How Are Experiential Marketing Agencies Grappling With Coronavirus?

While there isn’t one correct answer for how experiential marketers should handle their future client projects, pros from U.S.-based experiential agencies shared how coronavirus has impacted their business so far, ways they might pivot their planned physical events, how to view the situation in a positive light and how it could change the way the experiential marketing handles pre-event precautions and contingency plans in the future.

Are agencies still pitching physical activation ideas? It’s complicated.

Some agencies are still holding out hope they’ll be able to execute events in Q3 and Q4 this year. For postponed festivals like Coachella, which was pushed from April to October, it might be easier for an agency to create the same experience they had planned next month. For experiences that might have been planned for the canceled South by Southwest, agencies could conceivably repurpose them as standalone events or for another festival later this year.

Kristin Kidman, vp of client services in music and entertainment for RedPeg Marketing—a Washington, D.C.-based brand engagement agency that handles global tours and activations for brands like Yuengling, Geico and Southwest Airlines—said they work with a client slated to activate at a music event this summer, and have three tentative plans for a physical event.

“What it comes down to is how much of the general population can be involved, physically, and how we can mitigate risk but still take music to the people,” Kidman said. “Does that change [the activation] to something more intimate, or does it change it to something based more on direct artist partnerships, where we can digitally stream it out to the masses?”

Kidman said if the outlook becomes more positive, the agency will work with their clients to make up ground in Q3 and Q4.

“It will be interesting to see what festivals and events can withstand this storm,” she said. “The value and opportunity for brands to be a part of those is going to be incredible.”


To read the full article on experiential marketing during this time, head over to AdWeek.