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Social Media for Festivals and Events Carla Pendergraft Associates Web Design About YOU! (Poll) How many are with a municipality or other government entity? How many are festival staff? How many are in economic development, chamber, CVB, etc?

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Carla pendergraft associates web design www carlapendergraft com l.jpg

Social Media for Festivals and Events

Carla Pendergraft Associates Web Design

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About YOU! (Poll)

How many are with a municipality or other government entity?

How many are festival staff?

How many are in economic development, chamber, CVB, etc?

How many are affiliates/vendors?

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What Social Media are You Using Personally? (Poll)








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What Social Media is your Festival Using?

Facebook Fan Page


LinkedIn Group or Profile







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Social Media Characteristics

  • It’s about conversations and communities

  • Relationships, not selling

  • It requires a new way of thinking.

  • Push vs. Pull; Telling vs. Asking

  • Allows your audience to connect with you and with each other.

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U.S. Social Media Communities

Facebook – 350 million users, top 10 website

LinkedIn – about 50 million users

Twitter – over 75 million users

YouTube – 70 million videos

Flickr – hosts over 2 billion images

Blogs – over 200 million

And new social communities are added every day.

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Social Media’s Reach

  • Social networking now accounts for 11% of all time spent online in the US.

  • A third of adults post at least once a week to social sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

  • A quarter of adults publish a blog and upload video/audio they created.

  • ~60% maintain a profile on a social networking site.

    Source: Forrester Research, 1/10

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Social Media – Median Age

  • Last year, the median age on Facebook was 26 - now it's 33.

  • MySpace's median age is 26

  • LinkedIn is 39

  • Twitter is 31.

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Video on Social Media

  • According to Nielsen's VideoCensus release, Facebook is now the world's third most popular place to view video online.

  • In second place, Hulu offered up over 632M video streams.

  • First place: YouTube, with over 6.6 billion streams.

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Video and Social Media

  • If you have video, upload it to all your presences: your website, Facebook page, and YouTube.

  • Meet your users where they are.

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Social Media and Festivals

  • YouTube is partnering with the Sundance Film Festival and filmmakers to charge users ~$5 to view a range of movies from the 2009 and 2010 festivals.

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Social Media is Two-Way!

  • Encourage your members/friends/followers to share their experience of your festival!

    • Upload photos

    • Upload videos

    • Encourage them to talk about experiences on your blog!

  • Considering adopting Terms of Service saying you reserve the right to use any photos or videos in your marketing materials. (Check with your attorney)

  • Example: City of Round Rock – Flickr Group

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Reasons to Use Social Media

  • Promote your festival or event – and the events that lead up to it

  • Make announcements about performers when they are signed—and other plans as they firm up

  • Ask for volunteers – Singapore Marathon gets 4,000 of their 8,000 volunteers from Facebook.

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More Reasons to Try It

  • Ask for opinions – who do they want to see perform?

  • Drive traffic to your main website

  • Find out what people are saying about your festival

    • Tweetdeck – saved searches

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More Reasons to Try It

  • Try LinkedIn to identify potential sponsor companies

    • Company Profiles

    • Groups

  • What about finding potential sponsors on Facebook and Twitter?

    • People are using social media as their own personal website and in lieu of email!

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More Reasons to Use It

…And other reasons you haven’t even thought of yet, but you will—once you start using it.

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Barriers to Using Social Media

  • Fear of potential legal issues

    • Unfamiliarity with social media policies

    • Open Records Act

    • Open Meetings Act

  • Lack of interest by top management

  • Hostility of IT Dept. – fear of viruses, etc.

  • Unsure of Return on Investment – time drain

  • Unfamiliarity with the tools themselves

  • Fear of mixing personal with business

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What if you don’t have access?

  • Start your own presence on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Learn to use the tools on your own, at home.

  • That way, when you’re given access, you will already know how to use them.

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What if you don’t have access?

  • Case Study: City of Waco/ Waco CVB

    • No Access at work

    • Social media perceived as risk

    • Called meeting of all dept. heads, they expressed why they felt they needed it and what they needed

    • “Super Users” got access and training

    • Policy written to ensure compliance

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Wikis for Festival Planning

  • Every festival has committees

  • Often members are far-flung

  • Email is not efficient for discussing ideas

  • Wikis allow collaboration

  • Wikis are web pages anyone can edit


    • Ad-supported: free

    • No ads: $5/month

    • No ads plus custom domain name: $20/month

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Axbridge Pageant Festival Wiki

  • Wiki is used to communicate to our various teams

  • Website is used for all other information

  • NO email addresses or phone numbers on wiki

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Midi Music Festival Wiki - Beijing

500 bands. Wiki lists venues, musicians,

music, etc.

Anyone can upload!

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Back to the Basics

  • On all the places you appear on the web, include links to all your other presences. (Cross-link)

  • Always include the festival name and date

  • Include your full location! (city, state, country)

    • There are at least six cities named Austin in the US

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The Basics – Cont’d.

  • Include contact name(s), addresses, phone, email, whom to contact for what.

  • Learn how to upload your festival logo. Just about every site allows at least that.

  • Include your festival name and keywords in your profile (Facebook, Twitter) so you can be found in the search.

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My Recommendations

  • If you’re not on Facebook, get on it today!

  • Start a Twitter feed

  • Use a wiki to help your committees communicate

  • Don’t neglect your core website

  • Add others as your time permits – Flickr, YouTube, LinkedIn, a blog.

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Manchester (U.K.) Literature Festival Blog

  • “the place for news and reviews of MLF events, with contributions from local literary bloggers, guest writers and staff.”

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Oklahoma Mozart Music Festival

A year ago: 1,462 followers



Growth: 154%

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  • – one of the main search tools

  • listen to the conversations about your world

  • “Follow” other festivals to learn the lingo and style

  • Set up a twitter name related to the festival

    • Oklahoma Mozart Music Festival: okmozart

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Ten Twitter Tips

  • Decide what your voice and theme will be before you start.

  • Dialog with other Twitterers. You address another person on Twitter by using their username and the “@” sign. Example: “@carlawaco”.

  • Post interesting articles you find, as well as links to new info on your website.

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Ten Twitter Tips (Cont’d)

  • “Retweet” interesting posts from others.

  • It’s not a competition to get the highest number of followers.

  • Don’t tweet too much!

  • Don’t follow everyone who follows you.

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Ten Twitter Tips

  • Hashtags (#) are used to group posts into topics (example: #festival) to aid searching. Go to or to see the most popular hashtags.

  • Use to shorten the URLs that you post.

  • Download a Tweetdeck ( to manage Twitter.

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Saved Twitter Searches

  • Use a Tweetdeck to save a search on your festival name or other key words.

  • Anytime anyone in the world uses those key words, you’ll see the tweet.

  • You don’t have to be their follower to see it!

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Other Social Media Tools

  • YouTube – upload some videos and display them on your website and/or Facebook page.

  • Flickr – Create a photo gallery of pictures from the various events you conduct.

  • Blogs – Create one at or and put a link to it on your website.

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Questions?Thank you for your attention!