The House of Happy Rebels festival, a true celebration of love and music
House of HR, a trendsetting group operating in the HR field, approached Fast Forward with some wild plans: organising a true festival exclusively for the European House of HR employees, better known as the Happy Rebels. Big, bright & bold, that was the call. And that's exactly what it turned out to be!
Organising a successful festival for an international audience from nine countries requires a strong plan. We launched a months-long communication project leading up to the festival weekend, aiming to:
TEASE, SURPRISE & TRIGGER
1. A short save-the-date-movie spread through House of HR's internal channels. Tease, check!
2. Next: posters in every coffee corner and a unique music card in the mailbox with a dazzling text, voiced by none other than Marcel Vanthilt: “Hi Happy Rebel, you are invited!”
3. We launched the Happy Rebels app, which operated as a central communication tool for several months. To inform and to trigger. Not only did it announce the impressive lineup. Through three Rebel Knock-out rounds, the Happy Rebels chose the last two artists on stage. And some lucky Happy Rebels won their own spot in the lineup.
On top of all that, we sent surprise acts to all the PowerHouses - the ten establishments that constitute House of HR - to encourage everyone to book a ticket. The Wizard, the Hula Hoop Queen, the Light Bender, the Stilt Walker ... one by one they pulled off their best act. Captured on video of course for everyone to enjoy.
4. Convinced? Time to book your ticket and your glamping tent, hotel stay or shuttle bus on the Happy Rebels festival website. Obviously by using a link from the app.
5. Time for the unboxing experience! Every festivalgoer received a box at home containing a Rebel Bandana, a bracelet with a remote-controlled LED light in the colour of the PowerHouse where he/she works and a festival guide containing extra information to ensure an unforgettable festival experience. The Rebel Game was already announced, an on-event competition which allowed attendees to win some great prizes.
One week before the festival, everyone could listen for one day to 'Happy Rebel Radio' hosted by – none other than - the cheerful Marcel Vanthilt, who handed out some prizes and got everyone wildly enthusiastic.
On top of all that stuurden we surprise acts naar alle PowerHouses - de tien ondernemingen die samen House of HR vormen – om iedereen aan te zetten een ticket te boeken. De Wizard, de Hula Hoop Queen, de Light Bender, de Stilt Walker … één voor één haalden ze hun beste act boven. Captured on video of course for everyone to enjoy.
4. Overtuigd? Tijd om je ticket en je glampingtent, hotelovernachting of shuttlebus te boeken via de Happy Rebels-festivalwebsite. Uiteraard via een link vanuit de app.
5. Time for the unboxing experience! Iedere festivalganger ontving thuis een box met daarin een Rebel Bandana, een bracelet met een vanop afstand bedienbaar LED-lampje in de kleur van het PowerHouse waarbij hij/zij werkt én een festival guide met extra info om van het festival een onvergetelijke ervaring te maken. Zo werd de Rebel Game al aangekondigd, een wedstrijd on event waarmee de aanwezigen mooie prijzen konden winnen.
Eén week voor het festival kon iedereen een dagje luisteren naar ‘Happy Rebel Radio’ met als host – jawel – de vrolijke Marcel Vanthilt die nog wat prijzen uitdeelde en iedereen laaiend enthousiast maakte.
The whole process also turned into a strong employer branding story. Proof: the numbers. The Happy Rebels app was downloaded 6,890 times in total. The story hit the mark! The innovative HR player initially aimed for 2,500 festivalgoers, but we far exceeded that number. No fewer than 3,500 enthusiastic House of HR employees registered present for this unforgettable experience. Preferably with an overnight stay. We initially planned camping space for 700 people, but this eventually turned into 2,000.
A STUNNING FIRST IMPRESSION
Kick-off: Friday 16h in Eindhoven. The real festival vibe could already be sensed from the entrance and the first Happy Rebels arrived... very happy. The attendees were overwhelmed on day one by an exclusive glamping experience and an exuberant vibe at the camping stage.
Staying still was impossible with such powerful dance hits from Live Jukebox and Buscemi! More than 1,000 Happy Rebels danced their hearts out, even a cloudburst couldn't stop them. Nothing better to warm up for a real festival day than a big party the night before, right?
FINALLY : FESTIVALITIS!
Saturday, the big festival day with top DJs, fairground attractions, food stands, you name it. Absolutely nothing was to be missed. 3,500 workers from Belgium and the Netherlands, Germany, France and even Poland, UK, Spain, Portugal and Romania made their way to the festival grounds. At 11 am, the festival gates officially opened with Bizzey kicking off on the main stage.
Then, the CEOs of all PowerHouses collectively put their best foot forward. In glittering costumes and ditto make-up, they blew everyone away in the Rebel Boiler Room with their act and their specially created Rebel Song. The stage remained standing, but the tone was set!
The party expanded to the Rebel Shelter and the Rebel Dome. Three stages, restroom disco, chill zones, Rebel Market, attractions, acts, surprises and a raffle. Something was always and everywhere to be experienced at this beautiful waterfront venue. Also on this day, the host Marcel Vanthilt, now called one of the Happy Rebels, chaperoned the whole event.
The ten PowerHouses were also given their own 'moment to shine'. Including a haka, an après-ski, promotions and a wedding proposal, everything was possible and everything was allowed on our stages. As if that wasn't enough, five lucky people also took a skydiving trip.
Above all, it remained a musical party, of course, featuring true entertainers like the Vengaboys, Topic and Regi, and main acts like Goose, Martin Solveig and Bob Sinclar, to name a few. That lineup proved to be a hit: what an amazing vibe, what a celebration....
And what a fine piece of teamwork.
O yes, our logic met magic!
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