Yet, despite the easing, there are still restrictions and rules that have significant effects, at least in the short term. There is still – for example – a lower volume of travel due to modified travel guidelines on the part of companies (61 per cent of the organizers agree), COVID-19 regulations that set a maximum number of permitted participants and travel restrictions in countries worldwide. And even if in-person participation is possible, there may be people who are still reluctant to get on a plane and travel.
When the target groups cannot come to a central event, then we bring the brand to the target groups. We are currently experiencing a trend towards regional events, with many small events held in different locations. This is also confirmed by a study by the GCB, according to which almost 50 per cent of the organizers are planning regional or smaller events in 2021.
Roadshows offer a special potential of a direct target group approach. As a very flexible event format that can be scaled at will, hybrid roadshows can address a wide array of target groups. For example, they can replace trade fairs, press events, central launch events, kick-off events or management conferences and create new points of sales. Hybrid roadshows can be designed for showrooms, pop-up stores or locations. But they certainly contribute to increasing brand awareness, strengthening identification with the brand within the target group and ultimately increasing sales.
While the physical aspect of hybrid roadshows scores with direct and personal contact and a multi-sensory approach, the focus of the digital component is on customer insights, reach and measurement of success. In hybrid roadshows, the live experience is bundled with digital communication channels and technologies in the form of, for example, gamification, social media or analytics tools, so that the potential of direct customer contact is clearly increased with the help of the data collected before, during and after the live event. For example, the experience reaches the right participants via social media, is digitally expanded on Experience Hubs and remains an experience at all touchpoints that addresses the personal, individual needs of the participants. Through longer and more intensive brand exposure and at the same time increased reach, hybrid event strategies can also create a collective perception for brands and products.