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Uttar Pradesh Taj Balloon Festival

Introduction

The project entailed promoting and generating awareness about the Taj Balloon Festival. Under the umbrella of UP Tourism, the Taj Balloon Festival aimed at promoting Tourism in the city of Agra, preferably for an international audience.
Additionally, it also promoted Hot Air Ballooning as a sport by inviting 15 balloonists from all over the world to participate in the festival and display their skills. Thus, the Taj Balloon Festival promoted Agra not only as a tourism, but also as a sports destination.

Challenges

Despite being one of the most important tourist destinations in India, the state government wanted the city of Agra to offer much more than just history and leisure. Additionally, after being included under the umbrella of the Heritage Arc, it was imperative to promote Agra as a city of both past history and present indulgences. Thus, there arose a dire need to put on the radar Agra as a city that has much to offer, along with the rest of the state.
The promotion of the event before the final day in both the years – 2015 & ‘16, was a mammoth task: an international event of this stature had to be promoted aptly all over the world for the audience. Thus, there was dire need for good and ardent promotion.
Other challenges presented themselves during the execution of the social media promotion for the festival: since it was to be conducted out in the open and near the Ghats, the network was spotty, which hindered the live coverage of the event.
Crowd control was another concern: due to the fact that the balloons were going to be landing in strategic points in the city, there arose the problem of stopping them from being swarmed by the throng of people.

Solutions

The team took over the task of providing the social media promotion to the festival with zeal and in an organized manner. A Facebook page and a Twitter handle were created for the purpose. Heavy promotion of the Taj and how the areas around it were apt for the Balloon festival went underway. Facebook was the platform most concentrated upon by the team: not only did we promote the festival, but also used the social media platform as a medium to engage with the visitors, people, and interested participants. The effort was aimed at presenting Agra as a place of interest because of numerous other factors than the Taj.
Apart from that, the team also provided live coverage during all the days of the event. This included a constant updating of the Facebook page with pictures from the site, along with suitable captions, was a challenge in itself since the Ghats had little to no connectivity. The photos consisted not only of events on the ground, but also high above in the balloons. The content was, overall, aimed at multiplying the beauty of the Taj and the city of Agra. The coverage was spread over the two sessions that were conducted every day: one in the evening, and another in the evening. Thus, an all-round view of the event was available to those who were not able to visit. Additionally, quotes and pictures with the balloonists were also published in order to share their experience at the festival. We had run the hash tag – #TajBallonFestival for its social campaigning during both the years.

Benefits

  • Such constant and intensive coverage of the event helped in extending information about the festival to people all over the world. Not only that, but it also helped in making the festival significantly visible.
  • The popularity of the event was such that tweets and posts were shared and retweeted by a large number of people. Overall, the event got good publicity, which helped serve the purpose that the festival was organized for.
  • It also helped set the stage for a continuation of the festival in subsequent years.