Festivals: Sponsor vs. Guerrilla Marketing

Festivals bring communities together, and allow brands to target audiences or reach the masses. Music festivals, state fairs and sporting events all offer opportunities to impact thousands of consumers a day. There are two fundamental ways to capture attention at a festival - sponsorship and guerrilla marketing.

Sponsorships come in many levels, depending on the event, from a full package including a large scale on-site presence, banners, web/TV/radio spots, stage announcements and more, down to a simple tent somewhere on the event grounds. Full package exposure gives a brand opportunities to build meaningful experiential environments, educate consumers, and grow emotional brand connections. It also includes built in pre-promotion before you step foot on-site. Prime, high traffic areas are reserved for brands that support the community and festival with large sponsorships.


Sponsorships can be costly, and so for some brands guerrilla marketing is a small-budget-friendly way to reach a large festival audience. Guerilla marketing does not grant the brand access into the actual event, and does not offer brand building opportunities. Guerilla simply allows sampling and other quick promotions to take place outside the festival in public areas. The consumers outside a large event are typically on the move, coming or going, and street teams are often the best way to approach guerrilla marketing.

In either case, event marketing is ideal to reach a large mass of a target market, collect data, sample products, generate word of mouth and more!