Marketing a festival is hard work. There’s gigs to book, spaces to rent, tents to assemble, local bureaucracy to smooth over and endless other tasks. Whether you’re organizing a large-scale music festival or a small-town fair, you’ve got a lot on your plate.
Which is why marketing for festivals can so often fall by the wayside. After all, putting together the event itself should take precedence – otherwise there won’t be anything for folks to show up to. But nix marketing entirely, and you may not draw the crowds you hoped you would.
Promotional products can serve three core purposes as part of your festival marketing strategy.
First, they’ll spread the word and get your event some attention even before opening day. Second, they’ll ensure that people have a blast at the event itself. Promotional products will help them feel like part of the community. Third, giveaways, gifts and special sale items will provide festival goers with memories they’ll have for years to come – or at least until next year’s event!
Want the 10 best reasons to use promotional products to market your festival? Consider this checklist.
1. They can start building buzz in advance
These days, pretty much any kind of marketing – whether for a blockbuster movie, brand new product, debut band or major festival – involves buzz. Simply put, buzz builds gradually, and the louder you get, the more fans and festival goers are going to show up. Start early with T-shirts, banners, full-color postcards and other advertisements.
2. They’re colorful
Festivals thrive on vibrant color, so your promotional products shouldn’t be any different. Luckily, whether you’re investing in sweatshirts, Frisbees or custom drinkware, you’ve got a vast rainbow to choose from.
3. They’re useful
And promotional products don’t just look good. More often than not, the reason to go with a designer water bottle, custom flash drive or personalized bottle opener is because they’re handy giveaways. Whether you’re still building buzz or welcoming festival goers, these aren’t the kinds of promos that people toss out – they use them over and over again!
4. There are promotional products for kids and adults
Festivals usually need to sell themselves to kids and adults, unless you’re focusing on a specific demographic. Luckily, you’ve got just as many promotional toys and balloon styles to choose from as you do promotional pint glasses, smartphone accessories or beer cozies.
5. They show off your design team’s hard work
Do you have a ragtag or professional design team hard at work on your festival’s logo? Whatever kinds of promotional items you go with, you can display that image proudly. Some classic favorites for maximum visibility include T-shirts, magnets and the classic favorite, custom tote bags.
6. They’re viral
Promotional products spread rapidly. This won’t work for all of them, understandably. Festival goers will want to hold on to certain products for the memories. But some giveaway goodies – especially personalized pens – can spread far and wide in relatively little time. Just check your own desktop or drawers. Chances are you have a few promotional pens of your own!
7. They fit any theme
You can find the products to fit the typical festival themes. Celebrating the traditional town harvest season? Break out the promotional footballs, offer farmers market tote bags and put a few brand name coolers up for raffle. Concert promotion can benefit from custom earbud giveaways or band keychains. Of course, there’s also techy, golfing, academic, brewery and athletics-themed options to choose from, too!
8. They come in all sizes
From giant blue foam hands to pint-sized pennants, you can tailor your products by size. Don’t have room in the festival booths for full-sized custom sports balls? Pick small giveaway and sale items, like lanyards, custom silicone bracelets and other goodies. You can even order a range of sizes in promotional apparel.
9. Promotional products are affordable
Taking out advertisements is expensive. Promotional products combine word of mouth with physical mementos and reminders. That’s a hard combination to beat.
10. Like festivals, they foster nostalgia
When festival goers can leave your event with a souvenir, it keeps the memory fresh. How many folks still have the T-shirts they first bought at music shows and concert events from decades past? Your upcoming event is creating a tradition, so make sure you mark it.
As you’re putting together a list of promotional products you’ll want at your festival, think back on some of your favorite events. Consider the festival from the visitor’s point of view: What will wow you but not be unwieldy to carry around? What kind of pre-event promos would convince you to give the festival a try?
There are staples of course – the Blue Soda Promo Blog covered six that are especially ideal for music festivals – but don’t be afraid to think outside the box either. Who knows what marketing gold you might uncover!