Embrace the Madness, with the Press of a Button

Tomorrowland has always been known for being the best of the best when it comes to the festival world. This event, which takes place in Belgium, just celebrated its tenth anniversary by going above and beyond expectations. While the Tomorrowland bracelets are a piece of artwork in themselves, this year they were more than a keepsake. Tomorrowland just created the perfect way to market the festival with the press of a button. Not only do they serve as a memento but the bracelets also give you the ability to connect with Facebook so that you can find and add friends that you make at the festival. When you meet someone at the festival that you want to keep in touch with, each of you can simultaneously press the heart shaped button on your bracelet and it will send you a “Friendship email” with all the contact information of the person you just met. Later you can log into Facebook and finalize the connection.

Festival tech has advanced in recent years to give attendees a better experience by using them to enter the festival, pay for food and beverages and now connect with social media. Now that attendees can connect with each other instantly, from all over the world, Tomorrowland can take their online presence to a whole new level and use their fans to create free Word of Mouth Marketing.

The company ID&T, based in Belgium, is responsible for a variety of festivals including Tomorrowland and now TomorrowWorld, in the United States. This is the first company to create such high tech bracelets and could be the beginning of an entirely new festival experience. As more people press the heart shaped button, all of their posts, photos and videos can be shared around the world and used by ID&T to promote themselves without lifting a finger. Word of Mouth Marketing gives the attendees control of the message. When the information is coming from a third party source, people tend to trust it more than coming from the company itself. While WOM marketing is not always the most reliable, social media has increased communication and results.

This year, the second TomorrowWorld will take place in Georgia and based on the success of the bracelets in Belgium, they will also be used this year in the US. People are already excited to use this new feature and it appears to be working based on the five million Facebook followers and the limited number of tickets left.

ID&T is paving the road for how festivals should operate by remembering to focus on the attendees experience while still using this new technology to their advantage.

6 thoughts on “Embrace the Madness, with the Press of a Button

  1. Very interesting next step in social media. Samsung has a similar feature for its users in terms of sharing photos. What is interesting to me about this is that while it some ways it further trivializes “friendship” as a collectable, it also actually reintroduces some authenticity. You actually may have to decline an invitation face to face. So if creeper dude or stalker girl wants to be friends, what do you do? Accept the invitation in person and then modify FB settings to ignore or do you say “no thanks, but thanks for asking” in person? What are the ethics here? What would Martin Buber say we should do? What would Face Negotiation Theory suggest (I think they would offer contradictory advice). How does this connect with IMC? Well, the device has created buzz but it has also raised implications. Good strategic communicators will anticipate those implications and rehearse possible responses. What is a TomorrowLand security officer supposed to say if a slightly high attendee loses it a bit because someone refuses a friendship request? How do they respond in a way consistent the brand of the festival? As the kid who was the first in my middle school class to ask a girl out face to face instead of with a note, I’m not sure what to make of this. But I guess I’ll keep adapting (and be glad I’m married!). 🙂

    • Hi Dr. Olsen and thanks for the thought provoking comment. I really like this method of integrating old and new ways of interacting, but could also see how it might create some awkward situations. The wristbands send you an email with the option to actually make the connection with the sender, so that delay hopefully helped a few people out of an awkward face to face denial. This allows that creeper dude to save face and continue to enjoy his music with his ego intact. I don’t think the potential problems with having such connectivity are in any way new, just a little bit easier and I see other applications for this concept like networking events. It will be interesting to see how this technology adds to or detracts from music festivals and other social events.

  2. This was very interesting to me and something I had no idea was even taking place. The fact that technology has advanced enough to let us contact with people through a bracelet at a festival is astonishing. I think it will be really interesting to see how this helps people communicate and interact with social media at the music festival. I also think it will be cool to see this technology be brought to the US. It’s just amazing to me how big social media is becoming an outlet for people all over the world to interact and communicate. I am intrigued to see how this bracelet turns out for TomorrowWorld and the impact it has on the people their.

  3. I just heard about this festival about two weeks ago. Clips of it were shown on snapchat. It looked like a fun event to go to. The way the bracelets let you keep in touch with the people you meet there is awesome. This is a great and effective way of new social media. I imagine this event expanding rapidly!

  4. Tomorrowland has taken social media and friendship to another level. I never even thought something like this could happen. Who knew that such a small bracelet could hold such power. This seems like a great gadget to have at festivals where all you do is meet new and interesting people, except what if its someone you don’t want to connect with. The concept of it is genius,so you don’t have to exchange phone numbers but just click a single button, but the idea may not be ideal for everyone attending the event. Although you probably don’t have to connect your Facebook if you didn’t want to. I can’t wait to see how Tomorrow World goes in the US and hope the bracelets only turn out for a success.

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