KAFFEINE / Arts & Culture, Digital & Social Media, Placemaking, Travel & Tourism

Three top tips from reopening London’s attractions

9 May 2021

As indoor attractions prepare to reopen their doors on 17 May, here are three key tips we learned from reopening our clients Japan House London, Hard Rock Cafe and Tower Bridge last year, that will help you succeed this month in your marketing and communications.   

All attractions are seeking to gain audience share in a fiercely competitive market, and most importantly, sell tickets and drive footfall.

Here’s how to stand out from the crowd:

1. Focus on what sets you apart

Sounds obvious – but in the noise of lots of places reopening and the added pressure of doing this post pandemic, don’t forget what makes you special, your USP. People’s attention spans are limited and their engagement short. Distil your unique brand attributes into simple, yet powerful, communication strands that demand attention and push you above the parapet. For example:

  • Omotenashi’ is the Japanese spirit of prioritising the needs and wellbeing of others. Omotenashi was at the core of our reopening campaign for Japan House London, through customer engagement management and media relations, with The Daily Telegraph highlighting the specific Japanese manner of customer services at the venue.
  • ‘London’s Bridge’ – For Tower Bridge’s 2020 reopening, the £1 community ticket initiative to encourage Londoners to enjoy their bridge was at the forefront of our communications. The attraction’s gesture hit the headlines, securing coverage across the London media and drove footfall from the local community. Tower Bridge was able to engage its core audience in a manner that reflected the economic hardship felt by many during lockdown, as well as supporting its core marketing goal to get Londoners to ‘step inside’.

 2. Continue to grow your online community

The importance of digital communities for attractions has boomed over the past year. (See our advice on using technology to grow custom beyond the destination). Many physical attractions pivoted and innovated their businesses, and moved into the online retail and experience market. As we move back to reopening don’t forget your online community that you will have built. Especially as, while we’re an optimistic bunch here at Kallaway, COVID-19 can be unpredictable… dare we remember the ever-changing tiering system of last year! 

The change in the way we shop and engage with the brands, coupled with a degree of uncertainty around the future, increases the need to have an engaged community of fans online which you should maintain, nurture, grow and monetise in the future.   

Three key points:

  • Plan online content and iterations of real-world campaigns for all openings, exhibitions and events.
  • Create potential income streams for both real world and online events. 
  • Plan and invest in growing and commercialising your digital experiences.

Two examples of online success for real world experiences:  

  • Tower Bridge’s Lives of a Landmark campaign celebrated the real-life people behind the Bridge. When the physical exhibition had to close, the supporting digital campaign, using #MyTowerBridge,  which called on people to share their own experiences of Tower Bridge, continued to drive online engagement. We invited support from other major visitor attractions who shared Tower Bridge pieces from their archives, opening us up to their own culture seeking audiences. This community-driven hashtag campaign allowed Tower Bridge to drive over 142,000 valuable impressions while the attraction was closed.
  • Invite influencers and media to help you spread the word. For Hard Rock Cafe’s 2020 reopening, we made sure key journalists and influencers were encouraged to enjoy the brand’s Eat Out To Help Out offer. They spread the word to others via 80 pieces of press coverage - all of which increased confidence in Hard Rock Fans and helped drive footfall when it was needed most.

3. Reassure but don’t bore with safety messages

Safety concerns haven’t gone away, and due to the issues around COVID, they may increase again. So, be consistent and present with safety messages striking the right balance that doesn’t distract from the core offer.

Do this by using hero content to hook your audiences in and excite them about your attraction; but back this up with subtle safety messaging as appropriate, throughout your website and comms.

Need more help?

We would be delighted to provide any help or advice you may need, both from a comms perspective, but also with any paid media planning and buying requirements and fully integrated solutions!. Please contact the team at Hello@kallaway.com

For a range of tailored solutions that we have been providing to attractions and destinations during the pandemic to help them overcome the COVID and reopening challenges, click here.