3 Trends Corporate Events Can Take Away from Summer Music Festivals
American music festivals have mastered a captive and loyal audience. The experiential fusion of art and culture has tripled in attendance this summer and we want to know what makes these events so enormously successful and keeping Americans coming back for more?
Photo by Annalise Murphy
Event producers can take from three commonalities that these diverse crowds share.
1. The Niche Community
Mary Burdette, Assistant Director of the Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival in Oak Hill, New York, explains how the most successful festivals both create and target Niche Communities by keeping development and marketing close to home.
“The most successful festivals will be the ones doing things NOT being done by others, for example: artist development; unique branding beyond the festival itself; developing ways of engaging the fan year round; using social media to keep fans involved and a healthy buzz going; fostering the sense of community during the festival; asking fans what they think and thanking them for their input, etc. All of these practices help to develop that “niche community” that so many people are seeking these days. They also suggested getting die-hard fans who are really into the music to invite their friends to attend a festival with them.” - Mary Burdette, Assistant Director, Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival
2. Audice as Producers, (interactive marketing)
Much like sports arenas and corporate events, festivals create a space for these “Niche Communities” to participate in and enhance an environment. Moving attendees from being consumers to active producers has proven to be a successful trend in interactive marketing.
In a 2009 Cnet.com article, Matt Rosoff, an author interested in the intersection of consumer and enterprise technology, explains the consumer to producer shift within the music industry.
“Digital technology and the Internet have made promotion and distribution far easier than they were a decade ago. By 2020, music fans will spend almost as much time creating and sharing recordings with their friends as they do listening to professionally recorded music.” - Matt Roseff, Former CNET Blog Network author
Interactive marketing has become so popular that annual Music Festivals such as South by Southwest, has evolved into a renowned Interactive and Startup Business Launch Pad. In the past, Twitter, Air BnB, and Foodspotting have all Launched at SXSW because of it’s “Niche Communities”, interactive environment, and continual growth of attendance.
3. Creating an Experience
With an emphasis on community and interaction, it is the spectacle that both draws and captivates the Festivarians. Lisa Gerstley, a student at the University of Southern California, Summarizes the attraction to the experience of festivals.
“It seems undeniable that in the past decade, the number and variety of music festivals in the United States has increased dramatically. For example, Coachella has grown from 25,000 people during two days in 1999 to crowds of 85,000 a day over two three-day weekends in 2012. Ultra Music Festival reached a record 165,000 attendees in 2012.
Much of this all-around experience can undoubtedly be attributed to the environment created by art installations, creative lighting, and large sculptures and structure.
It is clear that the appeal of festivals is about more than just the music: successful festivals offer carefully crafted experiences that appeal directly to the basic human need for connection and community.”
For Corporate Events and Meetings to maximize success, you are encouraged to create a unique sense of community by incorporating interactive and engaging programs. By encouraging audience members to actively engage with the speaker or one another, attendees are more likely to network and develop relationships that increase an events memorability.
Interactivity can be as easy as grouping strangers together with ice breakers, or as advanced as utilizing new interactive technology such as real time polling or modern digital whiteboards. This technology can open the floodgates of communication while impressing your crowd.
To market a new product or program, think product launch, create a setting that encourages your audience to interact with the physical product. The tactile environment will open communication and give your audience a chance to rave about how awesome your product is.
Finally, add a component where the audience has to think creatively or be a producer. Interactions such as having guests name, choose, and compile their own gift bags, creates physical memories that make for a lasting experience.
Thanks for taking the time to visit the blog and reading my post! I welcome your feedback, additional insight, and comments.
Till next time,