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5 valuable marketing steps to take when your amazing festival ends

So, after all the hard work you put in to build your music festival and execute your festival marketing plan, you finally get to see all that hard work pay off. You sell plenty of tickets, the fans love your artists, and your festival brand buzzes on social media as a result. You may think that now is a good time to relax, but there is plenty of work that needs to be done for you to prepare for next year’s festival. You want to carry that momentum for the next year, so we outlined five essential marketing steps you should take as soon as your festival ends.

1. Recap the highlights

If done the right way, your festival should create a happy and memorable experience for you and your attendees. So, hire a photographer or videographer to capture every moment of the show. Professionally captured photos or videos serve as great social media content, so make sure that you post it on your Instagram, Facebook, and Youtube accounts. The more buzz it generates online, the more people will see what they missed out on by not attending the event. This digital marketing tactic will help build interest among people outside of your local area. The most hardcore festival attendees will travel anywhere for any event, so it’s important that you build enough interest online. 

Festival goersPhoto by Vonecia Carswell on Unsplash

If you didn’t hire a photographer or videographer for your event marketing plan, there’s no need to worry. There should be an abundance of User-Generated Content (UGC) available on the most popular social media platforms. This content should also be easy to find because users will either tag your festival page or use a hashtag with your festival name. You should encourage patrons to do these two things to generate more UGC for your marketing campaign. UGC can also be a great source of content for your social media pages, but be sure to ask for permission before posting any content that doesn’t belong to you. UGC also builds interest among people outside of your local area, builds your target audience, and encourages them to travel to your festival. You may even find some influencers who are interested in promoting your festival to their followers.

In addition to social media, you can also recap your event in an email newsletter. You can use the emails you collected to sell your tickets as the base for your newsletter’s audience. A newsletter can be a great way to update patrons about the next upcoming festival. You can build excitement and anticipation for your festival by sharing artists on the lineup, the schedule, ticket sale dates, and more.

2. Offer discounts

With plenty of execution and a little bit of luck, you might sell out of your merch by the time your festival ends. But if not, there’s no need to worry. You can offer special discounts for merch items to people who attended your festival. These discounts can be offered in-person initially, and then you can use advertising to transition the sale to your online website. 

DiscountPhoto by Markus Spike on Unsplash

But you don’t have to stop there. Remember, the most important aspect of hosting a festival is to sell tickets. You can have the most exciting festival in the world, but it wouldn’t mean much if there weren’t people to see it. That’s why you can offer early-bird discounts for next year's festival. The low price will be enticing for people willing to commit to attending your festival a year in advance, but you could also announce any locked-in headliners or artists to seal the deal. This is advantageous because you can boost the number of available funds in your budget to prepare for next year’s festival. 

3. Get feedback

One of the most important aspects of running a business is to collect feedback. That way, you can learn more about what you did well and what you may need to improve. Your ticket buyers can ultimately help you boost your festival’s success.

Every question you ask your festival-goers should see if your festival met their consumer needs and preferences. If they did, then great. That means that you have a satisfied customer, and you can build on that satisfaction for next year. This cycle will help boost your festival’s popularity. If they did not meet their consumer needs and preferences, then you need to review what needs improvement for your festival.

Asking about the performing artists can indicate what artists people liked, and what artists people didn’t like or lacked interest in. Once you know the artists that people liked, you can start targeting similar artists for next year. Once you know the artists that people didn’t like, you can avoid targeting similar artists for next year.

Asking about the concessions and merch table can give you an idea about what kind of concessions and merchandise items people enjoyed the most and the least. Not only will this help your vendors make more money at your festival, but it will also help save you money by avoiding undesirable concessions and merchandise items for the next year. In addition, if your vendors are happy with their sales at your event, then that makes them more likely to return next year. 

tacoPhoto by Kevin Liang on Unsplash

Asking about other miscellaneous items like transportation, security, and other emergency services can help you make small, but impactful changes to your festival. Although these changes are small, they are completely necessary and ensure that your festival runs smoothly the entire time. 

Asking about how people found your event can help you determine which marketing tactics are the most effective. Whether it be social media activity, ambassadors, or word of mouth, it is up to you to figure out which one helps you sell the most tickets. That way, you can continue to invest in that method to boost next year’s ticket sales.

You can primarily ask for feedback through your festival’s social media pages. You can also ask for feedback through your festival’s email newsletter. Offering special discount codes for merch and/or tickets can help encourage people to take your survey as well. Be sure to think carefully about the questions you want to ask because that will be the catalyst for the feedback you receive. You want your feedback to be as useful as possible, so take some time to brainstorm some survey questions before offering it online. 

surveyPhoto by Christin Hume on Unsplash

4. Data collection

In addition to collecting feedback for your festival, you should also collect data that measures your festival’s success. For instance, you should collect statistics such as:

  • Total attendance
    • Attendance for each artist’s set
  • Merch items sold
    • Which merch items sold the most and the least
  • Concessions sold
    • Which concessions sold the most and the least
  • Tickets sold
    • Which discounts or special offers were the most effective
    • Which ticket type sold the most
  • Costs
    • Artists
    • Concessions
    • Merch 
  • And more

After collecting statistics like these, you should complete a cost-benefit analysis to see how much contribution and benefits these items add to your festival’s success. 

data analyticsPhoto by Lukas Blazek on Unsplash

5. Thank you’s

Last, but certainly not least, you should thank everyone that helped ensure your festival’s success. This includes your sponsors, vendors, volunteers, brand ambassadors, and your artists.

You want to thank these groups of people to maintain your relationship with them. Even though your festival is over, these groups can still help you as you prepare for next year’s festival. If the partnership was mutually beneficial, those groups will likely contribute to your event the following year. For instance, your mutually beneficial relationship with your sponsor will improve your festival’s reputation, which will ultimately make it easier for you to secure sponsors in the future. 

Celebrate then get to work

Although your festival’s success is worth celebrating, the steps you take immediately after your festival’s conclusion will serve as the foundation for your festival next year. By building a strong foundation, you can make it a little easier for the next year. As you think about planning for next year be sure to check out our other resources for planning a music festival by clicking the button below.

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Julian Portis-Escoto
Julian Portis-Escoto
Julian is an avid music lover and frequent concert attendee who enjoys writing about the live events industry. In addition to loving listening to music, he's a passionate bass singer.

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