Although I am pretty bummed I did not see Beyoncé and the Walmart kid perform at Coachella this year, I am still looking forward to all the concert festivities this summer.
Not only is this a great opportunity for brands to interact with their target markets, but it is also a great way to raise awareness when it comes to various philanthropic initiatives. When I attended a number of hospitality tents at the Lollapalooza music festival in Chicago and the Panorama music festival in New York last year, I was pretty surprised by the amount of companies doing good deeds out there. If your budget allows, try to offer customers a journey at your tent. Make sure that along the journey that your product or service is woven into the process and doesn’t dominate the experience. Have multiple prizes along the way. Here are a few ideas and suggestions if you’re planning on hosting your first tent-party experience at an outdoor concert this year:
Start of the journey: Prizes
While folks are waiting in line to get into your tent, this is the best time to offer eco-friendly giveaways. One of the most popular items I’ve seen at music festivals include reusable water bottles/bags. These items are typically in high demand by the end of the night when people line up to re-hydrate at water stations. Don’t want to generate waste by handing out prizes? Hand out food! One of the coolest items I saw was 3-d printed red velvet donuts. They were a crowd favorite at the Toyota booth at Lollapalooza last year. The featured photo of the mix tape from this blog post is also a prize from that tent. Although it looks like a cassette it was actually a USB thumb drive. This is another way to to not only promote artists you partner with, but a way to promote your cause as well.
No line at your tent? Another option would be to offer incentives like “collect a bag of recyclable bottles” and receive a free limited edition concert T-shirt available at your booth. This recycling campaign has been quite popular at Lollapalooza for a number of years.
Middle of the journey: Games & Music Dens
One of the most daring and elaborate games would have to be an obstacle course of some-sort. But there is also a series of games you can host without spending thousands on equipment. Be sure to put your logo on the gaming equipment itself. I have seen branded Plinko, cornhole/bean bag toss and other hand-eye coordination games that get customers to physically interact and take photos with your brand. A great time to announce your philanthropic campaign initiatives is during the game. For example, you could mention that all drinks proceeds in your tent will go towards a given charity.
In addition this, you can also feature artists that are already performing at the venue. For example, some companies offer private tents for loyalty members with exclusive performances. Other simply host bands that have already performed, but still offer an encore performance for fans who missed the first showing.
End of the journey: Photo Booth
Let’s talk about guest-generation hashtag mosaics. A good way to have people commemorate the end of a journey is to take a photo, right? As an event manager, all you have to do is follow these steps:
Have your client take a photo of themselves (this can be at a booth, with a photographer, or the client's phone. I've also seen photo stands that use iPads and photo booth software.)
Make sure the photo is posted to social media using a special hashtag e.g. #CompanyX4vets
Print the photo at the tent for the client
Add photo to the mosaic wall for the client
Donate to a charity of your choice! (For example, $1 per photo is donated to military veterans.)
I highly recommend using Luster for your mosaic station. Here's a quick video that shows how it works:
Be sure to keep a scoreboard of how much you’ve raised that day to keep the participants motivated in achieving your goal! What other initiatives have you spotted at music festivals and outdoor concerts?