There’s no doubt the landscape of major sporting, cultural and music events will change temporarily if not permanently in respect of guest experience.
Whether that’s pre-event guest health-screening, reduction in guest numbers, smaller venues but more shows or a combination of online technologies as well as real world offerings.
The use of technology particularly is already being used across many events to add to the fan experience and this will surely continue more rapidly now.
Many artists, performers and institutions have been providing additional online action recently to try and keep fans engaged and happy whilst at home.
You can online ballet with The Royal Academy of Dance or listen to an exclusive recording of Dame Judi Dench recollecting her career to raise funds for the wonderful Orange Tree Theatre.
On Saturday, and for the first time in four weeks, I donned a shirt, pair of jeans and shoes to adhere to the strict dress policy of the “VIP Lounge” which me and my fiancé were attending that evening.
We were to enjoy an evening of five-star service including tapas, complimentary bar and front row seats for Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake.
The “VIP Lounge” was actually the converted spare bedroom; a red throw covering the table for the tapas selection (prepared by celebrity chef Monsieur Morrison), duvet removed from the bed and replaced by cushions for the “front row seats” and hostess service throughout provided by me reaching under the bed to grab one of the bottles of wine.
Whilst we both enjoyed our fantasy ballet trip, like all things in life, the online version of the event experience just doesn’t quite live up to the actual real thing (although, the speed of the wine service we received was one of the best we’ve ever had!).
A real-life event brings people together. There’s a shared love and appreciation for the skills on show. It’s a unique one-off experience and the memory will remain with you for as long as you live.
A song, a smell, a sound, a conversation will trigger that memory in the future taking you right back to the moment of the event and all the feelings and emotions you experienced.
There’s of course huge commercial benefits for taking guests to events like the deepening of key relationships or successfully incentivising staff but it’s the one off memories that really make it extra special.
If all we have in life is moments, I’d rather have most of them in the real world!
Oliver B Pimblett
Some online content to keep you going until we return to the real events world;
VE Day with Katherine Jenkins at The Royal Albert Hall https://youtu.be/SzeEtnXaruc
Opera & Ballet https://www.roh.org.uk/streaming
Premier League Football “Bonkers Moments” https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m000hr93/match-of-the-day-top-10-podcast-6-top-ten-bonkers-moments
England beat New Zealand in Rugby World Cup https://www.rugbyworldcup.com/video/527635
Glastonbury Festival highlights https://www.bbc.co.uk/events/ec584f