Recently, I attended an annual event that the Campus Activities Board holds at Towson University called Tigerfest. As many of you may know, this year they changed it from a one day concert to a two day event with many more activities for the students to participate in. Since they changed the event there was a lot more promoting and advertising that had to go into making it successful . These changes had me wondering how the event’s structure would be impacted, their promotions gave a sneak peek, but I still did not have a clear idea.
The first day of Tigerfest took place in the University Union after poor weather forced a location change. As I walked into the Union from the 1st floor, I immediately saw a sign that said “Welcome to Tigerfest”. Near that sign, there were other directional sings that pointed event participators in the direction of the different activities that took place throughout the event. This is the first instance of my behavior being influenced, the Campus Activities Board placed these signs in locations that were likely to draw people to that location. That first location was Paws, where they had live music by bands like Kingsfoil and Go Go Gadjet and free food.
After moving past the initial point of entry, the event had sponsors at tables with their products and information about their company. Companies like Zip Car, Free State Clothing, and BeYu were attempting to influence my behavior by laying out their products in a way that intended to entice me to buy their product. They also had representatives at each table that were trying to pull students in to their tables to talk.
On the 2nd floor of the Union, there were a variety of different activities that attempted to influence my behavior. As you walked upstairs, in the middle of the 2nd floor, the Campus Activities Board had set up a complex of tables that contained different activities. On one side of the table, they had Tigerfest and artist t-shirts laid out. People who were passing by the table, would often ask the employees if the shirts were on sale and how much they were. By laying them out in the open and as delicately as they did, they were attempting to entice people into buying their shirts.
On the other side of the table, they had prizes lined up that could be won with raffle tickets, these prizes were high ticket items like an iPad, Beats by Dre Headphones, and concert tickets. People would walk up to the table after seeing these items on display and ask how they could win the prizes. The only way that they could win was by participating in the different games and inflatables that they had set up around the Union, each activity gives the participant a raffle ticket. By placing the items out in plain view to draw people in and then telling them about how they could earn the prize, they were attempting to make people participate in the event.
I think that overall, most of their methods were successful. I think that they were successful because they achieved a good balance between subtlety and being aggressive. The layout of the event made it almost impossible to not be influenced by at least one activity that they had set up throughout the Union. Most people who passed by a table or an activity stopped to glance or look at what was going on and if it was something that interested them, they would participate in it.
Also, our school is all about having a “Positive Tigerfest“, meaning without any drugs or alcohol and just having a fun time making good decisions. To promote that before the concert they gave out free Rita’s and T-shirts and had people take a large picture wearing them. Giving away free shirts and food always get the college students attention and it is a great public relations strategy.
The event had a lot of different public relations strategies such as holding event interviews of the public and participators. Strategies were continued into the second day which held a concert with Steve Aoki and Juicy J. in the new Secu Arena. Campus Activities Board had great marketing techniques and really knew how to get our attention and keep it where they wanted it. This years Tigerfest(CAB’s event) was a success and hopefully they use some of the same techniques for next years event to make it just as great as 2014.