Getting Involved

Ideas for Businesses

During the Festival or all year round:

Dress frontline staff

  • You could go full steampunk costumes - you can hire them from Steampunk the Thames. 

  • If full costumes are not practical (or your staff not overly keen) we have Steampunk t-shirts for sale that they could all wear. Discounted to $29 for business use , usually $35. (not for resale)

  • Another easy option is to buy cheap top hats (most emporium shops have them) and decorate them up. Maybe have a craft session at work.  We can offer assistance with this. 


Window displays 

  • If you are a retailer, you may be amazed at what could be considered 'steampunk' within your current stock. Have a go yourself or we have people to help you.

  • Have a  team photo taken in Steampunk and place this is your window

  • Really stuck for ideas?  - how about you just steampunk around your window edge with some cog stencils. They can be borrowed from us. You could even do them in your own business colours if you want to theme it. 

  • We also have Steampunk bunting available for purchase. They come in 20 metre lengths at $50 each and have alternative images - one STT logo and STT stylised name.


Create a Treasure Hunt

  • Get a few keen businesses in town to create a fun game that can be done anytime over the four day festival (even when you are closed).  List the business partcipating in the Treasure Hunt and encourage visitors to identify where you have hidden a small 'cog' somewhere in your window or shop.  Entries could be taken and small prizes given. Or it could also just be a fun thing for people to do (and getting them to stop and look at your space)


Sponsor a Community Event

  • As part of the overall programme, we stage some outdoor community events that draw large crowds.  These include the Steampunk Parade, Punk Your Ride display, mini carnival, markets and Teapot Racing. While these are all 'free' events we all know that nothing is ever truly free. There are costs associated with staging these events.  So we are always keen to hear from any business that wants to sponsor one.  Or even run it for us, as Hauraki Vets have done with the extremely popular "Punk Your Pet" .


Sponsor the annual Steampunk Calendar

  • Businesses can sponsor a month in the calendar.  Every year we create our own Steampunk Calendar for the following year.  These usually sell like hot cakes, with a different theme each time.  The calendars make great Christmas presents and we know that they are displayed all over the place - locally, across New Zealand and around the world.  What awesome marketing!  Unfortunately there are only twelve months in the year so we are limited to who can be included.  First in best dressed in this case.  Register your interest with us today at 


Organise and run your own event

  • Host a steampunk themed event during the festival weekend.  Bring in a band or entertainment, sell tickets to the event through our website and become part of the festival programme.  To be sustainable as a festival we need to secure ongoing income.  This is where our Partnership Agreements come in.  Any one can host an event during the festival period and in exchange for bringing their event patrons, marketing the festival, operating an online ticketing system and handing all bookings,  Steampunk the Thames (STT) only takes 15% of the gross ticket sales.  Please note that listing your event through STT means maximum exposure and almost guaranteed full houses. It also helps to ensure that the whole festival is supported.   

Provide goods and services for Steampunk

  • The Thames Steampunk Festival had in roots in the arts and is till closely linked with creativity and recycling.  Many of the costumes, props, hats, vehicles and mad machinery are lovingly created in someone's home.  Grouping your stock items that might appeal to 'creatives' is a great way to boost your sales. 

  • You could even purchase in specific things that you know will be in demand.  These include hats, feathers, glue guns, belts, paints, ribbons, leather look products.  Also popular are anything related to images of owls, dragons, wizardy, fairies, time travel, steam, clocks, goggles, corsets, flying machines, hot air balloons, robotics, post apocolyptic worlds and of course cogs.  Do a little research and use your imagination.

Create a “Steampunk” special for the festival

  • Take something that you already do and theme it. Steampunkers will lap it up. 

  • Design your own themed drink - steampunk coffee with 'cog' in the foam, or give a cuppa tea a steampunk name.   

  • Make a 'steampunk' sandwich or slice.  Mad Burgers did a Steampunk Burger in 2017 and sold out of patties! 

Stay open later during festival

  • Look at whether your business would benefit from the clientele that the festival attracts and make sure that you are open for business.   This does not have to cost you more in wages - perhaps stagger your shifts for the weekend.  Have some people start later in the morning so that you can keep trading an hour or so more at the end of the day, particularly on the Friday night, Saturday and Sunday.  


Theme your décor  (all year round)

  • Steampunking the Thames means making it known as an interesting place to shop and visit.  We may be heritage but that doesn't mean boring.  Steampunk helps to make the wonderful heritage elements we already have more  appealing and exciting.  Take a leaf out of the book of some businesses that have already gotten on board.  Walter & Co Hairdressing has a great steampunk mural on their wall just as you walk in, Unichem Pharmacy has a wonderful steampunk clock on display and Harcourts has a Steampunked team photo framed.


There are lots of opportunities for you and your business to benefit, either

directly or indirectly.   The train is pulling out of the station - you can get on

board and enjoy the ride or be left behind waving goodbye.

(steampunk analogy haha). If we have a vibrant town that brings community together in a positive way then that can only be good for everyone!

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