Companies put their strategies and new products to test, by supporting the biggest event of digital technology in Brazil. In this article, we will explain how brands can get benefits by investing in the "geek" universe.
What is Campus Party?
Created in Spain, back to 1996, Campus Party is the biggest technology event of the world, present in 12 countries. For those who do not know it, we are talking about an annually week-long, 24 hour a day festival and Lan Party where people go equipped with laptops to camp out in tents on-site.
Connected in ultra high-speed internet, the Campus Party's visitors get together to surf, interchange files and ideias and, of course, experience the "hackaton" (collaborative computer programming). In addition, the event counts with several workshops, lectures, conferences, competitions, and all kinds of digital entertainment activities.
This kind of "geek camping" first came to Brazil in 2008, and quickly gained popularity among the technology addicts. Its fifth edition, happening from February 6th to 12nd of 2012, takes place at Anhembi Parque, in the city of São Paulo and gathers 7000 registered people and thousands of visitors from all over the country.
Such amount of people arouses interest of a great number of companies. The 5th Campus Party counts with more than 60 supporters, between collaborators and sponsors. The supporters are from different sector, but the public is very specific: young (about 79% are between 18 and 29 years old) and crazy about innovation and technology. At first sight, that sounds strange. But, actually, companies are not only looking at Campus Party's visitors as consumers, but as intermediates and even partners. We will see it farther down.
Campus Party Brazil 2012 is considered the biggest edition of the event in the world, what proves its success in the country. Brazilians are a promise when it comes to innovation, as more and more young people are using internet as a way to progress. And it is precisely in these young minds that companies are keeping their eyes on. But why exactly?
An audience of thought leaders
Because it gathers a great amount of internet and technology heavy users, Campus Party became a fantastic laboratory to companies of the most diverse sectors, a space where they can test new marketing, business and products strategies.
Companies are aware that some internet users are like opinion leaders, that can spread messages to a lot of people in a very short time, specially with the increasing use and popularity of social medias in Brazil. Those are the so-called "trendsetters", people who have a lot of influence on the web and are responsible for the technology and digital trends directions.
Go figure what happens when thousands of these people gather in the same place: "Campus Party is the physical representation of internet, we have a huge world's digital laboratory here, with internet programmers, designers, web communities, developers, gamers, entrepreneurs, people who are followed and believed by lots of others internet users", says Jose Luiz de Genova, Commercial Director of Futura Networks, the Campus Party organizer.
Divulging new ideas to these people is a way of spreading information fast and effectively.
Testing new products
Campus Party 2012 has an Exposition Zone where technology companies supporting the event can put their new products up to testing. As the event's visitors have an accurate know-how on the area, they are able to give productive suggestions to solve problems and enhance the exposed technologies.
But not only technological products can benefit from the Campus Party. Several companies that are not directly linked to the digital world are supporting the event as well. In the stands, they arrange lots of games and competitions that has the company's new products as prize. Using the elements of the geek universe creatively, they gain the attention of Campus Party public and promote their product, fixing the brand on internet topics that will be spread afterwords by social medias.
Promoting entrepreneurship and qualification
Campus Party is an open innovation place, where people gather to share their ideas and even look for partners to complement their projects. Some of the event's supporters promote programming competitions (with a big check as prize or objects of geek's desire, as well as business guidance) to young entrepreneurs interested in releasing their technology ideas to the market but have no business experience and working capital.
Besides, with the competitions and workshops, companies can also headhunt young talents to their crew.