3 ways the events industry can attract suspicious consumers
When the pandemic ended concerts and shows, people all over the world mourned the loss. The same has been true of event planners, whose businesses have enjoyed major successes. A year later, the world is slowly returning to a place where large-scale events can happen again. However, a not entirely unexpected problem has arisen: many consumers are no longer comfortable meeting with strangers.
More adults and teens are getting the coronavirus vaccine every week, but people are still hesitant to spend time with people they don’t know. CNBC reports that this hesitation can last for some time, which begs a big question: How should event professionals react?
This is an important consideration for event planners, who naturally want to put their businesses back in the dark. A November 2020 Allied Market report says events globally are expected to reach $ 2.3 billion in five years. It is a serious incentive.
Yet the question of how to help people feel safe at organized events remains. This is where innovative thinking can help. Event planners ready to break down crowd reluctance related to the pandemic may once again woo the public by adopting a few new strategies.
1. Give preference to outdoor events.
Most people aren’t as worried about crowds outdoors as they are in confined spaces. This makes it a great time to consider new places to host traditionally outdoor festivals and musical performances, and to imagine ways to move once indoor events to the outdoors.
The move to the open air makes even more sense when you consider that, according to Hearby’s 2020/2021 State of Live Music report, 10% of concert halls have permanently closed in response to Covid lockdowns. . This means that there is less interior space available to host events anyway.
Event planners have the opportunity to be creative when it comes to choosing outdoor spaces for their offerings. While arenas and outdoor parks are regularly used as entertainment venues, there are other hidden gems that might appeal to consumers. These could include anything from botanical gardens and beaches to deserts and private farms.
2. Take advantage of VR and AR technology for online events.
Zoom fatigue is a real and documented phenomenon. Still, event planners don’t have to abandon the notion of live streaming performances. In fact, they have good reason to embrace the online options.
According to Trends Exchange, virtual events are expected to cross the $ 770 billion mark by 2030. Yet not all online events are created equal. One way to differentiate virtual concerts, lectures, and live entertainment is to use VR and AR.
Owners of gaming headsets like the Oculus, for example, could enjoy a near-live experience while watching a show online. With the right mesh of coding and technical support, sites could design unique interfaces between audiences and artists. Using the latest VR or AR solutions could transform any event from a hip-hop show to a Broadway tour.
It is clear that these events would attract a specific audience. Still, it’s a strategy worth exploring by event planners whose target ticket buyers are likely to have access to headsets. Plus, innovative entertainment offerings like these make great fodder for press releases and social media posts.
3. Present hybrid events that meet everyone’s needs.
Of course, not everyone faces crowd anxiety. Young consumers can show their eagerness to return to pre-pandemic gatherings. To meet the needs of all members of their audience, planners in the event industry could come up with hybrid ticket choices.
This is the strategy that the True / False Film Fest recently adopted when the annual Documentary Film Festival made its return in 2021. Organizers moved inflatable movie screens outside for in-person spectators and donated a “teleported” version of the festival, with streaming rights to selected films and well-chosen loot, to doc fans who preferred to stay home.
It is certain that planning an event to be both live and broadcast live poses challenges. Everyone deserves to walk away feeling their money has been well spent, including those who have been watching from their couch. Nonetheless, it is not impossible to satisfy the entertainment itch of all involved. The trick is to manage expectations up front and then deliver a stellar product that generates buzz.
Here’s the best news of all: Events will always be appreciated. Event planners simply need to expand their portfolio of offerings by designing experiences that leave attendees and performers wanting more – and feeling good from the purchase to the standing ovation.