The results came in on this year’s turn out from SXSW, and it’s safe to say that film, interactive and music festivals and conferences are an enormous market opportunity. If you’re looking to have high visibility among the college market and 20-30 something year old men & women urbanites, then look no further. This demographic is held hostage for a few days – they’re activated and impressionable.
For creative viral marketing, especially when it comes to event activation, it’s easy to look at festival lineups and know where a brand should be. The real work is figuring out how to connect with these targets while they’re on-site. Just slapping your logo on anything and everything won’t cut it. Consumers are immune to branded collateral and you need to be more exciting and customised in your approach.
Event activation and sponsorship integration is all about organically connecting your brand to something which makes sense in terms of audience and action. Relevancy in terms of the relationship of the brand to the event is what makes a sponsored event successful. Gift bags, VIP suites, and “exclusive beverage partner of….” have all been done before and just aren’t enough. Doing something new and fresh will allow your brand to be seen in a different light and attract attention you wouldn’t otherwise get.
The right marketing partner, whether a Public Relations agency, marketing firm, or your in-house staff should not only attract a larger audience, but it should also allow your brand to be seen in a different light rather than just being passed by as something that has been done before.
If it’s a photo booth that lets people capture the event experience, an invite-only private party, a free airport transfer / branded taxi, a great YouTube video, or even an off-beat recreation like mini-golf/bocce ball/croquet/quittage tournaments, consumers are acknowledging that brands are making their experience unique and far more entertaining. With this level of specialised engagement comes brand loyalty, tremendous word-of-mouth value, and a clear point of difference from your peers.
At our NYC based PR firm, we have staff attend everything from the Grammy’s to The MTV Awards, Sundance to Winter Music Festival and study what’s being done. The trick isn’t to spend the most – it’s to get the biggest bang for your buck.
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