Northern New South Wales’ premier food event, the Sample Food Festival just wrapped for 2017, and Australian Macadamias was delighted to once again throw its support behind this fabulous attraction as a sponsor for the seventh consecutive year.
2017 saw our sponsorship deliver the most impressive results to date, with the media reach target of 225,000 exceeded by 360%, and more than 1 million people reached across social and traditional media channels including Instagram, Instagram stories, Twitter, Facebook, blogs and online news media.
Supply of macadamia product is a major component of our support for the event, and it was exciting to have the support and involvement of some of our industry’s best macadamia brands, including, Pure Nut, Waliznuts, Brookfarm, Rainforest Foods and Duck Creek.
Success built on long-term support
The festival has grown larger each year since its inception in 2011, and the Australian macadamia industry has been there every step of the way as a sponsor each year. Held in the town of Bangalow, Sample is the largest food event in the Northern Rivers region, with many local macadamia growers and producers involved. The main festival takes place on the first weekend of the Australian spring, with numerous pre-festival events held in the lead up.
Participation in the festival provides a fabulous opportunity to actively support the community in one of Australia’s major macadamia-growing regions, while driving pride in our brand, showcasing the versatility of macadamias, generating excitement online and offline, developing and strengthening our relationships with chefs and foodies, and creating quality, long-lasting content.
We leverage our involvement extensively on social media as we showcase how macadamias are being embraced by chefs and producers, and ensuring macadamias are included in the many online conversations around this hero food event.
Instameet spearheads stellar results
The centrepiece of this year’s sponsorship was the #AusMacadamias Instameet – a real life meet-up of like-minded Instagrammers.
Having effectively trialled our first Instameet at 2016’s Sample Food Festival, this year we built on that success with a more substantial format, attracting more participants, and delivering excellent social media leverage and press coverage.
Prominently located next to the main festival marquee, the Instameet was hosted by two professional Instagrammers – Gold-Coast based former chef Lauren Bath with 465,000 followers, Northern Rivers local Jewels Lynch with 114,000.
Both proved to be an excellent fit, engaging enthusiastically with Instameet attendees, posting photos and Instagram stories from the day, and Lauren also posting in the lead-up to the Instameet. Their sizeable Instagram followings delivered outstanding results, with the pair’s event-related posts collectively garnering more than 12,500 likes and comments.
Another great addition to this year’s Instameet was the engagement of a professional stylist who set up a beautiful macadamia display. This provided an abundance of visual inspiration for attendees, with elements from the display featuring in many of the images that were posted on Instagram.
A competition rounded out the Instameet, with a macadamia gift hamper on offer for the person who Instagrammed the best macadamia inspired photo from the event using the #AusMacadamias hashtag. The winner was this image below by @disarmdoors.
The Instameet resulted in 24 posts and 10 different Instagram stories. Instagram stories are a photo or video that is added to a separate part of an Instagram profile and disappear after 24 hours. They were a new element included in our event plan this year, and proved to be a great addition to the coverage.
Local press gets on board
In addition to being a highly effective means of developing relationships and encouraging user generated content, the Instameet was also a great media hook, generating several press and blog articles.
Chefs put macadamias in the festival spotlight
The festival produced amazing macadamia creations and interactions with a number of Australia’s top chefs, including Luca Ciano, Justin North, Gavin Hughes, Sam Gowing, Matt Golinski, Clayton Donovan, Sarah Swan, Bret Cameron, Anthea Amore and Belinda Jeffery.
Highlights included Belinda Jeffery’s carrot, ginger and macadamia cake, Luca Ciano’s warm sabayon of Limoncello and Moscato, with a macadamia cantucci biscuit crumb, and Justin North’s pot roast pork with crushed spring peas and macadamias.
The festival’s Friday lunch and dinner events featured macadamias in four dishes. Popular local venues Harvest, Macadamia Castle and Organic Passion all used macadamias in their festival tasting plates, while over on the cooking demonstration stage, macadamias were featured in the chocolate making session, both of the My Mayor Rules challenges, and all three Mystery Box challenges.
- Total reach: 1,040,573 (360% of target)
- Total impressions 1,731,851
- Instagram reach: 722,521
- Instagram stories reach: 66,378
- Tradition media, e-newsletter and blog reach: 223,932
- Facebook and Twitter reach: 27,473
- Total social media posts: 121 (58 by us, 63 by others)
- Press and blog stories: 8
- Total contributors across all platforms: 50
- Tasting plate dishes featuring macadamias: 3
- Cooking stage events using macadamias: 6
Our thanks to the Sample Food Festival organisers, chefs, Instameet attendees and the wider macadamia industry for making this year’s festival the best yet.