’mores.
  • On-site photo and other experiences – on-site revenue generating photo opportunities and other experiences yet to be developed.

Responsibilities Include:

Program and Product Development

  • Develop a long-term vision and strategy for all on-site and on-line ancillary programs and products for the Austin Trail of Lights (TOL)
  • Work closely with the team to curate the annual TOL merchandise collections sold online and on-site.
  • Partner with the creative and marketing team to create a user-friendly online store that is inviting and easy to navigate.
  • Oversee design of all online and on-site storefronts with special consideration to placement, size, flow, décor, visual merchandising, signage, layout, etc.

Budget Management

  • Estimate the expected revenue from ancillary sales based on historical data, projected attendance, and average spending per attendee.
  • Determine the cost of acquiring or producing ancillary items, including manufacturing costs, wholesale prices, shipping fees and any licensing or royalty fees.
  • Calculate the COGS for each item or category of merchandise.
  • Identify and estimate all expenses related to merchandise operations, such as staffing costs, booth rentals, storage fees, packaging materials, marketing expenses and any additional costs specific to the festival.
  • Regularly compare and analyze the actual financial performance against the budgeted figures to identify any variances.
  • Implement cost control measures to optimize profitability, such as negotiating better vendor terms, streamlining operations, minimizing waste, and identifying opportunities for cost savings.

Merchandise and Operations

  • Plan, organize, and execute all ancillary operations at TOL listed above.
  • Coordinate with vendors to ensure timely delivery of merchandise and products, maintaining inventory levels.
  • Set up and manage merchandise, cocoa, and s’mores storefronts, ensuring they are visually appealing, optimally placed at the park, and well stocked.
  • Oversee cash handling procedures, including managing cashiers, and reconciling sales at the end of each day.

Team Management

  • Recruit, train, and supervise ancillary staff, ensuring they are knowledgeable about products and customer service.
  • Schedule and assign tasks to team members, ensuring adequate coverage at all merchandise locations.
  • Provide ongoing guidance and support to the ancillary team, fostering a positive and productive work environment.

Sales and Revenue

  • Develop sales strategies to maximize revenue and achieve sales targets.
  • Monitor sales performance and adjust strategies as needed to optimize results.
  • Implement promotional activities, such as discounts or bundle offers, to drive sales and increase customer engagement.

Customer Service

  • Ensure exceptional customer service is provided to all attendees.
  • Address customer inquiries, concerns, and complaints in a professional and timely manger
  • Train ancillary staff on effective customer service techniques and problem-solving skills.

Inventory Management

  • Track inventory levels, conduct regular stock checks and re-order merchandise as needed.
  • Maintain accurate records of ancillary sales, returns and exchanges.
  • Coordinate with festival organizers to forecast ancillary demand and plan accordingly.

Online Fulfillment

  • Identify an e-commerce platform and fulfillment team to be responsible for streamlining the order fulfillment process.
  • Develop standardized packaging procedures to ensure consistent and professional presentation of merchandise.
  • Collaborate with shipping carriers to negotiate favorable rates and optimize shipping methods for cost-effective and timely delivery.
  • Implement quality control measures to ensure a all products are accurately picked, packed, and shipped.
  • Establish clear policies and procedures for handling returns and exchanges.
  • Maintain effective communication channels with online customers, providing order updates, tracking information, and addressing any inquiries or concerns.
  • Stay up to date on e-commerce platforms, order management systems and fulfillment software to leverage automation and streamline processes.
  • Oversee the efficient processing of online orders, ensuring accuracy and timelines.

Reporting and Analysis

  • Prepare daily, weekly, and post-event reports on ancillary sales, revenue, and inventory.
  • Analyze sales data to identify trends, popular items, and areas for improvement.
  • Provide recommendations for future products based on sales and customer feedback.


  • Proven experience as a merchandise and/or ancillary revenue manager or similar role, preferable in a festival or event setting.
  • Experience with e-commerce and online merchandising and fulfillment
  • Strong organizational and multitasking skills, with the ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines.
  • Excellent leadership and team management abilities.
  • Exceptional customer service and communication skills.
  • Proficient in using point-of-sale (POS) systems and inventory management software.
  • Knowledge of merchandising trends and best practices.
  • Flexibility to work long hours, including evening and weekends, during the month of December.

About Us

Headquartered in Austin, Texas, Forefront Networks is a full-service experiential and entertainment agency specializing in corporate partnerships, brand activation, production, corporate events, entertainment booking, event management, and more.

Forefront Networks’ collection of work includes owned event platforms designed to build connections between brands and their audiences. Forefront’s owned portfolio of work includes Austin Trail of Lights, Live In The Vineyard, Live In The Vineyard Goes Country, and Elevation Beaver Creek.

Personal characteristics:

Forefront is looking for a leader and a team player with a ‘can do’ attitude, someone who says yes more than no. Multiple assignments in process at one time is the norm and fast turnover is often a requirement meaning that organization and a keen eye for detail are mandatory. The ideal candidate thrives in uncertain environments and is highly motivated, proactive, and willing to go above and beyond to ensure successful completion of events. A creative person at heart with the right level of practicality will succeed in this role. We are looking for a candidate who is committed to building a long-term career with our company and is eager to contribute to our growth and success. Forefront believes that “Best is Standard” and contributing positively to that existing culture is key.