As a student coming to Chicago for the summer from a small college town, I was immediately awe-struck by the innumerable options of summer festivals, events and concerts that I could choose from. Although I read about different events each weekend in local papers and on advertisements on the train, as a new-comer to this great city, I was unsure of which festivals to try.
I began opening my ears in the MSL Chicago office and asking my co-workers what their weekend plans were. I discovered the best source of information about Chicago’s abundance of events was right in front of me.
For example, Geralyn, our office manager, was my inspiration to attend the Chicago Blues Festival. She informed me it was the largest free blues festival in the world and located in nearby Grant Park. I was amazed at the huge number of event attendees, the many talented performers and the fun and energizing atmosphere.
I realized if I was relying on my co-workers and Chicago friends to find out the best summer festivals to attend, other people were probably doing the same. This got me thinking about the important of word-of-mouth marketing plays in promoting and creating successful events.
After doing some research, I found I am not the only person more likely to attend events my peers recommend than the events I see in advertisements. According to Adage.com:
- Up to 92 percent of consumers trust word-of-mouth recommendations, but only 24 percent trust online ads.
- A recommendation from a trusted friend conveying a relevant message is up to 50 times more likely to trigger a purchase compared to another recommendation.
Ultimately, I feel very lucky to be spending the summer in city with so many events to talk about and share with my friends. A few coming up I am looking forward to include:
- Sheffield Garden Walk and Festival: July 23-24
- Randolph Street Market: July 30-31
- And, of course, Lollapalooza: August 5-7
What are some of your favorite Chicago summertime events? What do you think about the growing importance of word of mouth marketing in today’s world?