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Essence Music Festival creates huge economic boost

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This past weekend marked the 19th Annual EssenceMusic Festival in New Orleans Louisiana. It is considered a “party with a purpose” and draws in over 400,000 attendees from all over the world. It was started by Essence magazine, and has now grown into a huge movement that has expanded beyond the music. The event not only features big name and independent artists, but is also a star-studded event with seminars, discussion groups, fashion shows, and guest speakers. And for the people of New Orleans (or as it is affectionately called, NOLA), the Essence Music Festival (EMF) also presents the opportunity for huge business profits.
The festival not only gives budding entrepreneurs a chance to come and set up shop onsite, but it also gives local business owners a boost in sales. Hotels, Restaurants, beauty salons, and clothing stores native to NOLA all benefit from the EMF foot traffic, receiving tons of free publicity due to the massive amount of social media updates over the course of the festival weekend. Instagram and Twitter went bananas with many using the hashtags #NOLA and #EMF, and sharing Check-ins at local NOLA attractions. A local NOLA news outlet reported that profits over the weekend boosted an increase of $100 million. There is a huge focus on community in the city, and many of the business owners are afforded opportunities to build relationships that transcend over time, with festival goers returning to patronize these businesses every year. Local jewelry and fashion designers hold their breath as they wait to get their “big break”, hoping to approach a touristy celeb that will support their products and share info with their thousands of Twitter and Instagram followers.
With a focus on community, EMF has proven to be the ultimate opportunity for increase in commercial activity. Whether there is an exchange of goods and services onsite, or a networking connection that leads to further growth, both small and large small business owners would be amiss not to take advantage of the massively growing festival.
Check out the local festivals in your region for networking opportunities and for a new customer base. Opportunities are everywhere!