Each year the Walmart Essence Festival brings nearly half a million visitors to New Orleans for a unique celebration of culture, connection to community, and access to content that inspires and empowers!

Walmart has been a long time sponsor of this event, activating a booth and experiences throughout the entire city to provide education and entertainment for this important cultural and community event. For 2018 Walmart tapped into the skill-set of the team at Bluewater to design the booth space, provide the staging, and create multiple activations to help bring the space to life.

It worked, because the booth won Best Consumer Environment at the festival and was nominated for a Shorty Award!

Check out our full case study or read what our happy clients had to say below. We would be excited to discuss how we might be able to help other companies with their events and meetings! If something like the Walmart Essence Festival looks like just the type of event or brand environment that you are looking to implement, give us a shout!

Here’s What Walmart Had to Say:

R= Regine Moore (Director of Multicultural Marketing at Walmart) D= David Long (Manager of Design and Production for Walmart Solutions).

R: I’m Regine Moore, I’m the director of multicultural marketing at Walmart with a focus on African American efforts. Essence Festival has been around for 24 years led by Essence. Essence is fundamental in focusing on African American women and what’s important to them. Essence Festival is a time for, across the nation, African Americans of all ages coming together to feel empowered, to get motivated, and to be entertained over a three day weekend.

D: My name is David Long; I’m a manager of design and production with Walmart Solutions. For us, Bluewater really was a one-stop shop for everything we needed for Essence Festival. We did a corner stage that was wrapped with almost continuous LED.

R: the scale of the backdrops and walls were amazing. You’d come through the door and you’d just see Walmart very present in the front. You’d see people in lines that would be there before the doors were really open, waiting to get crowns, waiting to see our stage. They would be in line for hours for it. We’ve not had that kind of experience at Essence before.

D: Having the activation element in-house for a lot of the companies we work with is pretty unique. We had multiple types of activations on the floor — many of them that Bluewater developed. We also had an “endless aisle runner” game where Bluewater developed this pad that you could run on. You were pretending to be a Walmart associate and you had to pick items for a grocery delivery.

R: Through our LEDs, we were able to do selfie walls that could change [backgrounds]. It was great to be able to have this interaction with attendees but also be able to change it up every hour if we wanted to, or every day if we wanted to. It got people excited, and they wanted to be in line to take a picture at this selfie wall. I think that was a real fun piece that we never were able to do without the technology that Bluewater was able to bring. It was done in a very crisp and clear way that didn’t feel like it was an LED. It felt like it was a great, artistic expression that they could take a picture in front of.

D: Essence is a little of a different event that we do every year, so finding a unique company that can handle all the different elements that we need — from activations to the production to talent services and everything else. Everything from the personal that we worked with to the equipment, the problem solving that they had, seeing them implement and make timelines work, and problem solve with the crew — they’re gonna take the bull by the horns and go. Bluewater absolutely did that, and made life easier for us.

R: Bluewater is a great company that seeks to understand who their audience is, seeks to understand the brand that they’re working for, and looks to combine that with the experiences that they’ve had with other experiential events to build a really great show, a really great program for any experience. I think working with them has been a pleasure; I’ve seen the success of it come through with a three-day weekend at Essence Festival, and I think there’s more great things to come.