Food and drink galore. Positioned next to the iconic Seattle Needle the event takes over the park below and becomes a centre piece of Seattle for the week. This is a story of the Friday evening at Bite of Seattle…
What was the event?
Event: Bite of Seattle
Date: 19th – 21st July
Location: Seattle – Space Needle
The story begins…
Hunger in my stomach. I waited all day to treat myself to some of the delicious treats that would feature in Bite of Seattle. The combination of food and drink and addition of music is common around the world. Meeting the senses is exactly what these types of events do. They tickle your taste buds and let you hear the sound of music. Stages were large and had bands that were attempting to create a rock and roll atmosphere – unfortunately at that precise moment the only two rocking was two individuals who with there leather pants on were rocking and remembering the days in their sixties. I admired them. So did everyone who where tucking into some of the select cuisines available. The grass was dry and the atmosphere was building to be an amazing night in Seattle.
It was the Friday night, this meant it was quieter, which didn’t allow me to fully understand the benefit of the event to the area. It was over a vast area don’t get me wrong. Stalls meandered around various pathways in the park. I liked the use of the space and how it all compacted in nicely. The only one thing was it was easy to get lost. A mixture of tourists and locals were the audience for the event.
Large banners indicated where you were but no signage was in place to guide you there. It felt like they had created districts but forgot to create a map. In one way it’s funny how some events don’t need that sense of hand holding and guiding people – but sometimes others allow people to know exactly where they are and feel part of it. It’s a huge thing about events some create that perfect customer journey and some just want you to meander.
I like to know where I am and what’s around me. But I managed to guess quite quickly everything including my routes. Exploring some of the cool activations presenter with various brands was cool. One of these was T Mobile. I think sometimes there is sense that these activations need to be BIG AND SHOWY – due to technological advances and immersion strategy. However, that’s all wrong. Instead it’s the simple things that buy people in. This include “chuck throwing” and also “throw balls in a box”. A themed box with branding of T Mobile and then people throwing three plastic balls in. Immediately it was a hit. People wanted to just engage. They wanted to throw a ball – which has absolutely zero to do with the product – but it gets people involved and engaged. T Mobile unfortunately struggled to then get into enquiring about the product. However, they tried something different and it worked to engage.
The food trucks – as you can see – were all varied in the foods being offered. They ranged from greek, Mexican and so on…One food van had samples going and in turn it delivered them a huge queue. Others were sitting on top of there transportable fridges waiting for the queues come to them. The main thing about an event is always engagement – some had it from the food trucks and some forgot it was critical. What is that people got from this event – apart from food. What was the memories being created and how they cherish the event after leaving.
One thing I took away from the event…
Food festivals are constructed as tastes that are different and charge prices that fit the experience the consumer buys into. However, is this sustainable to get people to engage and want to keep returning for the future.