Drive in events - helping clients adapt to the 'new normal'
Oh hi everyone! Sorry we've been bit quiet on the blog front - it's been a very strange time for many event organisers and while a lot of major live events aren't happening right now we can tell you that behind the scenes is a flurry of important prep work as the world 'seems' to be opening up again.
Helping clients adapt to the 'new normal'
Yes the term 'new normal' is one that seems to be used a lot at the moment (and we're sure some of you may be bored of?! - soz!) but it is a reality for many businesses and exactly what life is like at the moment. Working out safe, 'Covid secure', processes, distribution methods, staffing schedules and of course general operating set ups is at the absolute top of most to do lists - especially in the world of live events and the event industry as a whole.
New concepts in events
As live event management experts, we've been helping some of our wonderful clients model new concepts over the last few months including Drive in Cinemas, Glamping experiences and 'behind closed doors' sporting events, to name a few. It's phenomenal to see how these experiences can be adapted during this global pandemic and it's also great to see how much the general public is 'up' for getting out there a bit more now (as long as it's safe to do so.) There's a lot to be learnt from retail and other sectors but it is SO important to get this right, and the customer experience to be a safe, top notch one, even if the 'new normal' takes a bit of getting used to.
Top considerations for a successful Covid secure event
Prioritise safety & reassurance
First and foremost, your attendees and your staff need to feel safe and reassured. This involves practices, general attitudes towards opening, and of course clear communication to all, from staff briefings, internal comms to marketing messaging and of course, on site layout, sign posting and signage etc.
Trust the experts and follow those who are ahead on your timescale
As many professionals in the event industry know our sector is one of the last to 'open up' with much campaigning going on behind the scenes. This has had its challenges, for sure, but it also allows us as an industry to see what other sectors and industries have done well, found hard, done not so well, and learn from this. The s3k team have been following our local businesses from hair salons, to restaurants to post offices and visitor attractions with a keen eye to see where we can apply details that have worked well. A huge well done to Q Hair and Beauty The Plump Duck and The Lamb - for smashing reopening during these challenging times. The communication, onsite experience and general positive attitude of all three have been standard setting. On a personal level, we're so glad you're open again.
Don't overlook the detail
Take drive in cinemas as an example. This is not a new idea, but seems to be popping up a lot. Well, it's a GREAT idea to get out safely and securely, but there are a lot of elements to take into account to make sure it's a) fun experience that is worth the ticket price and b) makes a profit.
Go for a projector set up and you limit the number of screenings but overheads are low. Opt for LED and you can screen all day and increase your chances of return (with the right customer base and location of course), but your overheads are higher. All the models we’ve suggested to our clients include both LED screens along with a minimum 7 day duration averaging 3-4 screenings per day.
The next hurdle is space and visibility; nobody wants to sit in a car with kids in the back if they can’t comfortably view the content and the experience isn’t enjoyable. Reverse your car/van up and get cosy with a duvet - peachy.
With cinemas now reopening, the model itself is probably quite limited as demand may start to tail off and those who went to market early will be the winners.
Our favourites have stayed clear of the generic movies and have opted to provide live content in and around the movies. There are some great options available local to us in Chichester and surrounding areas, and while the sun's shining it's definitely a nice few hours out and about and a change of scene.
So in summary
From a team of event management and live event experts, things to make sure:
Ensure that the safety of staff, public, suppliers is at the centre of everything you do, at all times.
Follow the guidelines, even if they change regularly
As confusing as they can be - get some clarity on elements and don't 'wing it'.
Again this goes for the public attending, as well as the team of professionals delivering all elements of an event or human to human experience
Be light hearted and have FUN
After all, we all need it after a tough few months, and that's what events are all about in the end! We've laughed a LOT with our trusted partners, staff, colleagues and clients, and those who can, will come out stronger
Model, model, model
Consider a range of financial variables always - ticket prices, fixed costs, variable costs, possible savings, possible curve balls. Use this insight to get your ticket price/offer spot on. If your customers don't see value, they won't come. Simples.
One thing we've been reminded of is that the event industry is a tight night group of super creative, super hardworking and super experienced people. Be curious, be ambitious, but be kind too. People will always remember how you make them feel.
There are a lot of people, and organisations, quite rightly who are dipping their toe in the arena for the first time, but don't forget, events take a lot to deliver in 'normal' times, so make sure you have an expert team with bags of experience to support you.
Need some help scoping out an event? Check out our website or give us a bell for an informal, no obligation chat of how we might help.
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