Empty stadiums, empty parking lots, empty streets. What was once loud has gone quiet; what was once bustling, sits vacant. Venues across the country have certainly felt the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, in more ways than one. But deep within every crisis, we often also find the opportunity to forge something beautiful. A challenge this profound can provide the motivation for innovation, and a call to change the way you “do” life.
For outdoor venues, that opportunity has never been more resoundingly clear. If you have the space…why not use it? That’s the spirit driving the current revitalization of the classic American drive-in, with “drive-in” style events happening all across the country. Consumer response suggests that this provides a great model for creating a memorable experience, while engaging members of the community in an unexpected way—with bonus points granted if your venue is unique, or contains something that will draw attention. For example: imagine the fun of pulling up to an airport with your family, next to an active runway, with a movie to catch…instead of a flight?
This concept can be expanded to include pop-up concerts, plays, and even unique brand activations. Now is the time to think “outside of the box”—literally. Are there portable structures that can be brought into an empty space? Can you bring your product to consumers, rather than relying on consumers coming to you? Are there COVID-friendly protocols you can use to promote your brand? Can potential sponsors and partners be brought in to increase exposure and reach? Anything is possible, and the time to reinvent traditional concepts is—you guessed it—right now.
Most exciting of all is that this unique opportunity to reinvent can go far, far beyond the simple mechanics of leveraging a novel “drive-in” interaction, or similar pop-up venue: it presents a chance to ask deep, real questions about new ways your brand can be valuable. New ways you can meet—or, hopefully, far exceed—the expectations of your consumers. New ways your product, service, or brand can unlock its true potential.
The beauty of reinventing the place or the means by which your brand connects with an audience can have another exciting, unexpected upside: the beauty of becoming recognized by a new group of people. Many are seeking something different and exciting during this slow, sometimes lonely time: getting your brand out there—and in front of new consumers—could be a game changer for your future, and put you in a better position to face whatever new challenges lie ahead.