Boundless is honored to share this article from marketing extraordinaire and festival expert, Maddie Rish of Everfest. Everfest is an Austin-based company on a mission to help people discover festivals, book unique travel, find other revelers, and share amazing memories. Everfest shares Boundless’ vision of helping people create moments of connection that drive meaningful relationships. Below, Maddie shares some insights on promotions that will help brands create special moments with the people they care about, driving Brand Love through festivals!
As the music festival scene continues to evolve and expand nationwide, so too do the unique opportunities for brands to connect with their customers. According to a 2015 Nielsen report, approximately 32 million people attend at least one music festival in the United States each year, and nearly half (46%) are 18-34 years old. This phenomenon offers a major opportunity for marketers and companies to reach the millennial audience, and promotional products are one of the many channels through which this is effectively done. If you’re thinking of promoting your brand at a music festival (which you definitely should), it’s best to make sure the products you choose are those that best suit your audience. Here at Everfest, it’s safe to say we’re a bit festival-obsessed, and we understand the demographic of such events. With our passion for the festival world and expertise on the industry, we are excited to provide you with four recommended promotional products that are perfect for music festivals.
Coming from a girl who has attended her fair share of music festivals, I’ve learned it’s always best to leave the nice sunglasses at home. After all, accidents are inevitable in giant crowds – especially with valuables that are so easily broken or misplaced. This is why plastic neon sunglasses are the perfect promotional product to hand out at festivals. Not only can you buy them in bulk for a great price, but they come in a variety of eye-catching colors that appeal to this particular crowd. More importantly, whereas pens and keychains tend to get thrown away, revelers will actually hold on to these sunglasses and potentially bring them to other outdoor events (I still have my bright orange Miller Lite sunglasses from Lollapalooza 2010). The sun is no joke during festival season, so these should be an obvious choice!
Light Up Flashing Hand Fan
Light up hand fans are a hit amongst revelers, particularly at camping festivals. Imagine that it’s completely dark outside, and a crowd of thousands of people is anxiously waiting at the main stage for the headliner to come on. You start circulating hundreds of your LED fans through the crowd, and ten minutes later–everywhere you look–your company logo is lighting up the night. It’s actually very cool to see. After the show is over, people will make sure to hold on to these awesome fans in preparation for the hot, humid morning awaiting them in their tents.
Water Bottle Strap
Staying hydrated is absolutely imperative at music festivals, especially with the extreme heat and constant dancing. An issue I frequently run into during shows is having to constantly dig through my backpack to find my water or Gatorade. Water bottle straps like these are the perfect promotional product because they allow for easier access to the hydration process. Not only are they cheap to order in bulk, but they’re also easy to carry and extremely convenient. Festival-goers have no reason not to hang on to them for future outdoor events.
Lightweight Backpack or Waterproof Drawstring Backpacks
Lightweight or drawstring bags are a great choice for a variety of reasons. Similar to the sunglasses logic, people tend to leave their nice bags or backpacks at home to avoid damage caused by rain and mud. Drawstring bags are essential for people who want to avoid bulky straps and be able to move freely (if you’ve ever tried dancing in a shoulder-to-shoulder crowd with a giant backpack on, you know what I’m talking about). Even if you’re handing a drawstring bag out to someone who already has their own backpack, its light enough that it can be easily tucked away for later. This particular item is an effective promotional product in the sense that it provides ample space for a large company logo.
While I wish I didn’t need my phone during a festival, the reality is that having one offers a quick fix to a slew of common festival problems. A dead cell phone is useless when I get separated from my friends and need to plan a designated meeting spot, which is why I never head into the crowd without my portable charger. Plus, now that smartphones can snag awesome photos, I need my phone charged and ready to capture the perfect memory. These chargers are lightweight, reasonably priced, and oftentimes can charge two devices at once. The dying cell phone is every festival-goers problem, but it doesn’t have to be!
Suffice it to say, the benefits of distributing useful and creative products at music festivals are boundless. Studies show that the most effective promotional branding is a result of distributing a product with utility, which all of the above products are designed to provide. Even more so, in the sometimes hectic conditions of a festival, some of these products will be considered a “saving grace” of sorts, generating feelings of gratitude towards the company that provided it. This is what we consider hitting the jackpot when it comes to driving Brand Love―building relationships with people. What you’ve effectively done is provided a needed item that has found a special place in the recipient’s life – and on top of that, a piece of memorabilia from an event they will never forget.
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