COVID-19 has touched everybody, all over the world. To try and get ‘back to normal’ without acknowledging and adapting to the new world risks alienating visitors and putting them off visiting all together - an unwanted outcome for any visitor attraction. So how do we find the balance between promoting the new safety guidelines and social distancing measures, without diluting the brand? How can we keep our guests (and staff) safe while reminding them what it is they love about visiting in the first place?
Tone of voice
One way of protecting your brand is to ensure that the same tone of voice is maintained across all communication channels. By doing this, you’re giving your guests continuity and reliability at a time where the world is a confusing and scary place. Not only are you providing them with a personality they can identify with, but also over time a sense of trust and familiarity will grow, leading to significantly more meaningful conversations and connections with visitors. Once this trust is there, communication channels can then be used even more effectively to promote the importance of social distancing and hygiene measures, but in a way that feels authentic and reliable.
One way to make this easier would be to have one person doing all of the COVID-19 communications. This can help ensure that the language and tone is the same.
Continuity across platforms
With social distancing apps and technology becoming a must-have in the post-COVID world, it is important to make sure that the branding is still applied throughout the more important and serious information, such as maintaining a distance between guests and not visiting if a guest is feeling unwell. For apps like ours, which have built in features for crowd management and social distancing incentives, customizing it to your brand may be the difference between a guest feeling so anxious about visiting that they cancel their trip, and a guest feeling reassured that the visitor attraction they know and love is putting their safety and wellbeing first. It also shows that you’ve invested the time and money into protecting visitors and staff.
Keeping the experience an experience
It’s not surprising that most people feel a bit uneasy when they visit somewhere and can only see other people’s eyes. Spending a day out and not being able to share a smile, or even follow a conversation (for those who listen via lip reading) can be both isolating and off putting, and so it’s important to make sure that, despite the new safety rules, visitors can still relax and have an enjoyable experience. Yes, most have to wear masks, but could you support a struggling business AND promote inclusivity and sell see-through face masks to guests who forget to bring their own for a fair price? Staff could also be provided with these to wear while working.
Perhaps, for outdoor attractions, you could create some new socially distanced activities for children to participate in while their parents and other guests grab a coffee? Putting in the effort to keep things fun and safe may really make the difference for those feeling overwhelmed and desperate for a sense of security.