With COVID-19 bringing in-person experiences to a halt, experiential marketing pros are now focused on developing solutions for how the industry can pivot their strategies now and prepare for the future.
While pushing out ideas on social media or company blogs can be effective, two companies in the experiential space have launched a platform specifically for industry peers to share their thoughts during an uncertain time, with the goal of sparking innovative solutions.
CSM Sport & Entertainment, an integrated marketing and brand experience agency, has partnered with The Vendry—a tech startup that gives experiential agencies and event professionals a platform to network, share their work and post RFPs—to launch a digital hub called Experience Good.
The platform will offer content from selected contributors that includes ideas for solutions, examples of pivots, and actions those in the industry are taking in sustainability, diversity and social good.
The concept of Experience Good was born from a social media campaign that CSM launched a few weeks ago in response to COVID-19’s swift disruption of the industry. CSM, which produces experiences for clients like Amazon Prime Video and TikTok, began sharing examples of good things it was seeing in the industry as a way to keep the agency’s social channels active.
Using the hashtag #ExperienceGood, the agency has shared examples like John Legend’s Instagram Live concert, Anheuser-Busch opening temporary American Red Cross blood drive centers, and BrewDog creating an online bar experience to encourage social distancing.
It was about two weeks ago that The Vendry founder Daphne Hoppenot approached CSM, which uses her company’s platform, to brainstorm ways to effectively provide industry solutions to a wider audience. For her own company, Hoppenot said she’s seen a steep drop in RFP posts, but an uptick in the community and networking component.
“Experience Good starts with thought leadership about the current environment and what companies can be doing now,” Hoppenot said. “There’s also an opportunity for bigger picture thought leadership about the future of the industry. Our goal is to build a coalition of thought leaders in the industry and use it to advance the industry as a whole.”
Christa Carone, president of CSM North America, said the agency chose to partner with The Vendry because it’s a neutral platform and already a source of information for people who work in experiential marketing.
“We thought [the partnership] was an appropriate way for us to share what’s top of mind, instead of there being a vast array of individual thought leadership content,” Carone said. “We want to congregate in one shared platform and have it become a trusted resource for all of us looking for opportunities and ideas, to inspire our clients and each other.”
The platform will be open to anyone in the industry, including those on the agency or brand side, and those in consulting or event services. Hoppenot said those who contribute to the platform will be a mix of industry pros recruited by the two companies; others can apply to contribute by filling out a form on the Experience Good website.
Hoppenot and Carone said their goal is to have the platform live on well after it’s safe again to attend in-person experiences; the vision is to extend it offline with industry conferences.
“We could see a positive legacy coming out of a negative situation,” Carone said. “Our hope and our objective is to make Experience Good a platform for the entire industry and have it serve as a way to congregate. We see tremendous opportunity in making that happen.”