What is the Future of Live Events in the Caribbean?
Live events are a huge part of Caribbean society but how will they adapt post-COVID-19
Adweek reported in 2018 that, “Two-Thirds of Marketers Plan to Increase Spending on Live Events in 2019”, that was way before there was even the word COVID-19 and way before the impending pandemic that would eventually affect the world.
Now, in 2021, when many Caribbean islands are still dealing with the effect of COVID-19 there is a question on what will the future be for live events in the region? Especially, in a post-pandemic, more digitally progressed region.
The future of Live Events in the Caribbean
The impact of Live Events
Government reports indicate that revenue from Trinidad and Tobago’s Carnival exceeds on average US$100 million. The Mas industry also generates significant economic activity in a range of sectors in the local economy such as entertainment, media, hospitality and retail sectors.
Similar to other islands Carnival is the main event that increases live events and helps generate various forms of income for a variety of industries. However, due to COVID-19 multiple events around the region have had to be cancelled/rescheduled, just this month Grenada announced the consecutive cancellation of their Spice Mas due to the pandemic.
Going back to “Normal”
In Adweek’s article they reported that the value that huge tech companies saw in live events was the face-to-face interactions that allowed the companies to create valuable moments and relationships with their customers, the article ends with the words, “The future lies in personalizing the digital experience, whether for people attending or watching remotely”.
The pandemic has forced this very idea into existence in the region. Entertainers and DJs across the region have turned to alternative ways of connecting with their audiences, one of the most successful mediums being Instagram & Facebook Lives. Artist like Voice, have seen enormous benefits from this. His Lives with Jared Major-Penny, have become incredibly popular, with an average of 40,000-50,000 viewers per show.
Improving the Live Digital Experience
The consumer experience in much of the Caribbean has gone through a digital transformation. Due to lockdowns and restrictions more and, more companies have turned to online solutions to get their products and services to consumers.
But how can Live Events in the Caribbean incorporate the digital experience? There are many ways, digital tickets, focusing on social media flyers, paid for live events, post-event surveys, etc.
During a web conference for the Creative Tech Lab, Andre Choo Quan stated that Carnival entertainers and performers would greatly miss out if they do not monetize their live events moving forward, especially after the last year. Online events are both a way for entertainers to make some extra money while also reaching out to one of the biggest markets in the Caribbean: the Caribbean diaspora.
Anyone involved with regional events in the Caribbean would be doing themselves a great disservice if they don't incorporate the digital tools and platforms they have used during the pandemic and combine them with the inherent success seen with live events across the region. It will not only help to adapt to changes in the market but it could also lead to future success.