Reeperbahnfestival on

by Martin Hannig, pics by Lidija Delovska (Reeperbahn Festival)

Large or small, the online promoter needs looking after. External advertising for events has long since mutated into external presentation, because whether posters or postings, radio or streaming services, communication measures have become more diverse. Added to this is the fact that the social media generation is more discriminating than any other before it… But how to use the newly acquired possibilities? – entertaim.nets Martin Hannig had the chance to visit the Reeperbahn Festivals conference and reports from this panel.

The panel first discussed the matter of festival promotion nowadays. “Festival promotion needs a year by year plan, and no short time thinking. There’s a need to build up a brand for a festival”, Carsten Stricker mentioned, Managing Director of Verstaerker Medienmarketing. And he went on: “Festivals should have a story to tell, which in the end means brand building.” The live industry has to learn it’s all about festival marketing and not which band will be booked in which slot.

Digital times in promoting? Karsten Elbrecht, CEO of CTS Eventim, made clear: 50% of all ticket sales in Germany are online sales – which is a relative weak number. He stated there’s still much too less investment in online activities in the live music industry. But beside the general numbers all panel members made clear, that the live industry is the last media industry touched by the digital change – which leads to fascinating new business models!

For example: Richard Smoorenburg, Sales Director of Paylogic (Netherlands) told about a new marketing tool for festivals. Festival guests are handed out a wristband with GPS sensor. So it’s always clear where the guests are currently moving, at which stage they show up and how long they are attending – of course in the end there’ll be a personalised offer – thus leading innovative festival technology to a new marketing approach.



  “Is what we are doing relevant ? Otherwise: don’t do it!” (Karsten Elbrecht)


Another approach is using the customers likes (as amazon invented it). Karsten Elbrecht also has got the instruments to widen the CTS target audience – with their attempts in e-mail-marketing by creating reasonable newsletters with personalised offers. They make contact not only with a bands hardcore fans, but also with fans having a high affinity to that kind of music – even if they don’t know it. Up to Elbrecht, it’s an effective way of newsletter marketing – simply because the ticket sales measurable went up by this. So for CTS it’s always a matter of: “is what we are doing relevant ? Otherwise: don’t do it!”

The question of ROI in Social Media Marketing – or in any digital strategy – should be answered by deep data analysis. CTS Eventim has got the data – who bought when which ticket – and they use it for 1 to 1 marketing actions, as mentioned above. Eventim even handed some data to promoters who were surprised by the data quality.

Handling the digital feedback is another issue in “Digital Promoting”. E.g. CTS offers a review tool for customers, so customers are able to share their impressions and feelings on an event. Of course there’ll be complaints showing up in that online feedback – which should be seen as a link to further actions. CTS and their promoters use that complaints to improve their services.

A big issue is the use of social media in promoting activities. But what about the artists? Do they feel the urgent need to get in digital contact with their fans through several social media channels? ? No, said Carsten Stricker – usually they feel odd about contacting their fans digitally. But someone must spread the news – maybe a promoter? Maybe not: Promoting in times of digital change means to invest a certain amount of time – which nowadays in promotion practice must be seen as a bottleneck because promoter use to work in smaller teams. Social media activities in promotion agencies often are made by interns, with no or little special knowledge. That could be a disadvantage in the end: because the company with the ability to work professionally with customers data will be coming out first!