3 Music Festivals, 1 App

Happy Memorial Day Weekend (aka long weekend)!  And it has indeed been a long weekend for Snapchat, which featured 3 music festivals in addition to other events like the Monaco Grand Prix and Cheese Rolling at Cooper’s Hill (what?).

*What I’m listening to as I write this blog post.*

This weekend, I went to 3 music festivals: Sasquatch in Quincy, Washington, Mysteryland in Bethel Woods, New York (#tbt to Woodstock), and EDC New York in East Rutherford, New Jersey (so, like, why is it called “EDC NY“?).  How did I attend all 3 music festivals?  Snapchat.

This semester, I had to create an entire Integrated Marketing Communications campaign around any given brand/companyIMG_3054.  I chose Snapchat because I truly believe it’s the next big thing — okay, so Snapchat isn’t by any means “new” since it was launched in September 2011 by Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy.  BUT the app is evolving.  It has transformed from an app that was primarily used to send silly, ephemeral, and sometimes nude (hey, do you) photos to friends and other users to an app that’s used for advertising and brand building.  In January 2015, Snapchat launched “Discover,” a new tool for users to view curated content from different brans including Cosmopolitan, CNN, the Food Network, Yahoo New, and more.  But what I think Snapchat is doing best is their “Live Story” feature in which attending users can send snaps to the public feed for all Snapchat users to see.  The trick is to have your location services turned on so that Snapchat knows you’re at the eveIMG_3088nt/in the area and can, therefore, contribute to the story.  For example, this weekend, Mysteryland attendees were able to take snaps and send them to the feed, which Snapchat then picks and curates what snaps are seen by the public.  It allows you to truly experience the festival whereas live streams are often polished, showing only a particular part of the festival and whatnot.  The “Live Story” feature allows users to truly feel as if they have experienced theIMG_3093 festival.  For example, on Day 1 of Sasquatch, some festival attendees were weary of the impending rainstorm whereas others were willing to continue partying on despite the rain.  Non-attendees would have never gotten that viewpoint otherwise.  Also, Mysteryland attendees often snapped what it’s like at festival grounds after the last headliner has played — this was extremely interesting for me since I haven’t camped at a festival yet (but Firefly soon!).  The “Live Story” builds on user experience and allows attendees to share their experiences with one another (#PLUR, am I right?!).

Instead of having a “Live Story,” EDC NY kept Snapchat users updated through their brand account, InsomniacEvents.  I started following the brand’s account last year around this time because of the exclusive DJ shout outs and behind-the-scenes lIMG_3089ooks the account would snap.  This year, Insomniac made sure to “live snap” the entire event.  Live snapping goes a step further than live tweeting in some aspects since it provides a first-hand look at the event through pictures and short 10-second videos.  What makes it cooler is that it’s all fleeting — you don’t get to stare at the picture or video for 10 minutes, but instead, IMG_308410 seconds.  I always found the ephemeral aspect of Snapchat so cool because it makes content seem even more exclusive.  Ultimately, Snapchat allows for the ultimate festival experience for festival attendees and the ultimate FOMO experience for those not attending.

Speaking from personal experience, it’s always a cool thing to be able to contribute to an event “Live Story.”  Even having an event geofilter makes your snap 10000000000x cooler.  At Ultra, we were able to get a few snaps with the geofilter and sent to the “Live Story” (we never made it onto the public “Live Story” #bitter).  However, at Coachella, it was near impossible to get a snap uploaded even just to “My Story” because of the sucky connection at the festival (#firstworldproblems am I right?!).  In the past, Snapchat has scored a 11090854_10205996273764475_8181585702527570812_osponsorship deal with Insomniac Events; Snapchat would provide free WiFi access for festival attendees so long as the”EDC Las Vegas “story” was promoted.  Several users, though, claimed that the WiFi was faulty and unable to be connected to.  According to Snapchat COO Emily White, free WiFi access was spotty due to the apparent popularity of Snapchat at the event.  In the future, it would be cool to see Snapchat doing the same sponsorship at a bunch of different music festivals with improved WiFi access, of course.  Can you tell I’m still a little #bitter from not being able to send my Coachella snaps in?

Stay tuned,



“Here’s to the nights we felt alive”

*Play while reading blog post for maximum emotion.*

It’s that time of year — when “Class of 20–” is written sloppily in marker on car windows and your family and friends are taking bets on whether or not the girl with her graduation cap on inside Olive Garden is graduating from college or high school. Grad Day

This year, I graduated college (granted, 1 year early, but still).  On May 14th, I graduated from the School of Communication & Information, but I technically didn’t officially graduate from Rutgers University until Sunday, May 17th, which was University commencement (see: sweaty legs, hat hair, and Bill Nye).  As you can only imagine, this is a huge transition in my life — I leave the friends I began this epic journey with, I don’t get to see my best friends every day Grad Day 2(and, well, pretty much every second), and I have to live back home again (love ya, mom and dad!).  Every other day and sometimes spontaneously, a close friend will get extremely sentimental or will even start to cry.  But me?  I haven’t had the luxury of being able to express my emotions through a good ol’ cry sesh (have I ever?).

Music is extremely nostalgic to me.  Like most people, listening to a song can bring me back to a specific time, place, memory, feeling.  I can listen to Blink-182 or Yellowcard and be tranGrad Day 3sported immediately back to my Laguna Beach-loving days.  I can listen to The Lumineers or Taylor Swift’s Red album and be sitting in my freshman year dorm again.  In other words, music makes me sensey (see: soft, emotional, vulnerable).

Every graduating class has songs tied to its era.  My brother’s generation way back when was all about “Graduation (Friends Forever)” by Vitamin C, and, honestly, that song still manages to choke me up – and THAT is really Laurensaying something.  Around the 2000s/my sister’s era of graduating from high school and then college shortly after was a mix of some of the best nostalgic songs: Michelle Branch’s “Goodbye to You” (SO good), Lee Ann Womack’s “I Hope You Dance” (daaww), Eve6’s “Here’s to the Night” (tears everywhere), and Green Day’s “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)” (okay, maybe not this one).Dance Marathon

My official 8th grade graduation song was “My Wish” by Rascal Flatts (cheesy, but it did the job and made me cry).  Our unofficial grammar school song was Boys Like Girls’ “The Great Escape” because I’m sure at the time we felt like rebellious, independent tweens ready to take on new hallways aka high school.  Basement showFor high school, we never had an official graduation song, but Fun.’s “We Are Young” pretty much summed up my high school years.  The song is fun (lol) and carefree, but not quite as reckless as it could be (ahem, college) — much like how high school was.

This year, though, I noticed there’s not one or two specific songs that sum up my college career.  Instead, I find myself thinking of different songs that are associated with memories — DJ Snake’s “Turn Down for What” (and, really, anything DJ Snake) will10731188_10205160027784086_109071226003444617_n always remind me of how he came to Rutgers for our Spring 2014 concert, Vampire Weekend’s “Step” makes me remember studying for finals with my very first best friends at Rutgers, Ke$ha’s “Die Young” reminds me of getting ready for football games and parties with my fellow Thot Cave members (also known as apartment mates), Oliver Heldens’ “Gecko (Overdrive)”HOLLAdayz brings me back to going to Miami/Ultra this year with good friends, Alesso’s “Heroes” makes me tear up a little because it makes me think of standing on my feet for a straight 30 hours with my best friends to support children with cancer through Dance Marathon, and St. Lucia’s “Elevate” transports me back to sunny Coachella with my sister.  There’s no song that represents my college experience, but rather a cluster.  I’ve had so many unique memories and experiences that no one song does my time “on the bankQuad Squads” justice.  And now I’m getting flustered because I’m starting to get emotional, but it’s true- my days at Rutgers deserve more than just a sappy generational song or two; they deserve an entire freakin’ series of songs — Vol. 1, Vol. 2, AND Vol. 3 — to capture all the hilarious, stressful, turntiest (see: drunk, tipsy, wasted) adventures I’ve had in college.

But, I mean, if you really want a generational graduation song, how about Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth’s “See You Again” (bawling only because of Paul Walker)?

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Stay tuned,


Party at the Puddle: Survey Results


Survey says

On Thursday, April 30th, the day of the event, I distributed a short 3-question anonymous survey.  The survey was geared towards finding out if our promotional efforts (mainly, our social media efforts) were successful in attracting attendees to the event.  The survey was also meant to reveal attendees’ true motivation for coming to the event.RUPA Survey


Survey Results to #1Out of the 116 survey participants, about 53% say that they found out about Party at the Puddle via social media while about 41% found out via friend.  These findings confirm my initial belief that social media is RUPA’s primary means of promotion with word-of-mouth trailing closely behind.  It goes to show what a digital world we live in today when over half of the survey attendees (61 to be exact) heard about the event through the Internet/social media.

The next question on the survey is meant to reveal attendees’ preferences in order to best improve future  promotional plaSurvey Results to #2ns.  By far, social media seems to be how people mainly want to find out about future events. Survey results show that people dominantly rely on social media to find out about brands’ events.  Mirroring results from the first question of the survey, the next preferred method of finding out about events is also through a “friend.”  From both of these questions, we can assume that having some sort of network, both online and in-person, is imperative in finding out about various events.

To investigate even deeper into what social media accounts are most helpful to users when finding out about events, I broke the data down from question #1 even further.  According to survey results, Facebook seems to be users’ most Survey Results from #1 (broken down)helpful social media network when trying to find out about events.  While Twitter may convey the same information as Facebook, Twitter event promo is usually set up to promote the event, but ultimately leads to another page (i.e., a Facebook event page) via attached link.  It is worth noting that a very select amount of people (4 to be exact) found out about the event through Snapchat, meaning that they presumably saw the live snaps of the events and decided it looked fun and worthwhile enough to attend.  This provides further proof that Snapchat is useful to a brand, especially when it comes to events.

Screen Shot 2015-05-04 at 1.25.17 AMFinally, the last question I was curious about was what actually made attendees come out to the event; was it the live music?  The free food?  The carnival games?  Friends?  I wanted to know what motivated people most to attend the event.  Survey results show that a slight majority of the 161 survey-takers came to the event for the free food (broke college students, am I right?!).  The second reason people attended the event was for the live music, according to the results.  Following closely behind “live music” was “friends.”

These results are interesting, although not that surprising.  The results do not really provide me with any new knowledge, but instead, reaffirms my beliefs that social media can affect event discovery, attendance, and experience.  If anything, this collection of data solidifies the importance of social media promotion in today’s digital world.

Limitations.  In distributing the survey, only a small portion of attendees was able to get surveyed.  Out of about 2,000-3,000 attendees (give or take), only 116 attendees were able to be surveyed.  This study also draws data from a limited audience- college students.  It would be difficult/almost impossible to apply these findings to a global audience.  If a music festival were to conduct a similar study, it would be interesting to see the difference between a college audience and a global audience.  Lastly, the survey questions focused mainly on social media preferences and habits, however, I would have liked to include a question or two about whether or not social media enhances user experience during an event.  Nonetheless, the data collected is still valid data that can be used to improve future promotional plans.

Stay tuned,