Right now, there’s very little consistency across the globe in how live events are expected to return but lots of debate on what the landscape will look like. Some jurisdictions have started to set dates with limits on number of attendees, but all are adopting differing approaches.
At Lumency, we are certain that events that succeed over the near term will be smaller scale and locally oriented. And, these events will sustain a greater importance even when larger events return.
Even with quarantines and isolation measures lifting, it will be a while before life returns to ‘normal’. The world has been talking about a new normal, one that will be constantly evolving until a vaccine is found and readily available. People will return to daily routines (work, school, social gatherings, etc.), but operate and behave with a different sense of cautiousness regarding their physical health.
Instead of finding comfort in the presence of others, people may find greater comfort in being alone or only with those they know more intimately.
When the heights of the crisis dissipate, it is likely people will respond with some sense of relief and a search for community to alleviate their anxiety. Multiple studies have shown people who feel more connected to others have lower rates of anxiety and depression.
During times of crises, people embrace the familiar and crave a sense of community. As people reengage with their world, they will first gravitate towards what is most comfortable and accessible—extended family to neighbourhood, wider community to region then beyond.
According to recent multi-phased IMI research, many people surveyed say they feel trepidation towards returning to large-scale events even when permitted. In advance of a vaccine, we envision community-oriented, micro events being the safer access point as consumers seek social connections. Local events deliver a sense of gathering while managing travel unease.
These events will be effective tools to help redevelop local economies. Local events like fairs, street festivals, outdoor concerts, etc. facilitate the social cohesion of the community. There is renewed pride in belonging to the community and the direct contribution that participation in these events has on local revitalization.
It will be important for brands to determine organic and authentic ways to support these locally driven initiatives intended to revitalize broken economies and rally communities.
Beyond rights fees, brands can encourage employees to volunteer time, contribute product/services or promotional support. However, sponsorship at most brands is not scaled for this kind of event. Generating direct revenue or driving traditional brand health metrics from these activities should not be the immediate priority. Right now, just being the trusted brand that is part of the consumer’s journey as they reengage with the world around them is how to most appropriately support communities.
Our belief is in the spirit of partnership—brands and properties leveraging the power of their relationships to effectively support each other in achieving their goals.
Together as partners, event organizers can revitalize local communities and brands can meet people where they are in a time when everyone is trying to navigate new norms and expectations.