Coachella 2013: 5 Social Marketing Tips for Events

May 24, 2013

Christina Hernandez

Christina Hernandez is new media coordinator at GES, where she manages GES’ corporate blog and their social media community.

When I say I felt privileged and pretty darn lucky to attend Coachella in 2012, I’m not exaggerating. This year’s festival sold out in 24 hours. People come from all over the world to experience Coachella and it’s one of the most unique events I’ve attended. Yes, I’m a music junkie. Everything from electronic dance music to indie and even hip hop, I love it all. My first concert (in fifth grade) was N’Sync and they literally brought tears to my eyes.

Nothing can replace the memories you make at an event, and what better way to extend that experience than through social media? Coachella isn’t just great at social media marketing; they reign supreme.

Here are five ways Coachella uses social media to extend the attendee experience and build a following with those unable to attend. All of these can be applied to just about any event.

1. Multiple Channels- With more than 150,000 music fans roaming the festival grounds, you can only imagine how many people who couldn’t attend “follow” the event. Having such a large audience means that there are all types of individuals who interact differently online. Coachella uses multiple social media channels and publishes a mix of content which allows them to reach a larger audience.

Here’s links to their sites:

·  Website

·  Twitter

·  Facebook

·  Google+ (Log into your Gmail account to view this link)

·  YouTube

·  Instagram

·  Tumblr

·  Foursquare

·  Mobile Apps

2. Practical and Social Mobile Apps- Not only did Coachella use their iPhone and Android app to centralize all logistics and push notifications, but they also used it to allow attendees to create custom line up schedules, locate food, check out what’s going on in the social world and even map out the festival grounds. This is a great example of taking your simple app and making it an important tool.

3. Digital Memorabilia- Forget the traditional souvenir shop; digital memorabilia isn’t only easy for festival goers who don’t want to carry things around, but also for on-the-go attendees. It lets them express themselves and spread the word with little effort. Coachella’s mobile app has a feature where users can create a digital postcard and send it to facebook, twitter or email.

4. Live Streaming- When you decide to stream and record specific portions of your event, you not only extend the experience, but also allow people who couldn’t attend to join the festivities. Coachella also used this to gain a key sponsorship with State Farm. They capture the best performances and encourage attendees to “relive Coachella,” using display ads. Don’t forget to tune here, for weekend two’s key performances!

5. #Hashtags Make It Official-There’s only one way to follow all conversations, guest appearances, etc. if you’re at the event or couldn’t make it –  an official #hashtag. Each #hashtag used by Coachella has a record amount of retweets each year. Follow #Coachella and #coachellalive for live updates this weekend!

I get excited talking about the social marketing surrounding Coachella, but not because it’s one of my favorite events. It’s because they know what they’re doing and that inspires me. Trade shows and corporate events can better capture their attendee’s attention if they socially engage with them through a variety of channels. Hopefully I’ll see a few of you at the Polo Fields in 2014 (crossing my fingers that I get through and get my ticket for next year)!

Is there an event or trade show whose social marketing inspires you? Share your experience by commenting below.

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