Experiential & COVID Safety – An Update

As test events accelerate and fans are welcomed back into stadiums, we look at the safety measures brands should adopt to alleviate activation nervousness around Covid.

APPETITE

As we have reported in a previously, the appetite for experiential to return after a year of digital fatigue is high, particularly amongst the younger generations.

In Westfield’s recent ‘How We Shop’ survey, it was reported that UK shoppers are “craving” physical experiences in retail again, with extra cash to spend due to lockdown saving. Indeed, by 2025 it is expected that over half of retail square meterage will be dedicated to experiences rather than products.

Branded experiential experiences are going to grow in importance in the coming years for consumers. The question, as we negotiate our way back towards ‘normal life’, is how to continue to make activations Covid safe without diminishing the experience.

THE FUNDAMENTALS

As restrictions ease, it’s vital brands keep on top of Covid safety. The need for consumers to feel safe in physical environments is paramount, likely to persist even after final restrictions are lifted. Thus, the basics of Covid safety remain critical in the short term:

Social Distancing

Keep people 2m apart. If not realistic, 1m apart is acceptable with mitigation measures in place.

Cleaning & Hygiene

Maintain stringent cleaning plans. Ensure routine of regular hand washing/hand sanitising.

Face Covering & Masks

Simple face coverings serve as a defence against virus-contaminated saliva spray from coughing or talking.

*All information from Event Safety Plan and British Medical Journal

MOVING FORWARD

As restrictions ease, allowing larger groups to congregate, brands should consult specialists such as Undercurrent to ensure they adhere to the latest safety guidance.

In addition to the above, examples of services that we can provide (but not limited to) are:

  • Production and updating of company (/project) risk assessments and insurance documents to account for managing COVID-19 risk, outlining measures that have been identified and implemented to protect people from Covid and other dangers.
  • Consult on-site and build teams on potential changes; gather opinions from staff on-site, recognise, report, and make changes.
  • Educate all members of staff on the new procedures.
  • Be aware and build in contingencies for vulnerable members of the public, educate staff on measures in place to protect them.

BESPOKE SAFETY

With June, and the expected ‘full’ easing of restrictions on the horizon, the appetite for events, exhibitions and experiential areas will continue to grow. As was the case pre-Covid, all health and safety documentation should be unique and bespoke to each activation, especially now as rules and behaviours change.

It is likely that we can expect a ‘Covid hangover’ of consumer awareness of pandemic conditions in relation to experiential. Although this may lead brands to have a certain level of nervousness around physical activations, this can be alleviated by placing the safety of the public in the hands of experts. Every activation is bespoke, and so should the safety measures in place.

If you are interested in learning more about how we can support your experiential activation and the safety measures we would put in place, please get in touch at hello@undercurrent.uk.net