The coronavirus pandemic may be far from over, but the world is learning to adapt. Restrictions are being eased where they can, including the much-anticipated return of events. However, the uncertainty surrounding future lockdowns and a need for more health and safety measures has bestowed a new set of unprecedented challenges upon brands and agencies. In this article series, Elevate’s global team leaders outline some of the key considerations for marketers over the coming months.
Austria is famed for its world-class ski resorts and charming winter markets. However, Managing Director for Elevate Austria, Ingrid Windisch, wants more brands to explore the exciting opportunities that the country’s summer season has to offer.
Summer in Austria – a hidden opportunity for brands
Austria is a hugely popular destination in Europe, with its Tyrol region being named the highest-ranking destination by international tourist visits in 2019. Although the pandemic has had a significant impact on money generated by tourism for the country, it’s expected to recover to its impressive 2019 level again by 2023, providing plenty of confidence for future growth.
It will be interesting to see what happens when the ski season starts again. While the summer still attracts many tourists, our busiest period is winter, but I feel like that could shift due to coronavirus. There are plenty of opportunities for brands who want to explore summer events as people travel here for outdoor activities and sports, but we will have to wait and see how restrictions change over the next few months.
Although Austria is generally quite a conservative market and especially cautious right now, its capital, Vienna, is an incredibly modern student city. As a result, I would expect to see larger live events taking place again there sooner than in other parts of the country, and they will likely welcome new formats that incorporate virtual and hybrid technology.
Safety will continue to be a top priority for everyone
Everything has been exceptionally well organised over here during the pandemic, and we’re testing left, right and centre.
We’ve opened up much more, but we’re also very strict. At the moment, anyone who wants to visit restaurants, hotels and events needs to abide by the ‘3G Rule‘. The rule refers to ‘Getestet, Geimpft, Genesen’ (Tested, Vaccinated, Recovered) and describes three ways that someone can help minimise the risk of being a potential carrier and infecting other individuals. That’s become much easier now that the Digital Green Pass has been rolled out.
Although the Government are easing restrictions quickly, I believe the tighter rules around health and safety will stay in place for a while. Event organisers and brands will need to think carefully about having COVID compliant and fully trained staff, which will require a lot more strategic planning.
Brand messaging needs to become more focused
For many companies, brand messaging has and will continue to be impacted by restrictions. For example, I came across a marketing campaign for a popular coffee brand a few months ago, and you could see that they were approaching people differently. They understood that the customers couldn’t be invited to the counter anymore, but if you can’t ask them to taste or smell the coffee, how do you sell the machine? They handled it well, and there was an immediate change when they began offering vouchers – I think that’s something that will be huge over the coming months.
The experience side of marketing campaigns has changed drastically. Brands need to make their messages much more intense, focused, and informative if they want to encourage customers to return.
If you’d like to find out more about how Elevate can create brand connections and deliver events and experiences in a post COVID world, please get in contact with us here.