Summer has returned and with it comes a wave of lighthearted, often outdoor, events and activations. As we gear up for the next few months, we wanted to share the trends that we’re expecting to see, and embrace, from now until Fall.
1. Active events
With an increasingly health-conscious customer base of millennials and Gen-Z’ers, events that do more than hard sell products will become increasingly popular. Push and help your young customers to achieve their self-care goals. Beyond the pursuit of the beach bod, brands that show a genuine interest in the well-being of their customers will be rewarded with loyalty.
2. Wine and dine ‘em
2018 will NOT be the year that people lose their taste for food and drink. As brands look to endear themselves to consumers who have a wealth of culinary options at their disposal, along with a desire to be wooed, expect to see big food gestures (say, a pasta display that will “bowl” you over.) Plus, what’s more summer-y than dining al fresco?
3. Meet consumers where they are
Good weather brings with it an uptick in large scale events (that oh-so-common festival), and an opportunity for brands to share in the experiences has never been greater. With these larger events come inherent needs: food, libation, directions, a place to rest. It’s no surprise to hear us prognosticate that brands will take part in festivals, but that’s no reason to discount in any way the role that experiential will play at these of events. On a smaller scale, warm weather brings consumers out of the confines of their homes and into the public arena. Look out for street activations as well.
4. Be the destination
Building on a larger event is all well and good, but don’t shy away from bringing potential customers directly into the fold with standalone activations. Extend your footprint with activations that capitalize on summer habits. As people flock to the beach, a la the classic exodus from Manhattan to the Hamptons, be ready to meet them there. As diners move outside, be ready to accommodate them. By becoming the destination rather than a component of one, brands can leverage increased customer saliency prior to the event, social credit as it occurs, and loyalty once it concludes.
Although summer equals great weather and the classic “slow down” at work, with it comes packed schedules: getaways, wedding season and other commitments. The work week often is truncated by Summer Fridays, so you must consider those potential attendees who are getting out of town on a Thursday when event planning. Brands must bring their A-game to get the attention of busy consumers.