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,



Party at the Puddle: Social Media Promo Plan

RUPA promoted events through all channels (digital, in-person, and print), but our presence is most prevalent on social media.  We drop all events first on Facebook and Twitter.  Given that social media is our primary means of promotion, I build in Party at the Puddle supporting posts in the Marketing committee’s social media content calendar for April.  Each month, I make a content calendar that dictates what type of post should be posted and when so that our social media accounts are not over saturated with event promotion.  The first few posts I assigned to Taylor, the Traditions & Community MAD, since Party at the Puddle is primarily a T&C event with a music portion.  The remaining posts I assigned to myself in order to promote each of the artists performing, much like Bonnaroo and Coachella do.

Original photo was accidentally deleted; current replacement photo taken on 5/3.

Can this technically be considered Rutgers’ mini music and arts festival? *Original photo was accidentally deleted; current replacement photo taken on 5/3.

So far, the event’s social media presence continues to grow given that over 2,000 students (almost 3,000 students) have RSVP’ed “Going” to the event.  Since the Concerts & Coffeehouses committee had extra money left over from Beats on the Banks and we are now expecting close to 3k people, we are doubling the food budget and ordering more food to accommodate the expected turnout.

This is totally going to be a mini music festival… but minus the flower crowns and floppy hats.

Stay tuned,


Party at the Puddle: Facebook Attendance

It’s only been TWO days since Party at the Puddle officially dropped on Facebook, but the event already has over one thousand people RSVP’ed as “Going”!  Of course, how reliable is a Facebook RSVP really though?  Still, it’s incredible to see the event get so much attention in a liParty at the Puddle Facebook Event Pgmited amount of time.

The impact of successful events on brand equity is exceptionally important.  In a study done by Zarantonello and Schmitt (2013), “event attendance has a positive impact on brand equity” (p. 255).  Events give attendees the chance to directly interact with and experience the brand.  Successful, meaningful events can change audiences’ perceptions of the entire brand.  Being at an event usually means “being fully immersed in a physical space that stimulates all consumers’ senses, and encourages them to be active participants and to interact with the surrounding environment” (Zarantonello & Schmitt, 2013, p. 261).  Wanting event attendees to have a complete experience, we/RUPA is strategically and creatively planning and preparing for Party at the Puddle.  We will have free food (calling all broke college students), carnival games (even a dunk tank!), arts and crafts (who wouldn’t want to do a craft involving a mason jar?), and of course- live music!

If Facebook attendance continues to grow and is any sign of how many people will actually be there, this event will really impact how attendees experience RUPA.  A major part of how we plan events is how we think the attendees will experience the event.  To us, it’s now just about the artist performing or the notable person speaking or giving a lecture, it’s about what attendees will remember and feel.  At the very first RUPA event I worked (Beats on the Banks ft. Alesso), I remember the good music and amazing production, but the memory that stands out the most to me is looking out at the crowd and feeling a sense of cohesiveness — there were over 4,000 diverse students of all different ethnicities, majors, minors, towns, etc., but here we were all dancing and enjoying the same concert.

If there is anything I hope to accomplish with Party at the Puddle, I hope to help people and friends make memories.

Stay tuned,


RUPA Presents: Party at the Puddle

Yup, RUPA is hosting a party at Passion Puddle on Thursday, April 30th.

Similar to the Fall’s Scarlet Harvest, which includes live music, free food, arts & crafts, and other fun activities (i.e., bull riding), Party at the Puddle serves as a celebration of nice weather and the end of the semester (finally).  As part of my Capstone, I will be planning the music portion of the event.  I will also be in charge of creating a promotion plan for Party at the Puddle.  What better way to understand social media promotion (when it comes to music events) than to plan and promote one yourself?

Along with promoting the event itself, I plan to promote each of the respective local New Brunswick bands’ Facebook and Bandcamp or Spotify pages.  I will incorporate all types of marketing in my Party at the Puddle promotion plan including:

  • Digital marketing (HEAVY social media promotion)
  • Print marketing (flyers on RUPA bulletin boards)
  • In-person marketing (street teams)

At the event, I will be distributing a short anonymous survey to as many attendees as possible in order to analyze and determine what form of promotion was the most effective in attracting attendees.  Based on the answers we have heard in the past via focus groups, I predict that social media will be the main source of attendees’ knowledge of the event.

Since social media is RUPA’s strongest form of marketing, we drop all of our events via Facebook and Twitter first.  Given that Party at the Puddle just dropped today, the Facebook “Going” RSVPs and invites seem to be growing at a healthy pace if not faster than normal.  A big factor could be the name of the event.  Personally speaking, if I saw an event named “Party at the Puddle,” I would be kind of confused and prompted to click on the event page.  The event name itself is click-bait!  As a side note, it was NOT easy to name this event.  At first, I was hell-bent on naming it “New Funswick” because why not?  At the end of the day, though, I couldn’t be happier with the event name — it matches the event’s upbeat, laid-back vibe.

This is an actual photo of Passion Puddle. Desktop wallpaper worthy, am I right?!

This is an actual photo of Passion Puddle. Desktop wallpaper worthy, am I right?!

Also, the fact that RUPA is hosting an event at Passion Puddle could be enough to attract attention since no other event is held in that area.  According to Hoyle (2002), the venue or event location can “dictate not just the attendance, but the character and personality of the event as well” (p. 15).  While framing events in a certain light is also important when promoting, having quality raw materials is equally as important.  We knew that we needed to somehow incorporate “Passion Puddle” in the event title to attract attention and place emphasis on the cool, unique location.  Beautiful weather (*KNOCK ON WOOD*), live music, tasty food, fun carnival games, and friends all in such a peaceful, picturesque place makes for the best day.

Stay tuned,


Hoyle, L. H. (2002). Introduction to event marketing. In Event marketing: How to successfully promote events, festivals, conventions, and expositions (pp. 1-17). New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons.


Social Media Review: Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival

After taking a looking at Bonnaroo’s social media accounts, I now read the music festival as Bonnawoo (no, I will not stop with the corny dad jokes)!

Continuing with my “Social Media Review” series of various music festivals, I will be reviewing Bonnaroo’s social media presence and content.  Although I tend to follow music festivals quite closely, I will admit that I haven’t really looked at the Tennessee music festival’s social media accounts before.  Apparently, I’m in the minority according to Roo’s social media following:

These numbers seem close to the numbers I would guess that Roo probably had in terms of social media following.  It’s interesting, however, to compare the monstrous following of Ultra versus Roo (read: Social Media Review: Ultra Music Festival).  Quickly scanning over Roo’s social media accounts, I was pleasantly surprised with the content.  Roo makes good use of videos, photos, and fan engagement.  The music and arts festival keBonnaroo Social Media 4eps a consistent “voice” and message throughout all social media accounts.  I can already feel the hippie, free spirit nature of the music festival just by reading through some of its posts and viewing a couple pictures.  I respect Roo for keeping committed to their message: “RADIATE POSITIVITY.”  What I really admire about the festival’s social media accounts is that its content also includes inspirational picture quotes, artist promotion, and articles related to Roo.

Bonnaroo Social Media 5

Bonnaroo Social MediaBonnaroo Social Media 3






  • Bonnaroo’s “voice” and brand personality is strong and established.  It’s easy to imagine Roo’s atmosphere without being there because its social media personality is so consistent.
  • Roo retweets and shares fan photos frequently.  Roo even goes a step further and replies to many fan tweets.
  • Content on Roo is never stale — the Tennessee music festival features related articles, inspirational quotes, cool photos, teaser vids, and more!
  • Roo will also post content that promotes an artist performing at the festival.  Roo will also retweet artists that are playing at the event even if the tweet does not explicitly mention/involve Bonnaroo.  Often, music festivals promote the entire lineup as a whole rather than promoting each individual artist as relevant materials arises.  For example, Roo posted a link to Florence + the Machine’s new music video, “St. Jude,” since she is one of this year’s headliners.  I plan to do this sort of promotion for my Capstone event as well.
  • Roo heavily promotes the experience of the event via pictures and articles.  Festival attendees are even referred to as “Bonnaroovians” who live under “The Bonnaroovian Code.”  The festival even compiled a “Census” based on its 2014 attendees.

Bonnaroo Social Media 2


  • Although Roo features all types of photos from the event, a few pictures of the different stages with their respective production would be cool.
  • This is me nitpicking at this point since I can’t really think of anything majorly wrong with Roo’s social media, but using countdown visuals can help hype up event attendees.

I have never been to Bonnaroo, but their social media presence is definitely making me reconsider.  At the same time, though, their social media presence is so expertly done that I feel as if I have already ran through “The Farm” barefoot with messy hair throwing up the shaka sign and maybe a peace sign here and there as I “radiate positivity.”

Overall score: 9 — Roo’s done everything pretty much perfectly from posting relevant content to keeping attendees/fans engaged!

Stay tuned,


Social Media Review: Ultra Music Festival

More like ULTRA cheesy social media (hate myself only a little bit for making that joke).

As part of my Capstone, I plan to review and analyze different music festivals’ social media presence and content.  Up first: Ultra Music Festival in Miami, Florida.  Catering to a specific crowd (since Ultra is an electronic dance music festival), I predicted that Ultra’s social media following would be large, but still scaled back.  Looking at Ultra’s official Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, I could not have been more wrong.  Check out their social media following:

Clearly, there are more EDM fans than I originally assumed.  I’m extremely impressed with the music festival’s social media following, but its content?  Not so much.  Sure, Ultra posts awesome, trippy, FOMO-worthy pictures of stages with amazing production and attendees that are having the time of their life (but are also half-dressed in different variations of neon colors — this is a whole other topic though), but Ultra’s Facebook posts/tweets/Instagram captions are pretty weak and a little bit cringeworthy.  HOWEVER, the posts do cater to the majority of the music festival’s fans.  This is definitely evident through the high levels of engagement with posts, including shares, replies, retweets, favorites, and likes.

Screen Shot 2015-05-03 at 12.45.00 PM

Screen Shot 2015-05-03 at 12.46.03 PMScreen Shot 2015-05-03 at 12.47.22 PMScreen Shot 2015-05-03 at 12.57.05 PM


  • Ultra does an excellent job at hyping up fans by posting countdown visuals, video recaps from previous years, and sensory-stimulating photos.
  • Catering to its audience, Ultra posts retweet-able or sharable content (although I would never personally retweet something that said “Ultra > anywhere else” or “Find love at ULTRA” with a picture of two neon-clad attendees kissing).
  • Across all social media accounts, Ultra’s “voice” remains consistent whether it is through picture captions or general posts.
  • Ultra makes good use of photos and videos.  By posting plenty of multi-media content, Ultra basically encourages attendees to view and share the content.
  • Ultra posts consistent reminders about tickets and security regarding the festival.  According to an article that studied festivalgoers’ use of Twitter during the Glastonbury 2013 music festival, researchers found that festivalgoers often used Twitter to coordinate locations and ask festival staff technical questions (Jamison-Powell et. al., 2014, p. 2).
My friend Erica's hilarious reaction to Ultra's social media content -- can't say I disagree with her though!

My friend Erica’s hilarious reaction to Ultra’s social media content — can’t say I disagree with her though!


  • Ultra’s social media “voice” could use some work.
  • Looking at Ultra’s Twitter, they do engage and reply to some followers, but overall, it is not as responsive.  Ultra does, however, retweet users quite frequently.  During the music festival, Ultra should be retweeting and responding to attendees since festival attendees often use social media to “mediate and support their experiences” (Jamison-Powell et. al., 2014, p.4).
  • Its content can often get repetitive and almost stale.  One can only see so many pictures of a stage with crazy lights and caption like: “Let the lights do the talking…”
  • There were no signs or announcements to tag photos or tweets with a specific hashtag (i.e. #Ultra2015).

All of this being said, I attended Ultra this year so I was able to witness all of this firsthand.  When I had a question about something, I did not once turn to social media to ask festival organizers a question.  Besides the weak content, the music festival could really work on its day of show social media plan.

Overall score (1-10, 10 being the best): 7  Ultra’s lack of engagement and response really take away from its score.

Stay tuned,


Jamison-Powell, S., Mahoney, J., Bennett, L., & Lawson, S. (2014, February). Understanding in-situ social media at music festivals. Paper presented at 17th ACM conference.

Lollapalooza Snapchat

Lollapalooza?  More like Lollapawinna!

This comes as perfect timing since my last blog post was about Snapchat.  Along with Insomniac Events, I follow various different music festivals and production companies on Snapchat.  Since about a year ago, I began following a Lollapalooza Snapchat account since I wanted to see if they would post exclusive content similar to Insomniac Events.  Also, because I had major FOMO and wanted to imagine I was there.  However, I never got any updates via @Lollapalooza since the music festival had its own “Live Story” on Snapchat.  So almost a full year later, you can imagine my confusion as I saw multiple “Story” updates on @Lollapalooza yesterday.

So obviously DJ Mustard!

So obviously DJ Mustard!

Money Sucks, Friends Rule = Dillon Francis' new album

Money Sucks, Friends Rule = Dillon Francis’ new album

The War on Drugs -- LOL this one gives me a kick.

The War on Drugs — LOL this one gives me a kick.


The “Story” snaps didn’t make any sense to me.  At one point there was a line of various pens, a printer printing out a picture of Italy with a section of it highlighted, and then a bunch of twigs scattered against a blue background.  After three weirdly confusing snaps, I realized that Lolla might be revealing their lineup via Snapchat clues!  I looked on their official Twitter and Facebook for signs of an announcement that they would be revealing their lineup via Snapchat, but I saw nothing.  I wasn’t event sure if @Lollapalooza was the music festival’s official Snapchat account.  I did some more digging and found a thread on Reddit that was being updated every time a new snap was sent out — it all made sense.  The user pointed out that the printer printing a picture of Italy was supposed to be Florence & the Machine.  The pens?  There were 21 pilot pens — Twenty One Pilots.  The twigs — FKA Twigs.

I had no idea if this was actually part of the lineup or not until I saw the official lineup today.  After a quick scan, it looks like all of the artists revealed via Snapchat are listed on the official lineup.  Well played, Lolla, well played!

Lolla Official Lineup


There was still no mention of the early Snapchat clues so I guess we’ll never know for sure if @Lollapalooza is officially affiliated with the music festival, especially since Snapchat is the only social media not listed at the bottom of the Lollapalooza website.  Nonetheless, I’m a fan of lineup reveals via Snapchat — the fact that you have to be following them to get the updates AND the clues are fleeting add up to make Snapchat clues really cool and innovative.

Stay tuned,


Oh Snap, Snapchat!

I’m a huge fan of Snapchat when it comes to brand building.

I first came across brands utilizing Snapchat when I began to follow Insomniac Events, a music festival/event production company responsible for Electric Daisy Carnival among other festivals, on Snapchat.  I was so impressed by how the company used Snapchat to give fans behind-the-scenes fleeting content, making it that much more exclusive- as if a selfie from popular DJs, like Hardwell, wasn’t intimate enough.

EDC SnapchatHardwell Snapchat Andrew Rayel Snapchat

With Snapchat being at the meteoric level it’s at right now (can you say 0 to 100 real quick?), I now follow many brands on Snapchat.  Cosmopolitan (@CosmoMag) is a personal favorite of mine.  The trendy, girl-power magazine uses its Snapchat to further extend its social media “voice” through silly memes, pictures, and clips.  What I also love most about Cosmo’s Snapchat is their use of it to show the office environment.  By doing this, Cosmo is gradually building its brand personality.  I almost feel like I can describe Cosmo to someone using traits I would use to describe an actual person rather than a magazine.


After witnessing all of these brands take part in the Snapchat movement, I made it my personal mission to establish RUPA’s presence on Snapchat.  This past summer as I gradually ascended into my role as “Director of Marketing,” I immediately used Snapchat as a way to build RUPA’s “voice” and give students a behind-the-scenes look at what we actually do in preparation for events, which include comedy shows, concerts, Broadway trips, lectures, etc.  On the day of the event, I would absolutely stress to my Marketing Assistant Directors (MADs) the importance of using Snapchat to document set-up, RUPA council members hanging out, doors opening, artists performing, clean up, etc.  Post-event, we started a tradition by asking the artist/guest to take a selfie on our Snapchat account to add to our “Story” for all to see.  Seeing the amount of times the selfies have been screenshot is always cool!  While we do a great job at day of show Snapchats, I would love to build the presence of day-to-day RUPA Snapchats (similar to Cosmo’s strategy) to convey RUPA’s brand personality.

     RUPA Snapchat     Wayans Snapchat

With all of Snapchat’s new features, including live stories, geofilters, and “Discover,” brands should take serious advantage of Snapchat’s capabilities and audience reach.

Stay tuned,


RUPA Presents: Beats on the Banks ft. A-Trak

Since I will often talk about various music festivals, why not talk about Rutgers’ mini-version of a music festival?

Today, RUPA announced the headliner for Rutgers’ spring concert, Beats on the Banks, via short YouTube video.  Last year, the Director of Marketing decided to use daily visual clues to reveal the headliner, DJ Snake (i.e., a photo of snake eyes dice).  This year, I wanted to keep it simple but different.  I had just bought my Firefly tickets and watched their lineup video on YouTube.  Immediately after I watched the video, I knew I wanted to reveal the headliner via video announcement using b-roll from past Beats on the Banks shows.  To further support my decision to use a video announcement, an article I read about how to incorporate social media into event marketing confirmed that “teaser videos are great way to quickly generate interest and can be shared on any social platform” (Carter, 2015).  I also knew that posting the video on Facebook would make it more likely to appear on peoples’ timelines due to Facebook’s algorithm.

RUPA BOTB Announcement

Check out the engagement on our official announcement post!

Since it is just an announcement video, I requested that the video be somewhere between :30-:45.  The Student Life Media Team hustled to make the video in a matter of a few days since tickets go on sale in about 2 weeks (on Monday, March 23rd at 2pm via http://getinvolved.tix.com).  The video perfectly showcases the experience of Beats on the Banks in just a few seconds.  I am completely in love with the video and almost wish I wasn’t going to Coachella Weekend 2 to experience this year’s Beats on the Banks.  Also, I’ve watched the video close to 50 times already.


Stay tuned,


Carter, T. (2015, March 5). 14 tips to incorporate social media into event marketing. Retrieved March 5, 2015, from Marketing Land website: http://marketingland.com/14-tips-incorporate-social-media-event-marketing-118227