How to Adapt Your Brand Events to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Published on 17 March 2020

Share this

COVID-19 has officially been declared by the World Health Organisation as a pandemic and the effect it is having, not only on people’s well-being but also, on businesses around the world is already being felt. Corporate industries across the board are being affected and, with the population becoming a lot more wary, taking extra precautions to prevent themselves from contracting COVD-19, gatherings of people and events are being postponed, rescheduled and cancelled for the foreseeable future.

Even though events and gatherings are being stopped, with people more hesitant to attend, this doesn’t mean that the events industry must grind to a halt. Hopefully this article can help to identify and explain a number of ways you can keep providing experiences for consumers amidst the COVID-19 scare.


Remote Audiences

Avoiding large gatherings and close contact with other people is key to preventing the spread of COVID-19. In the case of performances to large crowds, whether it be a speaker, a musician, a sports fixture or other spectator event, providing the option to remotely access the performance enables the show to go on.

It may not be as planned and, in some cases, there may be no substitute for the live atmosphere. However, this is a viable option to offer your consumers in the case that cancelling a gathering becomes a necessary public health precaution.

Livestreams can be done in a variety of ways. Most social media platforms have built-in livestreaming capabilities enabling you to livestream to sites such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter straight from the business page. You could also set up a YouTube live events channel and stream to this for a fuller, more dedicated online events stream experience.

The best thing about this service is that it is free to provide and free to enjoy! No big costs involved for your business to help combat the cancellations and postponements of other events.

Many of these services even allow for viewers to interact, engage and comment which enables a sense of community to be built to somewhat mimic the feeling of enjoying the experience with others.


Digital Sampling

Getting product into the hands of your consumers in the midst of a lockdown would seem impossible if you don’t think outside the box, but there are still ways that your business can continue to ensure people have access to the product.

Digital sampling is the alternative to your standard sampling campaign which usually entails complete strangers giving out physical products to consumers. At a time where physical contact and close proximity to others is potentially dangerous, this method is not a viable or effective option. Digital sampling works by providing consumers with a virtual ‘product’ or a way of redeeming a product through the internet.

Online vouchers and coupons are the perfect non-physical way of consumers having access to a product without having to actually take it themselves. Competitions can be used to encourage people to engage with the brand online in order to give themselves a chance to win these as a prize. This element is also beneficial for generating free promotion and content from the competition entrants.


Virtual Reality

With an advisory lockdown being issued to the nation, the idea of being able to bring consumers to you is beyond wishful thinking. There are, however, ways of taking your brand event to the consumer.

Most people would associate virtual reality with clunky and expensive VR headsets that are possessed by only a small portion of the population. The technology is much more encompassing than you may initially think and would be accessible to many.

A number of establishments, venues and other buildings or places already utilise VR tours in which their site users are able to see around the spaces as if they were literally there themselves. These virtual ‘tours’ are constructed using precisely located, full-360° camera shots and can be developed to function on a laptop, computer, tablet or even smartphone.

If you have an event or establishment that is still open for attendance, but you’d like to offer an alternative for those who may be quarantined or isolating, these virtual tours are a great way for those individuals to be included during the coronavirus lockout.

(use the buttons at the top left of the video to pan around and see from different views!)


Experiential Content Production

Experiential events are becoming a huge part of PR promotions in today’s social media driven climate. Whilst the purpose of these events is to create and provide a unique and exciting experience for consumers, one of the biggest benefits generated from experiential marketing is the content produced and shared. Be it paid promotions by media outlets and influencers or free promotions relevant video and image content.

Whilst inviting consumers to your experience is no longer an option, as long as your production team is small and aware of the precautionary hygiene measures that should be taken, there’s nothing stopping you from creating the experience and producing that content to share across social channels for a wide audience to see. Experiential events such as pop-up shops, brand activations and PR stunts could really benefit from generating social content when public attendance is not advised or forbidden. The possibilities are broad when it comes to content, and with this being the prioritised focus over attendance, you’ve got license to get creative with it.


National Geographic Logo

As specialists in the experiential industry, with years of experience and success, we are adaptable and capable of producing consumer experiences and brand activations amongst the COVID-19 pandemic. You can get in touch with us using our contact page or by calling us on 01273 749000 and we’d be more than happy to help.