Festivals celebrating individual brands take off

As young consumers look to engage with brands on a deeper, more human level and immerse themselves in a company's lifestyle, they're giving rise to a new type of live event: brand conventions, as explored in our recent Betterment Report. Brands across all categories are starting to create their own festivals that entertain and educate attendees, thereby boosting consumers' affinity and creating a new revenue stream.


In celebration of its 20th anniversary Sephora is creating a two-day festival dubbed SEPHORiA, in which beauty fanatics can explore a multi-room House of Beauty, sample hundreds of products, and interact with brand founders and influencers. Taking place in Los Angeles this October, the immersive event will be part beauty playground, part educational experience, giving attendees the opportunity to learn new makeup techniques and tips. SEPHORiA represents a growing expectation for brand engagement, as more than half of Trendsetting youth believe that in the future, all brands will need to have a live event component to survive.


Beauty festivals are gaining traction around the world, with Australian cosmetics retailer Mecca hosting its first of such experiences this past April. The event, aptly named MECCALAND, took place over three days in Melbourne, during which attendees participated in interactive sessions, shopped from top brands (including never-before-seen products), learned from beauty experts, and played in Instagrammable spaces. While attendees could certainly make purchases at the event, MECCALAND is reflective of young consumers’ desire for brands to prioritize community over commerce, bringing together people who share a passion for a brand. Due to consumer demand for such experiences, tickets sold out in less than an hour.


This past fall, Hasbro hosted its first HASCON in Providence, RI, a three-day festival bringing fans of all ages together to meet the creators of its toys and movies. Young consumers seek to understand the behind-the-scenes of how products come to be, particularly the creative process, and Hasbro tapped into this desire through panels with its employees. Attendees could also dive deeper into the world of their favorite characters through interactive experiences, and were treated to sneak peeks from the brand's entertainment properties and appearances from its talent. Based on the success of the first event, HASCON will return in 2019.