Opinion: We need a unified response to our business crisis
This pandemic is showing us the power of shared experience. As we are social distancing, we’re becoming more connected than ever and finding we have more in common than we thought. We’re building a collective story on social media and sharing resources, solidarity and understanding—showing each other ways to adapt, reconsidering normal and envisioning how we move forward.
We need to do the same for the business of brand experience. With live events prohibited, travel restricted and campaigns canceled, brand marketers and experience providers are quickly pivoting—but to what? We need solutions to weather the pandemic, so that brands can stay connected authentically to consumers. We need inspiration, vision and direction for what our industry can become so we can create a new age of post-crisis connectivity.
A collective effort can do more than any of us can via our own individual platforms and social media postings. Just as the world needs a unified response to our health crisis, we need a unified response to our business crisis.
This is why we’ve started #ExperienceGood, a digital platform where we can all come together to redefine, reinvigorate and reposition live experiences at what could be the most pivotal time in our industry’s history. Anyone can contribute content—from how companies are bringing the brand connection to life digitally, to how they’re revaluing events, to what they’re learning about consumers, to how the meaning of experiential is changing. And there’s plenty of room to spotlight amazing things industry people are doing in sustainability, diversity, advocacy or social impact.
For example, there’s a post on how concerts can go virtual with brands in tow. A prime example is the Bud Light Dive Bar Tour: Home Edition, which featured Jake Owen playing from home. The show was free, and the 4,000-plus viewers were asked to donate to Red Cross and place an order through Drizzly using a Bud Light promo code. Similarly, MelodyVR streams immersive performances for a fee and StageIt streams shows where viewers can interact with musicians, request songs and tip the band.
There’s a story about how The Chef & The Dish have created a revenue stream for chefs unable to serve their usual customers. Their vehicle: Skype a chef into your kitchen for virtual cooking lessons. Students pick a class, get the shopping list, procure the ingredients and then cook along with the chef. The post also shows how Fest is connecting bakers, pastry makers, chefs and sommeliers from around the world with home cooks who want to upgrade their techniques.
And there’s a spotlight on how Moog and Korg are giving away digital versions of their synthesizers to “spread positivity.” Another shows how Run the World digitizes the networking of conferences. They ask attendees of virtual conferences to fill out surveys, then match them to other attendees with similar interests and host virtual cocktail parties to promote conversations.
In this way, we intend to bring the best of live events—connection, conversation, and collaboration—to bear on redefining the industry. And we intend to do this continuously, so there is an open source where ideas, innovation and perspective percolate. This way we all keep gaining from new and noteworthy examples beyond what publications are able to cover; and we build a foundation for live sharing of what makes our industry good.
We share a defining moment in our industry’s history. The experiences people embrace as they embark on a new normal will change the nature of engagement in real life. When we emerge from the pandemic, we’ll crave live experiences more than ever, but our expectations and preferences may be very different. On #ExperienceGood, we can keep pace with the changes and set a modern example of how an industry comes together.
Join us at https://www.experiencegood.co/. We’d love to hear from you.