Report Review: What I learnt from the Lo:down

Lo:down 2.0 is published, year two of a brand experience report that looks set to be a key one for trend tracing industry marketers and venue owners. FMBE’s Frank Wainwright took a look:

So, what does the report – covering the UK’s first full post-pandemic year, reveal?

For the detail, don’t rely on me. This report is an easy online grab. Get a copy here. There’s masses of data in it about all types and locations for brand activations.

So, here are four standout findings and why I think they are significant.

  1. Larger spaces and exclusivity are desired

Outdoor spaces gained traction because of COVID. The report shows this trend continuing.  Outdoor spaces are often larger and often leave brands with less competition for visual angles and more relaxed height regulations. Lo:down reveals large spaces of greater than 8mx8m dominate space searches.

The move to outdoor space searches is likely to be somewhat skewed by the return of previously cancelled festivals, but green spaces with good visual backdrops and settings are surely a wishlist trend.

  1. Broader base of businesses using brand experience

Covid saw the emergence of hybrid campaigns, especially ones where the live environment was used for digital content creation and user generated content. The report indicates ‘entertainment’ as a growth sector, and our coverage bears this out, with many more case studies coming to FMBE Awards and Magazine from home entertainment and gaming brands.

  1. Shorter campaign lead times

There’s evidence in the report that indicates reactive marketing is big.  That hints towards more tactical events, either stand alone or used to boost a strategic marketing plan. Lo:down reveals a huge spike in location searches in October, some clearly with Black Friday and Christmas in mind. I’d speculate that the reactive side comes following market volatility and a sense of unpredictability following global and national events. For instance, you cannot sell discounted tech if there are products delayed in China from by extended Covid rules.

Also, spaces that are logistically simple to operate in are typically popular and whilst green spaces and nationwide locations come high in initial searches, shopping centres, city squares and London locations transition more coherently from searched to shortlisted to booked.

That said, some of the Q4 search traffic for larger open space locations may well be realised as bookings in 2023. Certainly lo:live’s role as a speedy process allied to space diversification looks well placed to facilitate this interest.

  1. Reaching beyond the norm

Lo:live is also well placed to serve the brands that dare to reach out to people beyond the main conurbations. Brighton and South Coast towns were trendy locations to book in 2022 and I would expect that to grow, but where next? Certainly FMBE often sees great results for brands that risk appearing outside the most popular locations to make  a bigger impact with shoppers and consumers who see less promotions.

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