The first festival of a traditional Russian summer cold soup “Okroshka” was collaboratively organized by Polylog Consulting Group and kvass-brewer “Ochakovo”. The festival of an authentic soup cooked from the national non-alcoholic beverage called kvass was held on a hot summer day of the 16th of July. We would like to share the unforgettable experience and tell more about the mishaps and problems we were to cope with.
Kvass-brewer “Ochakovo” came up with an idea of the festival. While developing its concept Polylog Consulting Group made a decision to put the 3 following points into its basis: the authenticity of the Russian kvass and of the okroshka soup, non-standard and extraordinary culinary methods and positioning of the preparation of the okroshka soup as a specific form of a family recreation. Therefore we divided our work into 3 parts: invitation campaign, PR-support and event-management.
At first the central square of the famous Moscow park “Sokolniki” was planned as the festival’s location. But eventually we had to relocate the festival to the non-central square of the park what triggered serious consequences as there were many food-stations on the way to the festival (burgers, woks, barbecue, donuts and many others). Hence, the odds stayed high that potential visitors of the festival would come with full stomachs. In order to tackle the problem we made a resolution to strengthen the information campaign. Within its framework we launched audio advertisement on the street radio of the park, placed ad banners in the most lively places and instructed promo-staff with leaflets to invite park visitors to the festival. Our work resulted into the fact that the most visitors of the park preferred refreshing cold soup in the festival’s restaurant to the hot barbecue or fat burgers for their lunch on that hot summer day. Notwithstanding, in future we will put on writing records in the contract with the park all the existing activities that can draw attention of the visitors and that significantly raise the costs of the invitation campaign and make it far more complicated.
Assuring a sufficient number of visitors is vital for food festivals and that is why we paid special attention to the part of public relations and to the announcement campaign. PR-managers of the festival developed a special calendar plan of the announcement campaign that covered cooking resources and information partners. Moreover, the information about the okroshka festival appeared not only in lifestyle media headings such as “Ways to spend a summer weekend in Moscow” but on the site of the Government of Moscow what proves the efficiency of our work. It is worth mentioning that there was no chaos in the announcement campaign as it was executed respecting the developed schedule: in a week before the festival, in a day before the festival and on the very day of the festival. In compliance with the advertisement campaign in the park we successfully promoted the festival of okroshka “Family secret” in the information field and ensured the inflow of the visitors. However the post-analysis showed that targeted advertising banners in social media would be more useful and effective as a promotion tool.
Just as always the most interesting and unexpected issues arose after the festival had started. Having proved the readiness of the construction (we gave up an idea of constructing a standard food market and constructed an open-air restaurant with 700 seated positions) we started to wait for the first visitors. While we prepared for the festival we understood that we wouldn’t find the sufficient number of partners and sponsors. Thereupon it occurred to us that selling okroshka soup in sets of 5 portions could help us to provide the monetization of the event and get commercial efforts. Our key goal was to sell 3,000 soup portions but in the middle of the event we had a clear understanding that the aim couldn’t be achieved if we went on selling okroshka in sets of 5. Promptly we adapted the sales plan and started to sale single portions as well what enabled us to come closer to KPI.
30,000 visitors ate 18,000 soup portions
The event resulted into 30,000 happy visitors. Okroshka consumption on that day reached a historical figure of 18,000 portions. The visitors’ satisfaction was provided not only by delicious meal but by the rich content of the event. Jazz concert and street music bands guaranteed the atmosphere of joy while popular master classes on okroshka preparation from the chefs of leading Moscow restaurants raised the quality and the level of the involvement high into the sky. Famous Russian politician Vladimir Zhirinovskiy gave master class on his cooking method of okroshka as well what drew extra attention of media and park visitors.
Successfully conducted event lay foundation for the annual festival of okroshka what is already confirmed by its title sponsor kvass-brewer “Ochakovo”. The objective was to breathe new life into authentic national soup made from traditional soft drink kvass as well as to introduce new “Ochakovo” kvasses onto the market and we have achieved great success in it.