Event Marketing Done Right: 3 things I loved about Samsung's JazzFest Experience

Last week I spent 4 days at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival – my own personal Mecca full of great food, amazing music, wonderful people, and this year a really cool promotion from Samsung who is now one of the lead sponsors of the event.  My wife and I go to a lot of live music venues and usually find it incredibly easy to avoid and/or forget the on site promotions happening at any given time.  But this one was different.  The people behind it “got” the event they were at and left me wondering if I should abandon my ten+ year relationship with the iPhone for a Galaxy.

There were three things in particular I loved about their set up – an interactive tent in the middle of the fairgrounds that made us go back multiple times to experience it.

  • Samsung gave me a good reason to play with the product(s).  The promotion was simple, take a selfie on a Galaxy phone, fill out a quick quiz, and send it to yourself via one of the mail apps.  Then move along to the host who has a Samsung Note where you swipe to win a prize.  Simple, right? And effective.  I walked away thinking “wow, using the Galaxy is a really smooth experience and the picture is beautiful.   And man, that screen is really big, I could watch a movie on it!”  I also walked away thinking that my iPad is dying and maybe a Note would be a good replacement.  Yes, I am a sucker for a good promotion.

  • They “got” the event.  As a marketer, one of my pet peeves is booth giveaways that have nothing to do with the event.  In this case they were giving away upgraded seating and food vouchers for some of the most revered food items at the festival.  Crawfish Monica (spicy mac and cheese with crawfish in it) is a festival legend and Jambalaya is a reason in itself to visit New Orleans.  Yes, please!

  • Samsung took care of it’s customers at the same time.  I’m not sure what the details were because I don’t own a Galaxy, but I know there were extra perks for owners that included battery replacements and raffles of upgrades.  The point is, this wasn’t just about awareness and acquisition – they were using the event to reward their existing customers.  Smart.

Who knows if I will actually buy a Galaxy, but when you crack my list of “memorable moments” from a festival that gave me legends like Bruce Springsteen, the Wailers, Irma Thomas and John Fogerty along with up and comers like the Revivalists, Glen David Andrews, Alabama Shakes, and Marc Broussard… you’ve done something great.  Good work Samsung.


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