The Alberta Foundation for the Arts is pleased to be a funding partner in this collaboration with Stone-Olafson and other community leaders to develop a long-term research investigation and evaluate how current conditions will reshape Albertans’ attitudes and behaviours towards social and group activities, across a variety of sectors. The purpose of this work is to give leaders of community sports, recreation, arts and culture, professional sports, active living, heritage, tourism or hospitality sectors relevant facts about local audiences that they will need to bring life back to our communities.
The initiative is being funded by:
- ActiveCITY Collective
- Alberta Foundation for the Arts
- Angus Reid
- Calgary Arts Development
- Calgary Foundation
- Edmonton Arts Council
- Edmonton Community Foundation
- Rozsa Foundation
- Travel Alberta
This research is being conducted in six waves over the course of the next year. This is a community resource that is FREE to access and results from the second wave of research are now available. The second wave of research builds on the baseline established in May and June by delving into attitudes on comfort, spending, the impact of media, and audience expectations.
Findings and implications for Alberta organizations through Wave 2 results include:
- Support for the pace of re-opening grows but there are still lingering pockets of disagreement.
- Comfort levels are creating a new baseline of engagement.
- Increasing gaps are appearing between audience segments on the pandemic.
- As restrictions lift, Albertans are pulled by their social motivations and perceptions of safety outdoors.
- Engagement is (potentially) perishable.
- Staying connected will mean the development of innovative and hybrid experiences.
- In a crowded media space, audiences are still listening.
- Spending is obviously being impacted
The report makes the following recommendations for organizations:
- Comfort levels are not rebounding just because restrictions are lifting. Organizations need to temper expectations about reconnecting with audiences. You will not be reengaging them in the same you used to. It will take time and it will look different. Plan on it and prepare.
- Getting audiences comfortable enough to attend is vital. Some of this will rebound over time, and some will be addressed by government, but there are opportunities to build confidence in what you are doing to safeguard their health. Show the steps you are taking and the tools being employed to protect audiences. Building confidence with what you are doing will help increase comfort and, in turn, consideration.
- Audiences and markets are changing. There are new barriers to address and consider. Organizations will need to understand shifting mindsets of different target audiences in order to engage effectively. This could be a deep opportunity to engage for many organizations who can capitalize on their motivations and expectations.
- Find your voice. Audiences are listening closely for news around the pandemic and are eager for updates, information or promotions. They want to know when experiences will be available again and are receptive to traditional marketing messages again. In fact, they expect it.
- Adapting means developing new product and experiences to consume. Staying put or offering what you used to won’t necessarily work. Organizations that can move into hybrid offers (not simply digital alone or in-person alone) that still leverage intrinsic motivations will be well positioned to protect their revenue from competition.
Download the reports:
You can subscribe to receive notifications when the new reports are available by visiting stone-olafson.com.