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Experiential marketing is becoming the go-to method of raising brand awareness in an engaging way. Traditional forms of advertising can’t keep up with the fast-paced and detached world of the digital age, at least not on their own.  One of the many draws of in-person experiences is that they can take place just about anywhere, including festivals.  Festivals have been a mainstay in experiential marketing since they offer brands an opportunity to connect with consumers on a massive scale.

From the aroma of food to the visual elements of banners and booths to sounds of entertainment, festivals are one big melting pot of sensory experiences. With that said, there are also a lot of distractions.  Standing out in the crowd certainly takes some innovation. In order for brands to create an unforgettable experience among all the noise, they must come up with a solid plan.

Before you even think about utilizing experiential marketing tactics at a festival, you must know your audience.  Due to the fact that festivals cater to a multitude of interests like technology, music, and film, the focus must be on the target consumer and the types of festivals that they attend. For example, are they at Bonnaroo or Sundance? SXSW or Wanderlust? Or if you’re lucky, it’s all the above. Bottom line, you must research which festivals are most compatible with your brand, your target consumers, and your event goals.

Tips for Crafting a Festival Brand Activation

1.  Create FOMO

Once you have determined who you want to reach and where you can reach them, you’ll need to create an attention-grabbing experience. And no, you don’t need a drone light show or glitter falling from the sky create an entertaining event (unless you want to of course!). To generate buzz, create an experience with elements that will draw a crowd. When people see a popular space it naturally piques their curiosity. It creates FOMO (fear of missing out) and they will want to check out what all the excitement is about.

2.  Make it Memorable

The entertainment factor of your experiential event is important, but to make your event even more memorable, offer festival-goers something of value. And no, we are not talking about branded promo swag that will weigh them down. Give them a place to rest and recharge. Help them. Teach them something new. Feed them. Let them play. Better yet, incorporate several of these elements if your budget allows. The more senses you can engage, the better. If you decide to offer a giveaway, consider a personalized item or something that they can actually use instead of something that will end up in the trash at the end of the day.

3.  Get Social

Don’t forget social media. A festival is a great way to connect with people face to face, but it doesn’t replace the importance and impact of social media. According to EventTrack, a staggering 98% of consumers who participate in live marketing events create digital content and 100% share the content. With numbers like that, you have nothing to lose. Provide social sharing opportunities like live streams, hashtags, Geofilters, photo elements, or giveaways linked to social sharing to increase your brand’s visibility. The fact of the matter is, when someone shares their experience, it will get your brand in front of a broader audience. This helps to create awareness for your brand for those not in attendance.  Additionally, the content will resonate with your current followers which can drive brand loyalty. Whatever social element you choose, make sure that the content is easy to share.

4.  Be Authentic 

To genuinely connect with festival-goers, you’ll need to have the right people representing your brand. When you are considering staff for your event, look for those that align with both your brand and the festival. For instance, the promotional team that you used at a music festival may not be the same team you want for a children’s festival. No matter where you activate, you will increase your visibility, credibility, and bottom line when you have experiential marketing staff who can create an authentic and meaningful experience.

By following the tips above, you will rise above the noise and set your festival activation up for success.

Experiential marketing at festivals gives brands the opportunity to make thousands of impressions in a short period of time.  But, it’s hard to make those impressions without an experienced team of brand ambassadors.  ATN Event Staffing has successfully staffed numerous festival activations and we can help you, too.  If you are looking for promotional staff for your festival campaign or any other marketing event, please click below. 

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