When it goes viral
why becoming worldwide viral isn't always the best
January 4 2016 do you remember what you were doing that day? Monday 4 January 2016 is a day we will never forget, a day that changed our lives. It was the day our small little event went worldwide viral. A day we weren’t prepared for.
Nutella-Palooza was intended to be a small event we were putting together to celebrate Nutella with other Nutella fans. When we applied to Splash Adelaide to run the event through their program we told them we would cater the event for a max of 1500 people to attend – it would have five bakers, 10 food trucks, a bar and a cooking demo. Total budget for the event $2500.
That was the plan, that was what we were sticking to until 4 January. One online magazine published an article about Nutella-Palooza after coming across our Facebook page and by the end of the day Nutella-Palooza was one of the worlds trending topics. Two friends from Adelaide – one who had the crazy idea the other who was putting the crazy idea into reality – were suddenly doing radio interviews in Ireland, interviews in London, LA, South Africa, Mexico and everywhere in between.
By the end of the week our Facebook event page was showing over 5000 people attending the event and growing. With 3 months to go before Nutella-Palooza we realised our original plan was not going to be sustainable and we would have to start from scratch. The only thing was how do we get the budget to make the event bigger? People were expecting a big event but how were we give that to them?
Even with being worldwide viral trying to get sponsors and vendors (especially bakers) involved with a first time event was not easy. Companies did not want to take the risk or be involved with another brand. We were extremely grateful for those businesses that did take the risk and come on board as a sponsor.
Being worldwide viral gave Nutella-Palooza exposure and free marketing that we wouldn’t have been able to get any other way which we were appreciative of however at the same time it put a huge amount of pressure on us to make the event live up to everyone expectations. We knew we would not be able to make everyone happy but at the end of the day the event turned out exactly how we imagined it would look like and had a community feel not a commercial feel – supporting local and the community is what we are about.
Having so much exposure meant 20,000 people attended Nutella-Palooza – a number we could not have ever imaged for our first event. Being able to have that many people on site and catering for them with toilets, security etc came at a price. We had to use all of our personal savings and also maxed out our credit cards - money that we never got back. We also got abused online for the event not being what they expected and not what the media made the event out to be.
We are proud of what we achieved, two friends with no event organising experience managed to pull off a major event however if we could do it all over again we wouldn’t want to be worldwide viral. We would have rather started off with a small event, an event that could grow bigger each year, as now everyone is expecting a massive Nutella-Palooza each year and without funding and support this will not be possible and we don’t want to let anyone down we just want to be spreading the happy.
Note: Nutella-Palooza did not receive any financial support or sponsorship from Ferrero (makers of Nutella) at any time and will not receive any financial support from them in the future.
words by Tash