How a Food Festival Uses Nicho to Increase Engagement


The Eat Real Festival, a massive street-food festival and overall celebration of good food, has been one of the most popular foodie events in the San Francisco Bay Area since it’s start in 2008. Each year the festival hosts more than 50 local food and beverage vendors, showcasing their creations to more than 75,000 hungry attendees over three days.

The festival is a fundraiser for The Food Craft Institute, a nonprofit supporting the creation and development of small and medium-scale food businesses in the U.S. Eat Real had a social following of 33,000 users across Facebook and Instagram, but their messaging was not getting any reach. Posting often wasn’t enough. The festival wanted to try something new and interactive with their social engagement.

Enter Nicho.


Social activation started once the Media Wall went live on the Eat Real website and users were invited to share posts using the hashtag #ERF2015 . Eat Real always liked and retweeted user-generated posts, but this was the first year they encouraged attendees to generate content *before* the event, with calls-to-action like “share your most delicious moments”.


Photo’s from last year’s Eat Real were curated in the Media Wall before the event started. Once the food fest kicked-off, more than 1,700 photos, updates and videos from various social networks were captured and displayed on Eat Real’s website.


By integrating Nicho into their website, the social posts from all of Eat Real’s fans were collected, styled and embedded into their website, inspiring further social participation. Social engagement grew 13 percent. Twenty-four percent of that engagement was from new visitors. This year’s Eat Real had 40% more first-time visitors from social than in previous years resulting in 5 times more engagement than the previous year.


Eat Real’s Media Wall captured the festival experience, providing an experiential, interactive portal full of content that made its viewers spend more than 9 minutes salivating over the activity from the event. Visitors spent 84% more time on the Nicho-powered page commenting, liking and sharing posts than on any other page on the site.

This was the most successful Eat Real Festival yet. And the best part? The Food Craft Institute was able to raise $90,000 to support the growth of low-income Bay Area food entrepreneurs.