The U.S. festival business is booming. Millions of Americans are getting out and attending live experiences each year. The market for quality music, art, and performances is on the rise.
Experiences Trump Possessions
Consumers, more than ever, are seeking live entertainment. According to Eventbrite, more than 74% of Millennials and 59% of Baby Boomers value experiences over possessions. With an estimated 47 million Americans attending at least one outdoor performing arts festival per year, these experiences are in high demand.
Outdoor art festivals are more likely to encourage a diversity of artistic disciplines and styles, while creating a relaxed and more informal setting suited for families. This environment allows attendees to freely roam throughout the programs, experiencing new and unfamiliar art forms with minimal commitment. With a growing demand for experiences and live entertainment, outdoor festivals have an opportunity to attract a wide variety of guests.
In 2016, South by Southwest Festival contributed $350 million to the City of Austin, Texas’ economy. By creating and hosting these large-scale outdoor experiences, local businesses see an increase in sales and the city benefits from the sales taxes on these goods. Cities across the country are utilizing these yearly events to increase tourism and improve city loyalty for locals.
The Creative City Project is a nonprofit focused on cultivating a thriving arts community in Orlando. Their mission is manifested through an annual, multi-day performance and interactive arts event. The event features over 1,000 artists who bring downtown Orlando to life while reshaping the city’s reputation.
Orlando is considered a transient city, not a creative hub that attracts or retains artists. The Creative City Project seeks to disrupt and change this perception by delivering an immersive experience that makes Orlando a global destination.
As the organization hosting the event, The Creative City Project needed a name for the event itself. They also needed branding and an event website to accompany the new name.
More Than Amusement Parks
Over 70 million people visited Orlando in 2017. In comparison, that’s almost 10 million more people than New York City. Orlando’s prolific tourism can be largely attributed to the most magical place on earth, Disney World.
Cole NeSmith, founder of The Creative City Project, wanted to showcase Orlando’s diverse art scene and share with the world that Orlando has more to offer than amusement parks.
To kickoff the rebranding process, we sat down with NeSmith for a collaborative discovery session. We worked through his brand vision step by step and developed audience personas, a brand archetype, values, and voice.
The annual event needed a name as memorable as the event itself. It needed to be active to reflect the experience. It needed to be invitational to welcome guests of all ages and interests, not just creative millennials. To embody each of these key attributes, we landed on the word “immerse” as the new event name.
We designed a brand mark that emphasized the event’s ultimate purpose: creating an immersive art experience for guests. The circle’s dynamic color gradient reflects the energy of the event. The word IMMERSE breaks through the circle to visualize the performances pulling people out of their comfort zones with new and surprising experiences. It shatters expectations, breaks routine, and expands the mind.
It was important to position the brand in a way that appealed to people who may not consider themselves the artsy type. By creating an inclusive brand identity, we encourage attendees to remain open-minded to the exciting installation and performing arts pieces they will experience.
The new website had to reflect the wonder and mystery of the event itself. To help accomplish this, the graphical elements of each viewport move in accordance with the movement of your mouse. This provides subtle interactivity that reinforces the brand identity. Each section features stunning shots of artists, musicians, poets, installations and acrobats, highlighted on coordinating color gradients. The site provides a pleasant UX for guests, performers, and volunteers. By creating a mobile responsive solution, the website becomes a resource for guests who need easy access to tickets and maps on their phones while navigating the event.
Equipped with a name, brand, and website, IMMERSE has grown into an Orlando staple. The event is now regularly shared on social with branded hashtags. #IMMERSEorlando has thousands of posts on Instagram alone, showcasing the amazing user-generated content coming from attendees. This content, predominantly from millennials, has helped to continually build the reputation and buzz before each event.
Big Vision’s commitment and desire to give back to our community aligned perfectly with The Creative City Project’s mission. All work done for IMMERSE was pro-bono as we strive to support the city we love and call home.