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,



Party at the Party at the Puddle Street Team

In my Party at the Puddle promotion plan that I outlined very briefly in a previous blog post, I mentioned that I would build in an in-person marketing opportunity via street team.  Today, we had a street team on Douglass (since that’s where the event will take place) from 12pm to 1:45Party at the Puddle 2pm.  Originally, the street team was supposed to be from 12pm until 3:30pm, but no one was able to staff the later shift so we had to end early.  The weather was sunny, beautiful, and warm, which was perfect for our outdoor location in the George Street plaza (right behind the Douglass Student Center).

At street teams, I always encourage my Marketing Assistant Directors (MADs) to have a special theme or item at their table.  For example, Rendell, the Comedy & Media MAD, usually buys cupcakes and cookies for his street team since free food ALWAYS equals broke college students rushing over to the table.  For this street team, we had assorted mini Hershey’s chocolate bars because who doesn’t love candy that you can easily eat 5+ pieces of in one sitting?

Party at the Puddle

While I was setting up the table, I realized there were no current flyers in the marketing bin.  We still didn’t even have a flyer for Party at the Puddle even though the event is in exactly 2 days.  To quickly improvise since the table was looking empty and I’ll admit I was a little bored, I spelled out “Puddle Party” in the mini chocolates.  It served as a temporary flyer and was also a way of grabbing peoples’ attentions.

While we tabled and tried to engage passerbys, we played local/New Brunswick music (very fitting, wouldn’t you agree?).  We started out playing bands we had seen at basement shows, like ROMP, even though they are unable to perform on Thursday at the event.  Then, we began playing music from all of the bands that are performing at Party at the Puddle, including WistewParty at the Puddle 3ria, Eagle Daddy, American Lions, Little Rose, Fiscal Cliff, and Cold Weather Company.  Mostly everyone e engaged surprisingly already knew about Party at the Puddle!  It is interesting to note that most of the people who passed by said they had heard of the event via Facebook event page.  For survey results, I am already predicting that a majority of the event attendees heard about the event via “social media.”  The next biggest category will be that the attendees discovered the event through a “friend.”

Current to do list:

  • Request finals on the Party at the Puddle flyer ASAP.
  • Continue social media promotion of the event — more specifically, map out which artist will be promoted and when.
  • Send bands last minute reminders.

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: Contracts & Timelines

Contracts and timelines have been built, edited, and sent!

Check out our fancy DOS timeline (also includes our merch and rain date timeline)!

Check out our fancy DOS timeline (also includes our merch and rain date timeline)!

The day of show timeline was easier to build than I had been expecting.  It worked out perfectly since a few of the bands had requested earlier spots while some bands preferred to play later in the evening.  As evident from the timeline, this is a tight schedule since there are 6 bands playing.  My only concern is running over time, but even that shouldn’t be too much of an issue.  As for my to do list, the only item still on it is: Continue promoting artists via social media.

The end is near, y’all!

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.


Capstone Event: Sitting, Waiting, Wishing

*Play while reading blog post.

Proposal emails were sent out to the prospective bands about 5 days ago; currently, 5 local bands are confirmed: American Lions, Cold Weather Company, Fiscal Cliff, Eagle Daddy, and Wisteria.  This is a stellar lineup so far and adding one more band would solidify our local band lineup.

Me and some friends at a basement show -- are we punk enough yet?

Me and some friends at a basement show — are we punk enough yet?

Although we had a tiny bit of money left in the Concerts & Coffeehouses budget to potentially book an outside touring artist for about $1,000, I chose to feature local/New Brunswick bands instead — kind of like an above-ground basement show.  Last year, “New Brunswick basements” were ranked as the “#4 place to see indie bands in New Jersey” (Kate, 2014).  New Brunswick fosters such a “do-it-yourself” environment that I wanted to celebrate the local musicians who are currently doing so.  Most of the bands that we have confirmed thus far are known to play mostly in New Brunswick basements, which “typically feature known or up-and-coming punk bands, both local and those that drive hundreds of miles” (Sanchez et. al., 2010, p. 1).  Having been to plenty of New Brunswick basement shows, I want the Capstone event to have the same feel of community, subculture, and support.

Stay tuned,


EDIT [4/7/15 at 10:23 AM]:

After giving them a full 6 days after the initial email, Rachel and I have sent follow-up emails to the bands who have not yet responded.  Notice that I have blacked out the title of the Capstone event and the band’s name since I’m not trying to throw shade at anyone for having a delayed response.

Follow-Up Email

Capstone Event: Bands & Production

As I mentioned in a previous blog post, part of my Capstone will be an end-of-year music event that I will have planned and promoted.  Since the event hasn’t officially “dropped” on RUPA’s Facebook, I am temporarily unable to share the event title.  For now, I will refer to this music event as “Capstone event.”

Since Beats on the Banks is fast approaching (countdown: 16 days), the Concerts & Coffeehouses committee has been focusing solely on that event leaving me to really take initiative with planning for the Capstone event.  Rachel, a Concerts & Coffeehouses Assistant Director, will be helping me carry out tasks related to the music portion of the event that I am responsible for.  As of today, we have confirmed production for the event.  This means that stage and sound is all accounted for.  The process was fairly painless since we used our normal guys (K Sound) and they always know what stage is needed for what location.

After gathering a mental list of local/New Brunswick bands that I am fond of and that have also supported RUPA in the past, Rachel and I began to reach out to the bands.  We emailed 11 bands total and are eager to hear back from them so that we can begin building our day of show timeline, rain date timeline, and merch timeline.  So far, we’ve heard back from 4 bands, which really is a great start.  Two bands need to check with other members to see if they are available for the event while the two other bands immediately confirmed their attendance giving a preferred set time.

Email to Bands

We’re off to a great start in planning for the event!  Below is a to do list for the event:

  • Confirm more bands (should be about 6 total).
  • Create and send day of show, rain date, and merch timeline.
  • Edit and send Standard Services Agreement (our form of a contract) to all bands.
  • Create and implement a promotional plan.

Stay tuned,


“Can you bring Beyoncé to Rutgers?!”

I get asked some variation of this question at almost every Concerts & Coffeehouses event we have.  Although I do love my girl B, she probably won’t be visiting anytime soon.  Though it would be easier to get annoyed and give an eye-roll, I see where everyone is coming from; the process of picking and booking artists to come to Rutgers is not common knowledge, so I’ll break it down into simple steps.

Step 1: The Concerts & Coffeehouses committee of RUPA (there’s 7 of us, including myself) sits down and starts from nothing- literally nothing.  We go over what genres we have recently hit, and what audiences we haven’t reached yet.  For example, it has been a whole year since we’ve hit the Hip Hop/Rap audience (Childish Gambino came last year for our State Theatre show), so for our Fall State Theatre show, we brought Hip Hop back courtesy of Joey Bada$$, A$AP Rocky, and Ab-Soul.

Step 2: After establishing a genre, we think of all sorts of artists in that category.  The only stipulation with this step is that we have to keep in mind our budget for that specific show.  That means, they should be well-known, but not insanely expensive.  Keep in mind that we have to account for other aspects of the show in our budget (i.e., security, production, etc.).  Actually, production for our RAC show last year with Alesso was insanely expensive, so we definitely have to keep that in mind as we plan for our big Spring 2014 concert.

Source: Rutgers Student Life Facebook; Swedish DJ Alesso at RUPA's Beats on the Banks last year.

Source: Rutgers Student Life Facebook; Swedish DJ Alesso at RUPA’s Beats on the Banks last year.

Step 3: After picking several possible artists, we get price quotes and availabilities for each person/band through our source.  We are also able to see estimated prices for selected artists through a website we use, but not all artists are listed on there.

Step 4: When we start to narrow it down and get really serious about an artist, we call for references.  Basically, you call other similar schools and/or venues in which the artist performed at.  We have a list of questions we ask the school or venue, depending on the artist.  But general questions include: “Can you describe the facility where ______ performed?” “Was the show closed to your university community or was the general public allowed to attend?” “What kind of security was present? Student or professional?”  These references help a lot with our decision.

Step 5: After much debate between the committee, we pick a number of artists for all the different shows we have.  Aside from our BIG concerts, we also have smaller-scale shows usually held in the Multipurpose Rooms of a designated student center (i.e., our Mayday Parade show at the Livingston Student Center MPR).  Each committee member becomes the “point person” for the event they feel strongly about.

Source: Rutgers Student Life Facebook; Mayday Parade performing in the LSC MPR.

Source: Rutgers Student Life Facebook; Mayday Parade performing in the LSC MPR.

Step 6: We fill out a proposal form that contains details from estimated costs for everything  to why they should come to RU.

Step 7: We present these proposals to RUPA as a whole during our designated “proposal day,” when each committee presents their proposals.  RUPA members then fire any questions or concerns they may have about the event.  We actually had our Spring proposal meeting last night!  We’ve got some big things planned for the Spring!

Step 8: If all is well, we move on to book them through our source and the artist’s agent.  Contracts get signed, riders get sent.

As you can see, it’s a pretty lengthy process.  Also, because we are required to have several concerts during the year, we have to spread our budget accordingly to accommodate all events.  Like I just mentioned, we have just proposed all the events to all of council, including the advisers (who are professional workers, non-students).

After understanding the process behind everything, hopefully it becomes clear why Beyoncé probably won’t be at RU anytime soon.  Besides, she’s probably busy chasing Blue around anyway.

Stay tuned,


November Live Vibes: Rutgers in the Spotlight Coffeehouse

Only 2 more days until the Live Vibes Coffeehouse event I am spearheading!  At this month’s coffeehouse, come check out Kristian Del Rosario, Mike Skriloff, Rebecca Emont, & musical duo From A to Z!  Stop by the Livingston Student Center Coffeehouse (right by Dunkin’ Donuts) at 8 PM for some live music, free food, and a free RUPA mug.

Source: RUPA Rutgers Facebook; Come check out some live music and experience some good vibes!

Source: RUPA Rutgers Facebook; Come check out some live music and experience some good vibes!

As of right now, all the artists have been booked, and I currently await each artist’s signed Standard Service Agreement (aka contract), which includes a timeline of the night’s events and a set of provisions that the performer must follow.  I’ve already made a detailed Date of Show Timeline (“DOS Timeline”) that lists everything from exactly what time catering should arrive to how long each artist’s set should be.  I’ve also already placed the order for catering.  Basically, the only things left to do is transport things, like the RUPA mugs and Step and Repeat backdrop that will be placed behind the artists as they perform.

Needless to say, I am very excited and anxious to see how this month’s Live Vibes Coffeehouse will turn out!

Stay tuned,