We all know festivals are having a moment. Over a quarter of UK adults attended a music festival in the last year alone.
Independent festivals contributed more than 1bn in revenue to the UK economy in the last few years, proving the DIY communal spirit of Woodstock has grown into mainstream business that reaps serious profits.
This move from a communion of culture, to a profitable enterprise has been partly due to the dawn of Spotify and streaming, and partly because of the advent of the ‘experiential economy’. Forget owning the CD, we want the real thing.
When experience is Everything, what opportunities does a large group sharing a collective cultural experience present? A group that is more interested in experiences than material goods, or personalised events rather than something off-the-shelf? They represent a new way of thinking not just for the social world, but the financial one too.
The festival model is becoming THE popular prototype for company away days, corporate parties and AGMs. The trend for companies using festival experiences to deliver their message is hugely on the up. Festivals emulate free time. They are more open: providing more opportunities for interaction and intermingling. Compared to a traditional conference, companies can offer cut through messaging to an audience who feels like they’ve gone out and bought the ticket.
AGM’s, conferences and launches are starting to look like multi-day festival brand immersions: relaxed, creative events that a company can tailor, customise and personalise to their intended market, audience or team.
Corporate glamping has had a huge influence on this shift. Formally the preserve of the edgy start up or companies with a young demographic, glamping offers a hotel experience that outclasses the traditional conference facility. Elegant suites, luxury yurts and deluxe bell tents opens the market up to the FTSE 100 companies, not just those playing footsie in a sweaty nylon tent.
Glamping defies the conventional conference environment and plays on the bonding experience ingrained in our camping culture. It gets you outdoors, and outside of your normal existence.
Traditional corporate entertainment doesn’t cut it any more. The feel-good factor of off-grid locations, a relevant musical line-up and luxurious yurts and bell tents, delivers a brand message and identity in a much more powerful way than a powerpoint and sandwich buffet.
Companies have long understood that to successfully communicate their message it’s essential to first engage their audience. The difference now, is they recognise the importance of delivering that message internally as well as externally. An experience worth having is one worth sharing, and for brands with an agenda to push, that is key.
When a 2019 Deloitte survey of millennials—a group that makes up at least 45% of the music festival audience, finds the most value in experiences, you know it’s time for big business to bring home the party. Corporate entertainment never looked so good.