A recent report from Pulse reveals that events have now become a rich tool for marketing organisations.
Experience-driven marketing is the way forward apparently, with people preferring a sense of “camaraderie and shared culture. Why eat luxury cheese at home when you could tap into a community of cheese lovers at a festival or pop-up marketplace?”
80% of millennials reported that they would prefer to make sacrifices of material or luxury goods to participate in experience-driven exercises. This is very welcome news in particular for the festival industry.
The report continues to say that more creative events in increasingly creative spaces have become the norm in 2018. Passive marketing techniques which were previously employed are now being replaced with “more personable, and intimate event spaces… as brands look to engage each individual customer.”
More than 7,000 major outdoor events are held each year. Outdoor events cover all activities from major festivals, agricultural shows, sporting and charity events through to small village and craft events.
Following the Olympics in 2012, the UK has established itself as a world leader in outdoor events. Now many UK companies export their events industry expertise. The sector has witnessed huge growth; between 2005 and 2009 there was an average annual increase of more than 1.64M adults attending outdoor events in the UK.
Festival Food Trends
One trend that has expanded over the years and has now become a sophisticated part of festivals is catering. Once upon a time, when festivals started, visitors were lucky to find anything more than a greasy burger or a curled up sandwich. Those days, however, are long gone. Today the culinary credentials of a festival have become increasingly important, and this is an accelerating trend.
Chief Executive of the Association of Independent Festivals, Paul Reed says that spending on food and drink at independent festivals was 36% higher in 2017 than in 2008. “Customer expectations have shifted considerably and, in some cases, food and beverage options can be as important as the music and arts programming itself,” he comments.
In March 2018, CGA Strategy, a consumer research group, published a report on festival-goers’ attitudes towards food and drink based on 5,000 interviewees.
The research revealed that the range of food and drink was an important factor when choosing which festivals to attend. Nearly two-thirds of the respondents (61%) cited “a diverse selection of food and drink stalls” as a significant factor when choosing a festival.
On average, a music festival ticket cost £150. This is a significant amount and attendees expect a more luxurious experience. In addition, and more importantly, they also bring the cash to pay for it. Thus festival organisers are placing more emphasis upon the catering, from gourmet burgers to fresh, healthy smoothies, sushi and vegan options.
For the catering fraternity in the events industry, the options are endless and accelerating to provide a variety of food for every palate.