For those of you working in marketing, do you remember the last time you or your team activated in person for a brand? We do and, as I’m sure you can relate, that activation feels like an eternity ago. Our last taste of experiential marketing came on March 7th and 8th in Richmond, some 436 days ago. Off the heels of a successful weekend activating Volkswagen at the Jefferson Cup, everything abruptly came to a halt and days of uncertainty turned into weeks, months, and more.
With those uncertain times seemingly behind us, it was only fitting our first activation in 14 months was back on the youth soccer tournament circuit with Volkswagen.
It’s no secret – this extended period away from packed facilities and stadiums, as well as soccer-obsessed families was tough to bear. However, the time afforded our experiential team an opportunity to plan and coordinate a safe way to return to engaging face-to-face (or mask-to-mask) with consumers. Taking federal and local ordinances into consideration, we created a blueprint allowing for the safety of attendees and staff alike; the most important element of which was not infringing on the consumers’ ability to interact with the vehicles on site.
Following our weekend in Dallas, one of our key takeaways, beyond the joy of activating again, is the need to be flexible. The reality is it’ll still be awhile until brands, teams, and consumers are able to return to what we all recognize as normal and collectively feel fully comfortable engaging. Municipalities have different regulations. Consumers have differing levels of comfort. If ever there was a need for activations to be adaptable, there’s no better time than now.
We’re excited to get back on the road to interact with fans, especially as stadiums inch closer and closer to full capacity. It may be weeks or even months until then; however, the excitement of seeing a family at a soccer facility near Dallas or a soccer stadium in Kansas City gets us, as the Indigo Girls so eloquently sang, closer to fine.
After months with limited experiential activity, we have a lot of exciting things planned in the coming months as we encroach upon another soccer-filled summer and beyond. Being able to create memorable in-person brand experiences for fans is something we’ve sorely missed and we welcome back with a socially distant air hug. See you out on the road, soon!