A Marketer’s Guide To Festival Planning With SMS

19 April 2016

The festival season is approaching, with hundreds of events such as Coachella and Glastonbury marked in everyone’s diaries. An estimated 14 million adults were planning on attending music festivals last year, which means marketers can find themselves under pressure to make sure their festival has the highest attendance rate. With 70% of people saying that receiving a text is the best way to grab their attention, mobile marketing can provide a simple, direct method of contacting event goers of the past, present and future. The run up to a big event can involve a lot of in-depth planning and organisation, so to make it a little bit easier we’ve come up with a list of content ideas to keep in contact with your festival goers in the lead up to your event.


Tickets on Sale!

One of the important – if not the most important – aspects is the tickets going on sale. Send SMS reminders to your database to let them know when tickets are going on sale. Timing of these messages are crucial, sending them too early can mean people may forget but send them too late and they not enough notice to save funds to purchase. Segment your database and create a VIP list of previous event attendees to know of any pre-sale tickets that are available exclusively to them (for a limited time only of course!)

Special Offers

Your festival could have partnerships with brands that sell festival essentials such as tents, wellies and even portable mobile phone chargers. If that’s the case, why not let your customers know by sending a quick bulk SMS? It could even be that with the text they receive, you give them a discount code! For example: “Hi Becky, now that you’ve got your ticket for RocknRoll Festival, use code ROCKNROLL15 to receive 15% off festival essentials at www.festivals.com


Text messages have an average 98% open rate so make the most of this by with big line-up announcements. By carefully selecting your content and timing, you can send multiple messages to build up the excitement of the big day. Alongside this, you could also push for more ticket sales (if there are any tickets left!) as the line-up announcement is sure to get people talking, and wanting to go to your festival. 


As the event gets nearer, you could send a checklist of what to bring and what not to bring to the festival. This could include essentials such as baby wipes, tissues, sun cream and a portable phone charger. To save on message characters include a shortened URL link for people to check out a page on your site which includes a checklist of what to bring.


With the event around the corner, you could send a text to your festival goers to let them know what the weather forecast is for the day. If it’s raining, they’ll need wellies! But if it’s sunny, they’ll need plenty of sun cream. Whatever the weather, keeping festival goers informed can help to enhance their experience by helping them prepare accordingly. Of course, should they forget anything there is likely to be provision to purchase items on site, albeit potentially limited.

Today’s the day!

You’ve sent texts throughout the lead up to your event, and the event was a sell-out success. Get people interacting throughout the day by promoting a short-code and keyword. For example, people could text the word “WIN” with their name and to win a VIP for them and their friends next year – the lucky person could be announced live on stage!

Next time?

After the event, you could start the whole process again. Offer early bird or pre-sale tickets to the next event, exclusively to those who attended this year. You could also ask for feedback from the event, such as what they enjoyed the most/least, who their favourite artist was, who they’d like to see next year? 95% of people said they would respond to an SMS survey request compared to other survey methods. All this valuable feedback can help you to plan for your next event, and make it an even bigger success!

For more information or to learn more about text-messaging for festivals, or other event planning, feel free to contact us on 0845 122 1302 or email [email protected].

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