The Park has released a new report focusing on the future of experiential marketing – a technique for growing brands and proving what they’re about. Drawing on research from YouGov, authored pieces from The Park’s leadership team and interviews with industry experts, the report starts with a table overview of what we know about current and future restrictions on our lives and what it means for our industry before looking at four key areas of focus.
Jack Lamacraft, managing director at The Park, says: “Now more than ever, it’s important to be on the front foot and acknowledge and understand what the landscape looks like for experiential marketing moving forward.
“In our report, we’ve dug deep into the psychology of experiences and social distancing, the look and feel of future event spaces, the role of technology and how health and safety will be impacted following the current Covid-19 restrictions.”
The report recommends that marketing professionals focus on three key areas around the psychology of experiences; desire, novelty and fear.
The current lockdown situation has feelings of psychological and physical disconnection. Desire is an important quality to nurture at a time when socialising and connections are missed.
YouGov’s tracker reveals that boredom and frustration have replaced stressed and scared as the strongest emotions currently felt by the British people. Which is why novel experiences are currently being sought out.
Research suggests that most people are fearful of returning to pubs, gigs, theatres and restaurants as much as before. It's up to brands to encourage people to attend events and experiences.
Will Worsdell, strategy director at The Park, says: “There is reason for hope, and there is reason for concern.
“But above all, it is important to consider how people are feeling about events, experiences and socialising as opposed to just focusing on what the government might say they are allowed to do. That way we will be able to create activity they truly want, and maybe even need.”
As cities change and the world begins to resurface, the report also suggests that marketers need to work more closely with venues that are flexible, holistic and responsive. The research suggests venue designs will have to factor in changes around engaging queues, contactless journeys, material finishes and surfaces, public toilets, design for virtual environment, biophilic design, modular and lightweight structures and social distancing designs.
People will still crave physical interactions with others but the current state of the world doesn’t allow that. Thankfully, technology has meant that people can continue to show up in different environments such as in VR, with the emergence of experiences like Party Royale and Epic Games. Global product launches have also had to pivot, but the report provides plenty of examples and case studies of brands that have generated media coverage with their virtual experiences.
The report also touches on the way that the Covid-19 pandemic has changed the way events are planned and executed in the UK.
Lloyd Major, production director at The Park, says: “New processes and legislation will lead to events and experiences being under more scrutiny than ever with event planners, workforce, venue owners, councils and attendees all impacted by the new physical world and its adapted ways of living and socialising.
"The exciting thing is that there will also be new opportunities for event planners and agencies as the restrictions will no doubt open new and interesting ways of putting on engaging events and experiences.”
Other health and safety considerations included in the report range from security, hygiene, staffing, signage, catering, pay points, testing and tracing, and hygiene.