The Tri-Cities Ad Federation hosted their monthly luncheon at the Kingsport Chamber of Commerce on September 20th, 2012. This organization has attracted some interesting speakers over the past several months and Jeff Cuerillo, Director of Connectivity for AC Entertainment was no exception.

Still celebrating the success of the August ‘Gentleman of the Road’ (Mumford and Son) show in Bristol, as well as the uber-cool Bonnarro Music Festival and Moogfest, Jeff shared excellent insights into modern festival marketing techniques and ethos about their highly successful event productions.

With a disdain for boring Powerpoint presentations, Jeff greeted the audience of 40 attendees with a couple of great movies showing the excitement around each of the festivals. He also prefaced his conversation with the commitment to talk about ‘experiences.’

Among the many insights, we learned plenty about the logistics and effort going into each of these festivals. How partners like Garnier were rolled into the Bonnaroo experience with their brand and their real world application (smelly concert goers) interacted with their brands more than just a logo on stage banner.

There were some interesting discussions about how traditional marketing. Jeff stated, “Reaching people is really tough these days.” He added that “Our street teams are the most effective  way of getting the word out – peer to peer works.”

Evidently, like most ventures these days, it’s hard to pinpoint an ROI on social media. The folks at Bonnaroo cited their early days of email lists and how the phenomenon grew ticket sales over the years. Any ROI is roughly measured by the success, but the science is still lacking in lieu of the assumptions.

Last year, Bonnaroo partnered with YouTube to stream two live channels from the festival. The HD work and multi-camera angles and superior audio were a treat for fans  who didn’t attend the festival. However, there was no business model in place as YouTube was underwriting the entire concept as a seed project.

One of the cool things we all imagined for our own purchase next year is the ‘Roll Like A Rock Star’  package at Bonnaroo. Adding to the overal experience and marketing the festival to young doctors, lawyers, stockbrokers and (the next-gen 1%), the ultimate Bonnaroo fantasy is ripe on our minds with a big bus, all-access passes and a private shower – maybe next year.

Food was great this session too. We enjoyed the Barberitos Tex-Mex offerings along with the yummy fudge brownies on the back end of the event.

Jeff was a great presenter and had some wonderful ideas to share about new media, mobile interaction and real-world festival experiences. He’s a delightful speaker full of relevant information and we can’t wait to see what’s in store for us next time from the AAF of Northeast Tennessee.

Kudos to all the organizers for a terrific program.