Festival Abierto 2012 

part 1 - content generation and audience building

Part 2 - Onsite and Results


On the morning of April 21st, 2012, Parque Omar opened its gates to the public to attend Festival Abierto.  The communications team was ready to go with a crew of photography, video, and social media volunteers to document the event.   Users were consistently redirected to Festivalabierto.com for all the pertinent information they might need about the event.

Map of Festival Abierto 2012, distributed online and signage (click to enlarge)

Preparations underway (click to enlarge)

Over 20 NGOs occupying Parque Omar to provide free interactive education

Informational video regarding additional parking for the event (click to enlarge)



Once the event kicked into gear, the communication volunteers got to work, capturing approximately 3,000 images, 4 hours of footage, and 2 days worth of Facebook updates and Tweets.

(note: Instagram had just begun to gain traction in the market at the time of Festival Abierto 2012.  There was little justification use for it given the relatively small user base and bandwidth issues known to affect large gatherings.  However, the potential was certainly noted and would be remembered for future editions of Festival Abierto.)

Below is a small sample of published photographs.  If you wish to see more, please visit our Facebook albums for Saturday the 21st and Sunday the 22nd.

Given Festival Abierto's aesthetic principles, the photography volunteers were encouraged to try and be as natural and unobtrusive as possible as a means of differentiating themselves from the usual event coverage found in Panama.  The decision to avoid posing where possible was very much an editorial one.

musical performances

Live music is often a big attractor for these kinds of festivals.  Asides from providing cultural content at an event billing itself as built around culture, the team knew that in order to push the audience numbers into figures worth a marketing department's time, the lineup had to be strong and varied with closing acts that could draw people from all over the country.

Each band was recorded live to have an archive of the musical performances, much like Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza, with the hopes of further spreading the name of Festival Abierto among people who would ordinarily not gravitate towards an educational/cultural festival.

Los Tres (Chile)

Systema Solar (Colombia)

Señor Loop

Carlos Méndez

Raices y Cultura


Orquesta Garash


After all was said and done, Festival Abierto and their PR partner RUA-Porter Novelli started crunching the numbers and relevant metrics to evaluate Festival Abierto's goals.  The Institutional Protection Service of Panama (SPI), tasked with the protection and security of Panama's publicly managed areas, was kind enough to assist in sorting through attendance numbers.

  • Attendance: 10,000 over 2 days
  • Social Media Reach: 300,000 people
  • OOH value: $65,000
  • Ad value: $47,000
  • PR value: $190,000

Publication / PR value breakdown

  • Newspaper: 46% ($87,000)
  • Web: 28% ($52,000)
  • TV: 10% ($37,000)
  • Editorial: 5% ($10,000)
  • Radio: 2% ($4,000)


Social Media / Web


The results were extremely encouraging in every way possible.  The entire team was exhausted but thrilled with accomplishing something they had no idea would work.  After compiling all the data and preparing sponsor reports, Festival Abierto 2012 was put to rest and planning began on the next projects - something to keep the Festival Abierto brand relevant throughout the rest of the year, and, naturally...  Festival Abierto 2013.