Communication is becoming harder; it will be experiences which will resonate. This gives Hospitality an advantage but maybe we need to think differently to the past?
It has long been said that someone has to hear a message 7x before it is heard. During the pandemic, this has risen to 11x which means that reaching audiences is harder than ever before. If one considers that the average number of followers a person has on Instagram is 150; on Twitter 200 – then this a lot of personal noise before one considers news channels, work, etc.
It is no longer good enough for any business to expect people to listen to their messages for it does not work, One only has to see the number of offers in play from the major newspapers to see that readership is falling. We need to create new solutions as people are not reading in the same way and the interest in workshops is in decline.
Interestingly, research has noted that emails are being more strictly managed and that anything of not direct importance is being read or heard.
So how does one become heard?
The answer is increasingly through experiences. It is one of the main drivers that sit behind the importance of interactive events which can create a genuine experience. Events will be changing too. Few want to sit in conferences anymore and be spoken at. Events will need to bring people together to the central force of the event and then have interactive “theatres” which create an experience.
Hospitality does possess a real advantage over most industries as it is all about experience and theatre. At the same time, we know that food and eating out has become a central part of the social scene, that food is one of the most effective methods of breaking down barriers and bringing people together and that, as localism becomes increasingly important, so hospitality outlets can be the voice for their communities.
Digital comms may have become a source for information but people need something more to stir their hearts and souls. This is being filled by food, sport, music and culture and is being understood to a higher level. These are the central pillars to what brings us together.
High Streets will reinvent themselves, localism will become a growing force, many will not travel as they once did; people value their time once again and will spend it where they feel value.
It is understanding this trend which has led to planning on the proposed “Sustainability Show” to change the emphasis to create a series of interactive shows, across the country, which will appeal to the B2C audience as well as B2B. It is answering how one reaches an audience today which will change its emphasis.
It is one of the strange results of the lockdown period; although everyone wants to re-connect and socialise again, time is even more valued and it will not be spent on anything which does not add value. This gentle cry for change will see gradual major changes take place across our lives: High Streets will reinvent themselves, localism will become a growing force, many will not travel as they once did; people value their time once again and will spend it where they feel value.
The challenge for the proposed shows is to engage in a way which attracts audiences and educates them. Over the past few weeks, there have been many discussions taken place on what would be needed to create real engagement for the shows and there have been core themes emerge:
· Focus on local, on British; not because of a lack of interest in International perspectives but because audiences want to understand what is British Culture today? What is the local community? Britain is an exciting mix of cultures which makes it special but do we understand it?
· Focus on localism; local produce, local crafts, local arts, local farms.
· Shows must be interactive and dynamic. People want to learn, see and touch but not to hear experts talk at them.
· It is becoming all about theatre.
· Food today is one of the central forces in society and is, maybe for the first time, understood for its importance in drawing people together. Sport plays a major role too as can be seen from football but the food is a constant.
· Music too has the same power and the UK has long excelled in this area.
· People wants to see greater collaboration across business and society.
· Create experiences which celebrate good; there has been enough negativity.
The above seems to outline the challenge of what needs to be done in order for the industry to engage consumers far better. Can we meet the challenge?