July 17, 2020 I Event
Sweetwater Holds GearFest Virtually
On June 26-27, Sweetwater presented its annual event, GearFest, a celebration of music instruments and pro audio gear, doing so virtually for the first time. Featuring guest appearances, workshops, panels, in-depth interviews and more from established figures in the music business, attendees were able to take in live music, access special sales, enter hourly giveaways and learn directly from musicians and industry leaders.
Sweetwater shared the following numbers following the event.
• Traffic numbers were positive across all the company’s channels, with livestreams totaling 56,000 views on Facebook, 30,000 views on YouTube and 147,402 views across Sweetwater.com and all GearFest pages.
• Sales on gear and audio equipment soared and surpassed last year, with a 59% increase on June 26 and 64% increase on June 27.
• The event’s virtual vendor expo received a total of 22,867 views and 46,285 minutes of watch time across 1,596 videos.
Sweetwater CEO Chuck Surack commented on the digital festival. “We miss being able to do it in person and shake people’s hands and all that,” he said. “I really stand at the front door normally for two solid days and just welcome people, and thank them for coming. And it was a different experience without having people here live. On the other hand, it was amazing to all of us how alive it felt.”
Surack was unprepared for the gratitude attendees expressed to him for Sweetwater taking GearFest virtual. “I got a lot of comments from customers, dozens going, ‘Thank you for doing it virtual and thank you for thinking about us and being safe,’” he said. “I also had others going, ‘I wish you could do it in person, but we understand.’ I was surprised how many people complimented us for doing it in a safe sort of way.”