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Big Food Festival Promotion With a Small Team [Podcast]

Kristen Lau-Grover is Director of Marketing & PR for Hawaii Food & Wine Festival. The pacific islands’ biggest food & wine festivals in it’s 13th year.
Food, drinks, and culture are some of the biggest drivers for community festivals. They were some of our top performing promotions last year.
Kristen shares insights about how she manages marketing and PR for such a big event with a very small event marketing team.
She discusses using technology to be more efficient and some insightful strategies for influencer marketing for events.
The Event Promoter Podcast shares stories and tips that help our industry bring communities together through events.
Our guests are event promoters, talent, organizers, and industry professionals working to bring people together through entertainment, art, business, and experiences.

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Event Marketing Strategies: Key Takeaways from the Hawaii Food and Wine Festival Marketing Director

In this comprehensive podcast, Kristen Lau-Grover, the director of marketing PR for the Hawaii Food and Wine Festival, shares valuable insights on event marketing and promoting large-scale community festivals

With her extensive experience in the industry and a background in dance and film, Kristen provides a unique perspective on how to effectively promote events and create memorable experiences for attendees.

Leveraging Partnerships for Event Success

One of the key takeaways from the podcast is the importance of leveraging partnerships to amplify event messages and attract diverse audiences. 

Kristen emphasizes the significance of building strong relationships with partners and stakeholders to extend the reach of the festival beyond the local community. 

By collaborating with influencers and key food and travel personalities, the festival was able to significantly increase sweepstakes entries and generate substantial buzz around the event.

Storytelling and Content Creation for Event Branding

Another critical aspect discussed by Kristen is the power of storytelling and content creation in building a strong event brand reputation. 

The Hawaii Food and Wine Festival’s success lies in its deep connection to Hawaii’s local agriculture and culinary talent. 

By promoting sustainability and authenticity, the festival has become a mark of quality in the industry. 

Kristen emphasizes the importance of engaging content that resonates with the target audience and reinforces the festival’s core values.

Email Marketing and Data Gathering

To efficiently promote the festival, Kristen highlights the use of email marketing to build an engaged audience and gather valuable data. 

By focusing on building an email subscriber list, the festival can have a more direct and personalized communication channel with its audience. 

Form fills for sweepstakes entries provide essential data on the festival’s demographics and geographical reach, enabling the marketing team to better understand their audience and target their efforts effectively.

Continuous Learning and Adaptation in Event Marketing

The fast-paced marketing landscape demands continuous learning and adaptation, which Kristen emphasizes throughout the podcast. 

As a marketer, one must be willing to embrace new technologies and strategies to remain relevant in the ever-evolving industry. Kristen stresses the importance of monitoring trends and utilizing tools like AI to streamline processes and make informed marketing decisions. She finds marketing automation for events to be essential in managing so many moving parts with such a small team.

Being open to learning and adapting enables the festival to stay ahead of the curve and deliver outstanding results.

Planning and Scheduling with Project Management Tools

As a small marketing team, efficient planning and scheduling are crucial for the Hawaii Food and Wine Festival. 

Kristen highlights the use of project management tools like Asana to plan and coordinate marketing initiatives. Having a well-organized marketing plan for months in advance allows the team to align their efforts with other departments and stakeholders. 

This strategic approach ensures that everyone is on the same page and maximizes the impact of marketing activities.

Future Automation Possibilities with Zapier

Looking to the future, the festival is exploring automation tools like Zapier to integrate various marketing processes. Automation would streamline tasks and enable the team to focus on higher-level strategies and creativity.

 Kristen envisions using automation for email nurturing campaigns, SMS text messaging for repeat ticket purchasers, and other personalized marketing efforts. 

This investment in automation would increase efficiency and optimize resource utilization.


This episode provides valuable insights into the world of event marketing, particularly through the lens of the Hawaii Food and Wine Festival. 

Watch or listen to the full episode here.

Leveraging partnerships, storytelling, email marketing, and continuous learning are key elements that contribute to the festival’s success. With efficient planning and a focus on automation for the future, the festival remains at the forefront of the industry, delivering exceptional experiences to its attendees year after year. 

Aspiring event marketers can draw inspiration from Kristen’s strategies and creative approaches to better promote their own events and achieve remarkable results.

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