#Balloon Fiesta Goes Viral and Engages Audiences Across the World

Challenge: The nine-day annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta benefits from a robust online, digital and social media presence. For the 42nd event in 2013, The Garrity Group set out to increase digital media engagement on Facebook and Twitter, increase website traffic to BalloonFiesta.com, improve virality by increasing impressions and establish new and creative ways of engaging online audiences.  The Balloon Fiesta was one of the firm’s first clients when The Garrity Group opened its doors in 1997.

Solution: The Garrity Group integrated media relations and email marketing content into the yearly, featuring stories and photos that gave Balloon Fiesta followers an inside look into the event. Key social media influencers and online bloggers were invited to participate in the event and were treated with exclusive media access. Special infographics, contests, videos, and signage were created to enhance the social experience for Balloon Fiesta guests and media.

Results: Balloon Fiesta’s social media strategy exceeded objectives in the following ways:

  • The Garrity Group improved Balloon Fiesta’s virality by generating over 53 million impressions across multiple social networks
  • The 42nd event generated more than 14,000 new Facebook followers during the nine day event
  • Balloon Fiesta was featured on the official Instagram account, driving more than 600,000 new likes and comments
  • Other social networks generated improved engagement numbers throughout the year, including Pinterest (500+ pins) and YouTube (86,000+ views)


2013 Cumbre Best of Show Award, Public Relations Society of America New Mexico Chapter