The Importance of Interactive Events at Retail Destinations

Events and interactive marketing are crucial in combatting the struggles of decreasing footfall and dwell time. Why are less people visiting shopping centres but more frequently visiting ‘retail destinations’?

Shopper’s motives are diverging, with many seeking a destination to visit and enjoy and much fewer looking for convenience. Consumers visiting a destination for an experience, often indulge much higher spend, engage with brands and interact with promotions. Those going to a store or centre for convenience, have much lower spend and are less likely to engage and browse other products or tenants.

It is clear shoppers who are looking for a destination to experience are much more lucrative and deliver much higher value to a shopping centre. So, to encourage a higher volume of this consumer type, events and marketing teams need to create regular, engaging events that entice high levels of ‘destination seekers’ more frequently.

Events have numerous benefits in addition to the above including:

Gain Consumer Data

Events offer numerous opportunities to gather data to understand the consumer demographic better. This can be used and shared with tenants for future campaigns and promotions, assist in leasing strategies and aid important decisions.

Increase Loyalty

Regular events give shoppers repeat reasons to visit, especially if the first one was a success. Events encourage full family days out, are a great way to combat the threat of online and draw a significant number of visitors. If an event includes a promotion which extends after the event, such as point cards, discounts or competitions, it is likely to keep visitors engaged with the centre moving forwards.

Increase Destination Awareness

Events build up a destination’s presence and reputation, and hosting regular events ensures a centre remains at the forefront of shopper’s minds. It’s not just the actual event either, it’s the run up to event, promotions, posters throughout the scheme and the marketing and PR afterwards – all driving momentum and awareness around the centre.

Social Media

Social media can have a massive impact. Events give consumers a reason to share photos and videos on their social profiles with their followers. Often events encourage hashtags or to tag/follow the destination, both of which increases a schemes audience for future promotions!

If a centre has a diverse tenant mix, the events taking place can be really varied including anything from Easter egg hunts, art displays, fashion cat-walks or Olympic games – the scope for new experiences is enormous! I’m looking forward to seeing what our local schemes have in store for us this year!

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