By: Nick Begley, Senior Marketing Manager
Consumer behavior is ever-evolving.
In recent years, we’ve seen live events organizations make big changes to stay relevant and grow their audiences. There was a rise in popularity of monthly subscriptions to offer more budget-friendly access. New spaces were constructed within venues to draw consumers that valued the social gathering as much as the event itself. Shareable (and Instagrammable) moments became a focus of the event-going experience.
That was all pre-COVID. The live events industry has been flipped upside down and more changes are coming.
The focus must shift to increasing consumer confidence, especially since large in-person gatherings – where it is difficult for individuals to remain spaced at least 6 feet apart and attendees travel from outside the local area – have been deemed the highest risk by the CDC.
One key factor will be marketing the health-worthiness of events and venues.
There just so happens to be precedent related to this topic during these unprecedented times.
“The assurances to the public that are going to be required are really key and the evidence from the Spanish flu shows that theaters were competing on their ability to communicate with the public about how safe those venues were.” said Byron Harrison, Partner at Charcoalblue, on episode 6 of the Unobstructed podcast.
“There’s an example in the paper [Performance Buildings in the Post-Pandemic World] of an advertisement for a theater which is boasting about its ventilation, including the ventilation rates and how it’s being done, which is particularly amusing. I don’t know that any theater would go so far today, but I will say that venues will need to employ some kind of reassurance to their public,” continued Harrison.
Ad that appeared in the Chicago Tribune on November 2, 1918 (newspapers.com)
Beyond a newspaper ad boasting about your ventilation, here are 8 ways that your organization can market the health-worthiness of your event or venue:
- Publish a dedicated landing page on your website to share all of the precautions and protocols that you’ve put in place to create a safe environment for your customers.
- Build pre-purchase trust by highlighting changes made to your venue that show your investment in consumer safety.
- Take photos of your staff cleaning your venue and modeling your new safety protocols so that you can share them widely on your website and social media pages.
- Record a fun video describing your cleaning process (good clean fun, obviously).
- Capture a timelapse video of your cleaning process to showcase your thoroughness.
- Share new processes like timed entry ticketing that promotes social distancing and reduced capacity.
- Remind ticket buyers of new check-in procedures in both confirmation and pre-event emails.
- Post all attendee requirements inside and outside your venue to reinforce your new policies.
We have no doubt that many consumers will be making purchase decisions based on the events that they feel most safe attending. Your organization must put these protocols in place and then shout them from their stages and press boxes.