Over the course of the past year, COVID-19 has caused the world to come to a standstill. Non-essential retailers have been closed, events have been cancelled and travelling across the world has been restricted.
Over a year since the first UK lockdown, the UK are now well underway with their roadmap to easing lockdown. Non-essential retailers, out-door hospitality and various sports are set to re-open on the 12th. Ahead of further restrictions being lifted, trials are also beginning for England to return to mass events and experiences.
There is no denying that consumer trends have been changing in recent years. More and more consumers are becoming concerned with experiences and how they can go beyond just shopping to experiences and socialization.
Statistics show 78% of millennials would choose to spend money on a desirable experience or event over buying something desirable, and 55% of millennials say they’re spending more on events and live experiences than ever before. The demand for interaction with others will never be higher and there will be an opportunity for brands to capitalize on this consumer behavior that we hope to see in the near future. - Rob Almond, NEST
Many well known festivals and sporting events have already sold out multiple dates in the summer as they look set to reopen post June 21st. However, many from the retail, hospitality, events and sports sectors are already looking to kick the ball rolling even sooner and exploring ways to safely run experiences pre June.
Many brands can’t afford to wait until June. Brands are already beginning to look towards creating exciting experiences for their customers to connect with their brand and their products, to entice consumers back to the high street and events spaces. So, how exactly can this be done? Is there a safe way to re-open pre June? We think so.
Taking inspiration from spaces that have been able to reopen and experiences that have run during previous easings of restrictions, it is clear main focuses for safety in the immediate future are social distancing and safety and hygiene.
June 21st brings the UK a great sense of aspiration where we will (hopefully) all social distancing rules will be lifted. Until last year staying 2m apart from anybody who is not in your household or ‘bubble' at all times seemed like a very strange thing to do. Now, given the awareness around spreading germs and the potential risk of COVID-19 people seem to be distancing themselves without a second thought.
In 2020 some events were able to reopen and provide visitors with safe experiences using social distancing to avoid close contact. Many retailers are planning on reopening again with socially distanced queues manned by door staff, and click and collect door-step services.
If you’re looking to provide an event based experience, a QR Visitor Management system can help ensure your guests stay safe through social distancing. With a dedicated platform your guests can sign up ahead of your event, generating their own QR code that gains them access to the site, allows them to purchase products and interact with experiences without having to come into close contact with other guests.
The pre-event registration aspect of this experience helps create a safe and hygienic environment for your guests, minimising their physical contact and interaction due to using their own personal devices!
In the UK we have got Queuing down to a T. But, our virtual queuing system just made a classic UK queue a whole lot better. For now, a lot of spaces can’t operate at maximum capacity, meaning customers have to queue up and wait their turn.
With virtual queueing you can keep your space safe for your guests with social distancing compliant queuing by using our interactive system. This means if you’re ready to provide you guests with a super exciting experience, they don’t even have to turn up and queue for hours to wait their turn. Your visitors simply have to scan a QR code which will give them a time to return so they can enter, and enjoy their free time whilst they wait!
Safety & hygiene in confined spaces have become a central focus to any brand looking to reopen their physical spaces. Statistics from Brandwatch suggest that safety in-store is a big concern amongst customers, with almost 40% finding safety measures very influential in their decision to enter a shop.
Many essential retailers and spaces that have remained open have taken precautions to ensure safety & hygiene in their spaces such as traffic light management, and temperature checking. We have some more ideas below to add additional safety and hygiene to experiences...
Avoiding contact with foreign surfaces has been key throughout the COVID-19 to help reduce infection rates. However, as spaces reopen hosting experiences with hygiene in mind can be difficult given the numerous touchpoints often involved.
With mobile ordering and payments, using their own phones your guests can fully interact with all of your services without the dangers of coming into contact with a contaminated space. With a dedicated platform your guests can make mobile payments to buy credits and products which can then be collected using a mobile QR code or RFID band.
Consumers love personalised experiences and usually photo or gif content is a heavy part of this. We have worked with a lot of clients looking to create personalised experiences with this type of content. Though in the past people have been more than happy to capture images using the same technology somebody else has just touched, now customers are more reluctant. This is where motion triggered photo capture can come in...
Reducing point of contact, but increasing interactivity is made simultaneously possible through our motion triggered photo capture. With simple hand or body gestures, our clever technology can capture multiple images, change filters and add backgrounds.
Though the end is in sight, it’s not quite here yet - and even so, when it arrives it might now be exactly what we expect. Diversifying is essential for any brand that wants to survive past the end of the pandemic. It is clear that experience is the way forwards, and only the brands who are willing to provide experiences in the safest way possible are the ones likely to survive.