The brand affinity established during childhood paves the way to lifelong relationships between organizations and its most loyal customers. Nurturing this relationship over many years requires businesses to think long-term, while delivering value in the here and now.
A typical cradle-to-grave strategy includes events and programs focused on your youngest demographic – children aged 12 and under. But with events canceled and programs paused, relationships with customers of all ages are far from typical.
Add to that, many schools are also closed for the foreseeable future. This has left students and parents yearning for activities that will bridge the educational (and entertainment) gap until they can return to their classrooms and scholastic routines.
This business disruption has bred creativity across the live events industry. We’re truly inspired by the ways that arts and sports organizations have responded by shifting part of their focus to entertaining and enriching children.
We’ve curated a list of things that your live events organization can do to engage with kids during these unprecedented times:
With so many places under stay-at-home orders, the outdoors has been one of the few places for kids to safely escape the confines of their house. Local parks and neighborhood sidewalks have become the canvas of choice for many to share positive messages and their works of art. This is a great opportunity for your organization to share DIY downloadable stencil kits that are themed for your brand or events. (You may even be able to re-purpose your pumpkin carving stencils.)
Activity Books and Coloring Pages
Coloring is an activity loved by kids of all ages and has even proven to relax the brains of adults. The Northern Colorado and Yale University athletics departments produced a coloring page featuring their mascot, Klawz and Boola respectively, and asked fans on social media to print, color and share their masterpieces. Playhouse Square, a theater district in downtown Cleveland, Ohio, offered a downloadable coloring page of their retro sign and asked people to tag them when they share their finished products. The University of Tennessee Athletics department developed a 12-page Junior Vols Activity Book, which includes coloring pages, word search, crossword puzzle and more.
Channel your inner LeVar Burton and host a daily (or weekly) story time for your social media followers. The Troy Athletics department started a video series called Reading with the Trojans, which features a new live episode every Wednesday morning on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Our personal favorite is the reading of The Wonky Donkey by their radio / TV voice, Barry McKnight.
Add variety by leveraging your full cast of characters and roster of athletes to pick a favorite book from their childhood to read on video. If done well, this can turn into appointment viewing for kids and parents alike.
With social distancing in place for many people, angst has become a common feeling. Scientists say that cooking and baking can help people feel better, so we challenge you to publish food and drink recipes that can be themed for shows that have appeared on your stage or popular concessions served in your venue. Encourage social sharing of the end product and give bonus points for kid video reviews à la the Shirley Temple King.
The #StayCreative hashtag has turned into a rallying cry for artists across the world. The benefits of creating, performing and consuming art in its many forms are unquestionable. In this vein, Long Island’s Gateway School for the Performing Arts has challenged its students with tongue twisters, encouraged them to sing Tomorrow from the musical Annie and inspired them to perform improv on video. We challenge arts organizations to write a script for a short play that can be performed by a cast of siblings (or friends virtually). Incorporate common household items as props and provide downloads to enhance costumes.
All professional and collegiate sports have been paused amid coronavirus concerns, leaving fans itching for the drama of athletic competition. March Madness turned into “March Sadness” and baseball’s opening day came and went without any pitches being thrown. National and regional sports networks have resorted to re-broadcasting classic games to help fill this growing void.
We encourage your sports organization to leverage your rich history and share highlight clips that kids can reproduce in their driveway or backyard. Ask their parents to tag you in their videos on social media to reach more of your fanbase. If you have editing resources, sync up the play-by-play with the user generated content or produce a side-by-side video.
We want to hear what your organization is doing to engage children during these uncertain times! You can reach our marketing team via email@example.com.