Festivals are a celebration of culture, art, music, food and entertainment that bring people together for a shared experience, creating a unique community of people. For festival organisers, keeping your attendees engaged is essential for the success of your event. Engaged attendees are so much more likely to enjoy the festival, stay longer, spend more money, and even return in future years. Additionally, engaged attendees can be an excellent source of some favourable word-of-mouth marketing, which can make a big difference to your sales. In this blog, we will discuss some effective strategies for keeping festival attendees engaged and entertained before, during, and after your fantastic festival event.
Building excitement and anticipation for an event is frankly just as important as the event itself. In the case of festivals, social media is your most useful tool. Sharing sneak peeks of the festival, such as behind-the-scenes looks at preparations, artist announcements, and teasers of what's to come is a perfect way to build anticipation and excitement.
You can create a sense of community and exclusivity (which can be re-enforced after the festival) by offering early-bird ticket sales or VIP packages that come with special perks and experiences. Encourage attendees to share their ticket purchases online and get people chatting about your festival! Consider partnering with influencers, local businesses, and media outlets to promote the festival and create some buzz and even more conversation. And, if you want to take it one step further, maybe host some pre-festival events and activities, such as launch parties, pop-up shops, or artist meet and greets, to give attendees a taste of what's to come and get them really excited!
Ensure your festival-goers have a blast throughout the event by curating a diverse line-up of performers and activities that cater for different interests and age groups within your demographic. Additionally, you could utilise technology to enhance the festival experience, such as interactive maps, virtual reality installations, and live streaming of performances, also hopefully leading more people to your social media! It's here on your socials that you can provide engaging and informative content to keep attendees excited. On your festival app, or on social media, offer unique and memorable experiences, such as exclusive meet and greets with performers or backstage tours - this could even link to your pre-event engagement, with competitions set up to win meet and greets during the festival.
The festival may be over, but the memories and excitement can live on! Share highlights from the festival on social media, such as photos, videos, and reviews from both the festival's social media team and festival attendees. Encourage attendees to share their own experiences using the festival hashtag. Merchandise or limited edition items are a perfect way to keep the festival spirit alive in your new-found community. You could sell t-shirts, posters, vinyl records, beer glasses, hoodies, caps, water bottles or camping mugs. Maybe even consider releasing new merch every year so long time festival go-ers can build up a collection.
Hosting post-festival events, such as after-parties, artist meet and greets, or film screenings, is a brilliant way to continue that vital connection with attendees. Perhaps consider partnering with any brands, companies or charities that were part of, or somehow linked to the festival, and get some smaller events going! Sending out post-festival surveys or questionnaires is very effective at gathering feedback and ideas for future festivals. It's also a fantastic way to show attendees that their opinions and suggestions matter, and that the festival is built around them. Remember, a successful festival is more than just a one-time event, it's about building a community and keeping the engagement going all year long!
Creating a guide to keep your attendees engaged before, during and after your festival is arguably the most important piece of marketing and engagement planning you can do to ensure the success and longevity of your festival. Feel free to steal our 6-step plan, it's here to help you and your festival!
To find out more, book a free consultation call or demo on our website! Take a behind-the-scenes look at how our ticketing software works, and discuss with a member of our team how you could utilise the benefits of our platform for your festival. We'd love to hear from you!