I attended this year’s Essence Festival in New-Orleans Louisiana.
“The Essence Festival, known as “the party with a purpose” is an annual music festival, which started in 1995 as a one-time event to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Essence, a magazine aimed primarily towards African-American women.”
This was my first time in New Orleans, I quickly picked up on the creole American culture, the city was culturally vibrant with resilience and grit. I did the most “touristy” thing I could by purchasing a ticket for the hop on and off bus, this was a great idea because I got a chance to see the predominant landmarks and areas. I highly suggest doing this if you go.
I enjoyed a Grenade drink while watching Queen Latifa and Jada Pinket Smith film promo for Girls Trip on the balcony overlooking the busy French Quarter street I was staying on.
Considering I was on a self imposed mandatory “vacation” I didn’t attend any industry events but I had my “marketers eye” open the whole time, observing and planning for next year’s event.
Essence Festival 2017 – Overview
- Tons of celebrities
- Networking opportunities with important decision makers and celebs. Access through events and VIP tickets
- Ample product giveaways
- Respectable crowd of attendees at the main conference event that was very family-friendly.
Stand out brand displays:
- Beauty “Wonderland” Stage
- Coco-cola Empowerment Stage
- Disney Princesses
- Shea Butter
- NewsRoom Section
- Dear White People, TV Show- Cast Panel
- Financial Literacy With Mrs. Tina Knowles
Essence did these three things that made this conference experience memorable.
- Developed a well working mobile app that allowed conference attendees to register, plan their conference experience and keep up with special deals.
- Influencer marketing, tons of “influencers” were at the event hosting panels, giving gifts and simply accessible by walking around and enjoying the expirience themselves.
- Live social media posting, listening and sharing.
- Much value added feel from attending this “free” event.