6 Things Festivals should be doing for Fall 2020
Posted on March 30 2020
Hi guys! Its Pooja from Festival Addicts! If you know me, or follow me on Instagram, you know I go to a LOT of festivals and live-music events. With the new restrictions on travel and non-essential large gatherings, this is a great time for brands, creators and festivals to get new digital content out there. More folks than ever will be working from home or working adjusted hours. Colleges and Universities across the nation are canceling in-person instruction. Digital media content consumption is at an all-time high, making it a great time to promote positivity and make your Festival stand out from the inevitably cluttered late 2020 festival season.
1. Be Honest about your situation, but do the right thing: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Brand and Customer trust is everything in live event production. With more sites like Headliner.co, and Pollen, as well as Facebook for peer-to-peer ticket selling, Festival attendees are buying secondary market tickets at record levels. It is more imperative than ever festivals and live events incentive direct ticket sales to maximize profit. Festival attendees are watching out for event producers that aren’t “doing the right thing.” Social Media backlash can be permanently damaging to your brand, and all future ticket sales.
Many events such as Powapunga Festival and Lightning in a Bottle have announced cancellations or rescheduling, but as of mid-March 2020, have not provided a planned reschedule date. Neither event have announced a plan for refunds, but instead have asked their fanbase to give them time to develop a plan. While consumers are understanding, time is essential: no ticketholder wants to feel forgotten or “duped" of their money!
2. Take Advantage of Viral Trends, (but be sensitive to the nature of things!
How is your event handling event delays? What type of humor does your attendee base find humorous? Use memes, TikTok videos and other innovative methods to communicate updates, news and more to your fan base. Fall Festival unaffected should look to use viral trends to both promote sales and boost consumer confidence. Get people excited about your event and give them something to look forward to! Try and lock down that ticket sale before the inevitable increase in event competition due to spring rescheduling. Provide increased flexibility
on payment plans and reduced online fees due to limited in-person hard copy ticket purchase options.
Everyone is looking for good vibes and good news: Now’s the time to get people excited about YOUR Festival and build consumer confidence in YOUR brand! Find ways to “do the right thing” that are budget conscious: these investments will go a LONG way!
3. Start reaching out to Brands, Sponsors and Partners Early
Many companies are delaying their live event marketing budgets to Q3 and Q4 2020 to better align with the schedules of live events. While this may mean bigger budgets, this also means increase competition by other rescheduled events. With most employees working remotely, start contacting potential partners, sponsors and influencers NOW. There is inevitably more down time for teams to flesh larger scale project and marketing ideas out. Have a lofty goal? Now is the time to accomplish it. Collaborate with musicians and artists booked for your event during the down time: everyone is looking for a platform to push their work. Take advantage of social media LIVE tools, takeovers, and more.
Events taking place in more remote locations should start looking into travel and hospitality partners such as RoostGo or Bus.Com to provide maximum ease of mind to attendees.
4. Lock down venues, new dates and research your major national event competitors. Finalize artist bookings NOW
Consider if your event is taking place within the next 8 weeks, as public gatherings over 50 have been condemned by the CDC during that time frame. Start looking at reschedule dates as quickly as possible and consider if it is best to postpone for later in the year or simply cancel. Research other local and national competitor events and how your event may stack up for your target audience.
Lock in major headliners as early as possible: curate an impressive line-up early to lock in event attendance and early ticket sales.
5. Re-asses your Insurance Policies
With rumors of events like SXSW unable to make a claim on their insurance, it is now more imperative than ever that events reassess their insurance coverage. Promoters should consider getting some form of insurance that covers event cancellation related to viral pandemics. If your event requires a government shutdown to trigger insurance, find ways to keep brand confidence high while waiting for the inevitable force majure. Let your attendees know that you’re working on solutions for all parties and listen to their questions and needs during this stressful time.
6. Consider adding more premium event ticketing options
This is a good time to take advantage of low consumer confidence in social interaction. When the festival season inevitably returns, there will be those that are ready and willing to splurge on that top tier option. So many festival goers are just waiting on the ability to make their next event even THAT more special. Consider adding a 2-tier VIP option, or additional perks for sale with Exclusive bulk merch packages have become popular for many event attendees who are fans of collecting memorabilia. Camping festivals should explore more tiered or group camping options for additional sale. Theme Camps are also another way to generate income with very little additional strategic planning. Now is the time to re-evaluate your festivals means of income generation. Not all money is made from direct event ticket sales!
While the mandates for social isolation as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic have caused a lot of disruption in the live events industry, promoters should use this down time to really develop and execute strategies that will make their next event more special. Find ways to connect with your audience during difficult time. Now more than ever brands can make strategic moves to build loyalty and trust with consumers. With transportation and hospitality costs also at record lows, it might just be time for out-of-towners to make that trip to your Festival: They just need that extra push!
I'll see you in the summer!
Pooja Shah is an LA-Based IT Consultant and the Festival Addicts Website monkey. When she’s not posting articles, getting sponsors, or headbanging to the latest Lost Lands Compilation Album, you can follow her festival adventures on Instagram @Pooja_Shahnanigans