By Suania Cereceda on 3/26/20 9:15 PM
Doesn’t matter where we live or on what industry we work, COVID-19 is having a great impact on our lives. We have all been shocked and forced to react and adapt.
The leisure industry has been particularly affected, forcing almost all venues to close until further notice, making health a priority. But closed doors doesn’t mean not having any contact with your audience.
Even though we don’t know when the venues will be open again, some businesses understand that the main priority now is building genuine loyalty and facing this crisis in a creative way. In the end, loyal customers will be the ones that will be buying tickets in the future and therefore helping the leisure industry bounce back.
The past couple of days, we have enjoyed many inspiring approaches to facing COVID-19 creatively, and we put together 4 of those that we could not bear to keep from you:
The National Aquarium
Like many, the National Aquarium, located in Baltimore, Maryland has seen itself forced to close quickly due to COVID-19. Even though their venue is not open to welcome visitors in person they are taking visitors online instead. Yes! The Aquarium has set up a live stream (during working hours) of three of its main exhibits, giving everyone at home the opportunity to admire their beautiful water worlds from their couch.
Below every live exhibit, they take the opportunity to brief the visitor a little bit more about all the different species they can find in the exhibit. They also have an animal Index, in case the website visitor wants to know even more about a certain species.
The Berlin Philharmonic
The glorious halls of the legendary Berlin Philharmonics will be closed at least until April the 19th due to the COVID-19 outbreak. But this is not stopping the Philharmonic to keep on doing what they live for - playing music and delighting their audiences. As a result, they have just launched a 30-day free access pass for their Digital Concert Hall, which includes more than 600 concerts throughout 10 seasons. What an amazing treat for any music enthusiast out there!
“We hope that through this initiative we can give pleasure to as many people as possible with our music. We already miss our public very much and hope that in this way we can remain in contact with our audience at least virtually,” says Olaf Maninger, principal cellist and chair of the orchestra’s media board.
The users just have to redeem their tickets using the “BerlinPhil” code and they will be ready to enjoy 10 seasons of classical music.
Van Gogh Museum
Recently, The Netherlands has announced an extension of the nationwide COVID-19 measures, keeping the Van Gogh Museum closed until June 1st. As all the initiatives mentioned above, this doesn’t stop the museum from being virtually open.
With their initiative “Museum at Home”, the Van Gogh Museum has created several activities both for children and adults to spend their days home connecting to art. Activities such as printable coloring books, home school lessons (elementary and secondary education included), movie nights and more are keen to keep the museum and its art connected with the people.
All of these activities are home activities and are totally free of charge!
Of course, theme parks are not exempt from the drastic measures taken to control the COVID-19 pandemic. Most of the theme park venues remain closed until further notice, but this has not stopped Plopsa from engaging with their dear family audience, especially those with smaller kids.
Plopsa has more than 5 venues around Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, and Poland and a massive audience to entertain.
Throughout their different digital channels, Plopsa has promoted an “on ride” video of one of their rollercoasters “Heidi The Ride” and encouraged parents to grab a laundry basket and simulate the experience of being in a roller coaster to the little ones!
An inspiring idea involving the whole family!
All these initiatives and many more out there showcase that COVID-19 will limit us but not stop us. Our digital opportunities seem boundaryless if used in creative and engaging ways. So, put your heads together - turn on that thinking cap, maybe your venue will have the next great idea!
Don’t forget: it is extremely important to keep engaging with your audience with a creative mindset and eye on bouncing back in the future.
If you are experiencing trouble managing your leisure venue in uncertain times, we can help you with that!