Music Festival

Build a relevant spectator journey designed for festivals

Build a relevant spectator journey designed for festivals

Working on the relationship with the public is a long-term process for all cultural actors: museums, theaters, festivals. But if we take the latter, how can we approach the relationship with the public over a longer period when their cultural offer is focused on a single time of the year, lasting only for a few days?

When we conceive the communication of a festival, we often tend to think that the decisive moment of communication with the public is in the weeks preceding the event. But this would be to forget all the steps that lead the festival-goer to buy a ticket and to deny an essential mechanism: the construction of the festival-goer's journey.

A festival itinerary that must be punctuated by collective highlights (program announcements, ticket launches, etc.) but that must also be based on more targeted and personalized moments to build a unique relationship with the public. In this article, let's see together how the implementation of a relevant and impactful festival itinerary meets a precise objective: to transmit the right message, at the right time, to the right person.

I. Identify your contact points

If the months following the festival are a time of calm for the producer's activity, they are no less important in the management of the relationship with the public, and this for two reasons. The first is that the information and data collected during this edition are precious for getting to know the festival-goers. The second reason is that the magic is always present in the eyes of the participants and it is important to maintain it in the communication.

First of all, analysis. A festival edition is a gold mine in terms of data and knowledge of your audience: Who are the first-time buyers? Where do they come from? How to analyze cashless data?

Screenshot Arenametrix
Screenshot of the Arenametrix Community Overview page
Screenshot of the Arenametrix Community Overview page

This moment of analysis is necessary because it allows you to know precisely the audience and to enrich the targeting of your marketing strategy. The knowledge of the audience acquired after this edition will allow you to adopt a targeted and personalized communication for each potential festival-goer of the next edition.

This period is also a good time to analyze and break down the spectator path, and understand what are the contact points with the audience: from the newsletter registration, to the event, through the purchase of a seat. These contact points allow you to accompany the audience by providing them with relevant content according to the moment. The first step consists in sequencing the festival-goer's journey to identify key moments: the newsletter registration for newcomers, the purchase of a ticket for first-time buyers, the sending of practical information before the event... These stages of the festival-goer's journey constitute moments to set up a personalized communication, in addition to more generalized communications (monthly newsletters, program announcements, etc...) 

Example of the stages of the festival itinerary
Customer journey
Festival journey
Infographic of the festival route

II. From onboarding to purchase: provide a personalised experience

An optimal journey is a personalized one: if they are interested in your event for the first time or if they are used to going there every year, they do not want to receive the same type of message. This requires a differentiated welcome according to the type of audience. To do this, and thanks to the previous analysis step that you have carried out, you know your contact points with the public and you can adapt your communications according to these points. Two points of contact are particularly important:

  • the newsletter registration form. This is a key step to welcome people who are starting to show interest in your events. A good practice? Thank them and offer them to follow your news on social media or send them the aftermovie of the previous edition to make them want to attend.
LaSemo Festival Newsletter
Example of a welcome newsletter, La Semo Festival, Brussels
  • tickets purchase : an essential point of contact to provide practical information and encourage your audience to join in on your community: sharing playlists? Data retrieval? Link to social media ?

And when you have different event times (various times spread over the year for example), you can offer these other highlights when you buy the ticket. And above all, think of segmenting these communications: don't send the same message if this person has already come! A little wink will always be more appreciated than an impersonal email.

Example of the Jazz Festival in Saint-Germain-des-Prés
Sample newsletter, Cruilla Festival, Barcelona
Granada Sound Newsletter
Sample welcome newsletter, Granada Sound Festival
Newsletter The Great Escape
Example of The Great Escape Brighton Festival
Newsletter Body & Soul Festival
Example of the Body & Soul Festival
Newsletter The Great Escape
Example of The Great Escape Brighton Festival
Newsletter Body & Soul Festival
Example of the Body & Soul Festival

And at this point you are probably already asking yourself the question: but how to avoid wasting time on targeted communications for each new buyer? The answer is simple: arm yourself with a dedicated tool: opt for automation! We often talk about it but marketing automation is really an essential tool to work on a strong and targeted relationship with the public while saving precious time. All you have to do is to set up scenarios, which will be triggered automatically according to chosen criteria.

And in addition to saving time, you gain more room to manoeuvre! Preparing your scenarios beforehand and letting them run is essential to free up time and energy for the coversion of first timers.

III. Before and during the festival

Your attendees have purchased their seats and are looking forward to coming to your event! Now is the time to bring them relevant content and practical information. 

Define specific contact points to provide timely and segmented communications and information: the D-x days.

AttentionNo communication should be perceived as redundant. Opt for a sequenced transmission of information:

  • 1st communication = create desire (playlist) and remind the highlights of the event.
  • 2nd communication = share practical information to improve the experience on site (cashless link, timetable ...)
  • 3rd communication = prepare the launch of the festival (reminder of schedules, mobility options ...)

Again, the more these steps are segmented by audience profile, the more relevant they will be for each festival! Don't forget to exclude non-ticket buyers from practical information mailings, as sending this type of message to a contact who can't make it to your event can generate real frustration.

By segmenting these communications you will give them importance and interest because they will not be perceived as yet another campaign in the wind. The trap of the pre-event is to want to activate all your base repeatedly and without precise segmentation.

During the event, which communication times? 

→ This is a hard question to answer, so many festival days give the feeling that festival-goers are not going to use their cell phones, let alone read their emails. How about WhatsApp? This growing channel gives great perspectives for cultural actors. We propose to the public a WhatsApp opt-in beforehand and we reserve some specific communications (last minute practical information, reminder for a headliner who is about to start, or coordination of volunteers). 

IV. After the festival

The days following the event are also as important to engage the audience, especially by collecting their opinion. Indeed, through the implementation of a satisfaction survey, the audience is encouraged to provide constructive feedback for future editions. This participative solicitation is highly appreciated and allows us to better understand the experience of the public. It is also the right time to question the quality of the information provided and the festival itinerary implemented in order to rework it for future editions. For you, it is also an opportunity to learn a little more about your audience: allow them to fill in information that you do not yet know (a date of birth for example).

This stage is also subject to a thorough segmentation: send thank-you notes only to people who have participated, for example. Similarly, satisfaction questionnaires do not have the same impact depending on whether they are addressed to first-time buyers or to regulars! The regulars also rely on previous editions, so you can solicit their point of view on the evolution of your event. The more the public feels that you know them (without overdoing it), the more they will appreciate the personalization of your communications.

In the same way, don't hesitate to follow up with your audience a few weeks later with some souvenir content: photos, an aftermovie or any other content to remind them of the event and prepare them for the next edition. This is a good time to tell them about the next dates and offer them to be part of a waiting list to receive priority tickets!

The final word

In short, what you need to remember is that it is important to know your audience and to provide them with appropriate content in order to build a long-term relationship of trust. That's why it's important to work on a coherent festival itinerary to bring relevant content without over-soliciting your audience: the more balanced this itinerary is, the more your audience will be able to appreciate the day. And don't forget that what you let show in your communication can have a lasting impact on your audience's opinion of the event you are offering.

Want to work in depth on your spectator' journey? Contact us!

Visual Solene crop

Solène Jimenez

Would you like to carry out a data & CDP diagnosis of your organisation? Take advantage of 30 minutes of free consulting by reserving your slot.

Apolline CS Spectacle

Apolline Locquet

Would you like to carry out a data & CDP diagnosis of your organisation? Take advantage of 30 minutes of free consulting by reserving your slot.

Share this article with your friends!



Read more on our data & entertainment blog:

4 tested and approved strategies to fill your concert hall

Strategies that work for a full concert hall A full concert hall ensures in part the financial sustainability of the show producer, so it is legitimate to question the strategies we have for attracting spectators.


No Comments

Post A Comment