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Special Project

Special Project
From the 8th Annual Shorty Awards

Cooking up community at Eat Real food festival

Entered in Social Media Tool


The Eat Real Festival, a massive street-food festival and overall celebration of good food, has been one of the most popular foodie events in the San Francisco Bay Area since its start in 2008. Each year, the festival hosts more than 50 local food and beverage vendors, showcasing their creations to more than 75,000 hungry attendees over three days.

The festival is a fundraiser for The Food Craft Institute, a nonprofit supporting the creation and development of small and medium-scale food businesses in the US. Eat Real had a social following of 33,000 users across Facebook and Instagram, but their messaging was not getting any reach. Posting often wasn't enough. The festival wanted to try something new and interactive with their social engagement, and turned to SocioFabrica's visual marketing platform Nicho.

Strategy and Execution

Social activation started once the Nicho Media Wall went live on the Eat Real website and users were invited to share posts using the hashtag '#ERF2015'. Eat Real always 'liked' and re-tweeted user-generated posts, but this was the first year they encouraged attendees to generate content *before* the event, with calls-to-action like "share your most delicious moments".

Photos from last year's Eat Real were curated on the Media Wall before the event started. Once the food fest kicked-off, more than 1,700 photos, updates and videos from various social networks were captured and displayed on Eat Real's website.

By integrating Nicho onto their website, the social posts from all of Eat Real's fans were collected, styled and embedded, inspiring further social participation. Social engagement grew 13 percent, and 24 percent of that engagement were from new, unique visitors. This year's Eat Real had 40 percent more first-time visitors from social than in previous years, resulting in five times more engagement than the previous year.


Eat Real's Media Wall captured the festival experience, providing an experiential, interactive portal full of content that made its viewers spend more than nine minutes salivating over the activity from the event. Visitors spent 84 percent more time on the Nicho-powered page commenting, liking and sharing posts than on any other page on the site. The additional social engagement prompted and captured by Nicho brought more visitors to the festival, making it the most successful Eat Real Festival yet. Each year the festival is the primary fundraiser for the Food Craft Institute, which was able to raise $90,000 with the addition of Nicho, to support the growth of low-income Bay Area food entrepreneurs.


Entrant Company / Organization Name

SocioFabrica, The Food Craft Institute


Entry Credits