Every summer, tens of thousands of attendees convene for Burning Man in the Black Rock Desert of northern Nevada to embrace self-expression, view breathtaking art installations, participate in interactive performances and dance to booming electronic music until dawn.
Burning Man doesn’t have the cleanest rep, but it is in fact operated by a nonprofit that gives back to the community. The weeklong fest has grown exponentially in both success and popularity since it began in 1986, and to no surprise: It incorporates some seriously cool ideas. We break down five for event planners to steal.
1. Think big.
At last year’s festival in August, one of the biggest draws was The 747 Project: an illuminated jumbo jet cut in half and transformed into a venue for music, art installations and revelry. The project, created by nonprofit Big Imagination Foundation and funded using an Indiegogo campaign, meshed community support with an innovative art initiative resulting in a wildly good time.
2. Be proactive on social media.
A big part of Burning Man’s draw is the visually stunning art and AV installations set against an idyllic desert backdrop—and more importantly, the endless Instagram moments. The Burning Man team regularly reposts content from attendees and runs a daily countdown to next year’s festival on Twitter, creating year-round engagement.