What going to a festival taught me about personal branding

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what going to a festival taught me about personal branding

I recently attended a music festival. A muddy, grotty toilets, overpriced food, festival. It was my first festival, and it was a complete joy. To my surprise, it also taught me lessons about how to represent myself, how we view those around us, and personal branding.

Though I am new to festivals, I am not new to being thrown in to similar situations, as I have been lucky enough to do some travelling. While I was in the company of friends and people I thought I knew, I had some revelations about how people behave in a pressured situation.

You might be wondering what a festival has to do with brand or with business in general. It’s more about what festivals do to people; the changes in the way they present themselves, and show a picture of how people react to unfamiliar or stressful situations.

When you are in an unusual environment like a festival or let’s say an exhibition, I find people deal with it in three different ways.

  • They go completely over-excitable, tuning their personality up.
  • They go completely chilled out, and shrink back in their character.
  • Or they stay themselves.

Whilst I was at the festival, there was quite a large group of us camping so we had a number of people act in each way.

Let’s look at each persona and their flourishes and their flaws.


Over-excitable – annoying, but passionate

Those that were over excitable could be annoying, to put it bluntly. They had no filter, they had no concept of personal space, and no ability to read those around them. This led to people wandering away from them, as they were a lot to handle.

However, there are good points to the over excitable.

Though the over excitable may have turned their personalities up a notch, their passion was palpable, it oozed out of every ounce of them, and that was truly commendable after 5 days of scorching sun and soggy showers.

These personas are found at exhibitions in the form of those who are a bit too over eager to bring you to the stand. They make you feel uncomfortable, and you’re not sure you could handle their product, regardless of what it is. However, compared to a majority of the exhibitors, their energy is refreshing and a welcome change from those exhibitors looking at their feet.


Chilled out – no excitement, but no pressure

The chilled out were … well, chilled. They didn’t have any energy for anything, there was no get up and go, and no excitement. But, there was no worries either, nothing was a problem, and everything would be okay, even if the tents had got a little bit flooded.

These are the ones at exhibitions on their phones, or sipping their coffee on a seat in the corner. Not exactly drawing you in, but if you do get to speak to them, there’s no pressure either, it is a comfortable conversation, making you more likely to buy.


Those who stayed the same – indifferent, but dependable

Those who stayed the same would be questioned on why they had come along. There wasn’t obvious excitement or calmness. But they were completely dependable, as they were the people you already knew and trusted from home.

The same goes with exhibitors, they talk the same to prospects on their follow ups as they did on the event day, which inspires trust with a new prospect.


Think about a networking event you went to recently. When you attend a networking event, though you might not always be plastered in your company’s colours, you represent that company. When you first attend these events, you fall into one of the above 3 personas.

  • You are either too over the top and cocky trying to pull in business.
  • You are too relaxed, tired or too shy to approach anyone.
  • Or you are completely yourself, but as these people don’t know you from Adam, they mistake your lack of over excitement for non interest.

What I have learned is that you need the passion of the over excitable. The demeanour of the chilled out. And the dependability of those who stay the same to form the ideal personal brand. You want clients to know you are passionate about their company, you are dependable to get the work done, and it will all be completed with a calm demeanour.

Oh, and one other thing I learned, never venture to the toilets on the last day of the festival.

What are your thoughts on personal brand? We’d love to hear your thoughts.

If you feel you need to give more personality to your brand, or unify your team together, so you are singing off the same sheet, give us a call today on 01543 495752.

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