Archive for June, 2021

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Nowadays, shoppers have come to expect a seamless, efficient and flexible omnichannel approach to customer service, as well as engaging in-store experiences.

Retailers need to stay ahead of the game and digital signage could be the answer.

By helping brands harness new opportunities, this technology can engage shoppers, boost sales and deliver a seamless customer journey.

This whitepaper shares top tips for retailers looking to make an impact with digital signage.

Click the image below or download here.

 

Anyone organising an event wants attendees to feel comfortable. This has never been more true as we ease out of lockdown and prepare for a post-pandemic era.

All live events must follow government Covid-19 regulations, which inevitably means there is a huge amount to think about during the planning stages.

A key consideration is that attendees may be feeling a certain amount of anxiety about being part of a large group. Even with the success of the UK’s vaccination programme and the low level of cases right now, the idea of gathering in large groups may still take some getting used to.

Here are five tips on how to help everyone feel comfortable and safe at in-person events.

1. Be clear about safety measures, but don’t let them take over

It is important that you communicate the steps you’re taking to ensure an event is Covid-safe; your staff and attendees will appreciate in-depth information. However, don’t make safety measures the main focus when someone visits the event’s webpage, social media or other marketing material.

We’re all well aware we’re emerging from a global pandemic. Guests just need reassurance that the event will be adhering to guidelines and keeping everyone safe. You need to find the right balance – being clear that Covid-safety is a top priority and pointing attendees in the fight direction for more information. But remember, guests will be just as keen to find out about the event itself as they are about safety measures.

2. Stay updated on changes and show you’re being compliant

The rules, restrictions and guidance around Covid are changing all the time, so it’s important to let attendees know you’re up-to-date and on top of the latest requirements. Following rules about masks, sanitation stations and venue capacity will put attendees’ minds at rest and help them feel more comfortable.

The UK has a roadmap in place, but that is not set in stone. Local and regional restrictions have not been ruled out and event planners need to be prepared for every eventuality. Make sure the whole team is kept updated on the latest regulations and are able to answer attendees’ questions.

3. Be upfront about any screening procedures before attendees register for the event

Different events will have different screening procedures in place. Make sure you let would-be attendees know what is required in terms of test and trace, lateral flow tests, temperature checks, or medical questionnaires. More than likely attendees will be happy with these procedures – as long as they are made aware of them in advance.

Screening procedures are likely to become part of our routines over the coming months. We’re learning to accept these behaviours as commonplace and attendees will recognise that these processes are in place to keep them and those around them safe.

4. Have on-site safety reminders

Don’t just limit your Covid-safety messaging to pre-event marketing. Make sure you have plenty of on-site reminders about safety measures as well. This could include additional signage about one-way systems, reminders to wear a face covering, and a nudge about social distancing.

Staying consistent with your communication and being very clear about your intentions will help attendees feel more relaxed and able to enjoy the event. Saying that, don’t go overboard on your on-site messaging. You don’t want guests to feel like they’ve just entered a maximum security prison. Just let them know what’s been done to keep them safe and where they can find more information if they want it.

5. Keep communicating with attendees post-event

Just because an event is over, doesn’t mean the safety measures should end as well. Staying in touch with attendees will not only help if someone tests positive after the event, but also allows you to gather feedback about the safety protocols in place. If the results of these post-event surveys are good, they can be used to promote future events and show you have a positive Covid-safety track record. The results can also be used to inform safety decisions at your next event.

Delta: Powerful visual communications

Winning back the confidence of guests attending in-person events is going to take some time and a lot of effort. With limited social encounters for so many months, people are understandably going to be wary about large gatherings.

Regardless of what safety measures you put in place, clear and consistent communication before, during and after the event will be key to helping attendees feel at ease.

At Delta, our dedicated event team is on-hand to support your requirements, and help to ensure your event is a great success. To find out what we can offer, get in touch today at hello@thedeltagroup.co.uk

Some had speculated that the reopening of non-essential retail stores could signal a reverse in the upward trajectory of online spending. That wasn’t quite the case…

As consumers flocked back to physical stores, online spending didn’t increase as quickly as it had in previous months during lockdown. However, the outlook is still positive.

According to findings from the IMRG Capgemini Retail Index, shared by Retail Week, overall online sales were up 10.2% in April compared to a year earlier. But figures compared to the previous month show online sales were down 12%.

Year-on-year sales growth for April was also below the three-, six- and 12-month rolling averages – all around the 50% mark.

But while online sales were strong in some categories – the fashion sector, for example, was up almost 61% – not all retail categories had the same good fortune.

During April, health and beauty products reported a 9% slump in sales, demand for garden products declined by 13%, and electrical items saw their first drop in sales in 19 months, falling nearly 4%.

Speaking about these findings, Andy Mulcahy, strategy and insight director at IMRG, said: “While online growth might have dropped away from 70-80% between January and March to 10% in April, this is largely as growth rates are now comparing with pandemic-period rates from 2020.”

As Mulchay pointed out, it’s hard to build upon such strong performance.

He continued: “The rate of online growth is currently somewhere between average and good […] As people get more options for spending their money in late May and into June, that will provide a sterner test.”

Lucy Gibbs, managing consultant and retail lead at Capgemini, added: “We can see the impact of the reopening of the high street when we look at month-on-month figures; however, despite the strong growth, we would typically see April compared with March as flat – this year April is -12% lower.”We predict that online demand will remain strong, but that’s not to say that customers aren’t keen to get back shopping in physical stores now that they are open again. You need to be prepared to battle the competition and deliver the best possible experience – need some help? Get in touch with the team at Delta today: hello@thedeltagroup.co.uk.

We all recognise that the Covid-19 crisis has had a huge impact on the events industry. With so many events having been cancelled or postponed since March 2020, the industry is now working hard to understand how large-scale gatherings and events could work going forward. This has meant prioritising key areas of their business and defining strategies for reinvention.

So, what does the future look like for the events industry?

According to the Exhibition Industry Survey, carried out earlier this year and cited by Exhibition News, the current key focuses are on delivering postponed events (54%), developing new sources of revenue (45%), and understanding how customer needs have changed (53%). In addition, 19% of those questioned felt delivering events virtually was a priority over the next 12 months.

Here are three ways the industry is hoping to reinvent the future of events.

1. Hybrid events

According to the research, 46% of event organisers are planning to deliver hybrid events in the year ahead. The size of the company is a determining factor as to whether hybrid events are a priority – 69% for larger companies, 28% for smaller companies. It is likely this is a reflection on how much resource individual companies have available to develop these kinds of events.

2. New sources of revenue

In terms of how events professionals plan to develop new revenue streams, two strategies were found to be the most common. Well over half (56%) of those questioned said they would look to launch a new product, while 52% said they planned to boost revenue by establishing partnerships.

3. Virtual events

All businesses have made digital a key priority in 2021. The research reveals that 51% of organisers had run virtual events in the past 12 months. Within this group, the main types of event have been: webinars (82%), conferences (68%) and virtual trade shows (55%). Webinars also proved to be the most frequently-held virtual event, with organisers having held an average of 11 over the course of the year. In addition, 35% of organisers said they were either considering or in the process of developing virtual events.

At The Delta Group, we are helping businesses reinvent the event space and giving them everything they need to put on a great show. To find out more, get in touch today: hello@thedeltagroup.co.uk

The coronavirus crisis has shifted so many of our expectations of what we want in life – including what we want from our grocery shopping.

During the pandemic, omnichannel prevailed and click and collect and delivery services grew in popularity. Now, as we start to move out of lockdown and restrictions begin to ease, digital ID systems will be the next stage of grocery shopping innovation.

As The Grocer explains, barcodes are currently flying the flag for digital ID in grocery stores – though they aren’t the most advanced technology out there and can only provide limited information. Still, retailers need to track all kinds of data such as expiry dates, provenance, and product journeys.

One piece of tech vying to replace the humble grocery barcode is radio-frequency identification (RFID). Trials of RFID have been run by Tesco in 2003 and Asda in 2006.

Back then the technology wasn’t ready, but things are different today. The rise in cloud computing, the use of smartphones to shop and consumers being more tech-savvy all point to successful RFID implementation.

RFID works in tandem with other technologies, allowing complete end-to-end supply chain visibility. But while the potential is clear, there are still challenges to overcome. Companies may need to upgrade their infrastructure and the global nature of food supply chains could also hamper progress.

On the flipside, a key benefit of RFID is multiple item scanning (even when products are assorted in boxes). This means entire baskets, trolleys or stock rooms can be scanned in one go, saving time and labour costs.

Digital ID can also help identify food based on allergens and dietary requirements – e.g. vegan or gluten-free items.

Another valuable benefit is that of sustainability. By linking expiry dates to individual products, food waste is reduced. Plus, if a product needs to be recalled, the technology can identify a batch of items rather than the entire stock.

Digital ID reduces waste, avoids over-production, and decreases plastic consumption by tracking reusable containers. And that’s on top of helping retailers upgrade their offering and driving supply chain efficiencies. 

If you’re looking to make the most of advanced technology in order to improve your offering and boost your customer experience, we can help. Get in touch with the Delta Group team today: hello@thedeltagroup.co.uk

Pre-pandemic, experiential marketing was enjoying something of a boom. Brand experiences and events had been growing in size and scale for around a decade, with marketing professionals cranking up their experiential budgets as a way to engage audiences looking for in-person interactions. In 2019, more than £59 billion was spent on experiential marketing across the globe to bring brands to life.

And then March 2020 arrived, and we all know what happened then…

Covid-19 caused experiential marketing to come to a dramatic, grinding halt. Large-scale sporting events, festivals and gigs were cancelled or postponed, while high streets were left deserted, causing the sector drop 15% overnight

The impact of the pandemic lasted far longer than many had imagined. By the end of 2020 and into the start of 2021, the sector has been struggling to get back on its feet.

However, over a year later, as lockdowns and restrictions are starting to lift, experiential remains a key investment for many marketers.

Perhaps it has something to do with the idea that we’re about to enter a second ‘Roaring 20s’ in which people party hard in an effort to make up for lost time. Maybe it’s down to brands recognising how important it is to bring people together to share meaningful experiences.

Or, it could simply be the sheer grit and determination of an industry faced with the challenge of transitioning from in-person events to virtual events back to in-person and hybrid events again.

Whatever the reason behind this renewed confidence, there is an unmistakable pent-up demand for live experiences. So much so, that many in the industry believe it’s going to be a year like no other.

Of course, before brands can really ramp up their experiential marketing activity, we need the green light on whether all restrictions will be lifted come 21 June. Mixed messages from the government have created uncertainty. They’re leading on “data, not dates” at the same time as promising all legal limits on social contact will be removed.

Dates aside, experiential marketing is a huge part of how brands stay relevant, consistent and authentic. As marketers roll up their sleeves and start planning experiential campaigns, here are three things we can expect from the experiential marketing space in 2021.

1. Brand experiences in strange places

Brand activations that take place in Trafalgar Square, for example, might feel a bit clichéd this year. Instead, brands will be looking for more dynamic, edgier locations to host brand experiences. They will want to create truly memorable experiences for highly targeted audiences. Think of events and activations taking place on farms, warehouses, or under motorway flyovers. Because the more unique and authentic the location, the more unforgettable the experience will be.

2. Hybrid events will stick around

When brands were forced to take their events online as a result of Covid-19, many chose to make those events free. This allowed organisations to reach much larger, wider and more diverse audiences than ever before. Looking to the future, brands will now be looking for ways this increased exposure can continue. As in-person events become possible once more, brands will need to combine virtual and physical to create hybrid events. Virtual attendees have grown accustomed to being part of the conversation. That shouldn’t stop when the pandemic stops.

3. Safety and wellbeing will become bigger priorities

For the foreseeable future, events and activations will need to focus on health and safety. Hand sanitisers, masks and Covid testing are likely to be part of interactive brand experiences going forward. But while safety is important, it shouldn’t detract from the event itself. Equally, wellbeing will also come to the fore in experiential. With reports of depression and anxiety rising sharply during the pandemic, brands are going to have to be well-positioned to resonate with consumers. By promoting wellbeing in a kind, thoughtful and authentic way, they can offer real value to attendees.

Experiential marketers are masters of human connection and are determined to transform, recreate and adapt to whatever 2021 throws at them. Yes, there may be a need for plans C, D, and E (rather than just a trusty plan B), but that can only make for bigger, better, stronger brand experiences and in-person events.

Our in-house experiential team create events that engage customers and brings brands to life. If you’re looking at how to create a stand-out event and deliver memorable experiences, get in touch with the team at Delta Group today: hello@thedeltagroup.co.uk