Coronavirus Latest - Helping you open for business
Boris and his government have taken a complete u-turn on the lockdown, with an opening up of the outdoors irrespective of travel and activity (sunbathing and relaxing as well as sport) - for England at least.
If you have 1-2-1 sessions in England let us know, upload your events and we’ll go for a big push outwards. We’ve partnered with the Ordnance Survey and the Get Outside campaign and the responsible opening of the Outdoors is a key priority, so pushing socially responsible, professionally qualified providers will be a win.
These restrictions are not likely to end until June. From July a whole other wave of easing of restrictions is likely. One thing is clear though, business won’t return to normal for much longer. A report published by McKinsey , outlines how China has reopened, where we can learn some interesting lessons. The first thing people want to spend money on as restrictions are eased is food. The second is travel. Travel close to home and by car is the first aspect to pick up. So if you're reopening, focus efforts on advertising to locals to get involved, and perhaps even tailor your product a bit more to cater for locals rather than tourists, if at all possible. Perhaps focusing on 'undiscovered local secrets', or a fitness element to your activity, or running a series of sessions aimed at improving skills. In the meantime, here’s some other ways we can all adapt to these ever-changing circumstances:
Beyonk Goes Virtual:
We’ve taken Beyonk virtual, and with the help of Get Outside by Ordnance Survey , we’ll help to promote your virtual events through their vast network. How it works? Simple - upload an event as normal.
When people have booked on, they’ll automatically be sent a conference call ID (if you need help with this let us know).
Push it out to your most loyal customers by email, social media and other channels - and we’ll do the same. These can be skills based tutorials, indoor challenges, quiz nights about your specific activity and more. We’re proud to support the brilliant Brackenfield Alpacas who’ve had Alpacas join leaving parties, quizzes and birthday parties by conference call!
Offering 1-2-1 Events as the New Norm (for Now)
You may not offer them yet, but we all need to be flexible if we want to do any business at all right now. Not sure on whether this can work for you? We’ve spoken to 10+ providers over the last week so we have some ideas if you’d like to talk it through on how to make it commercially viable, what to offer and other aspects. We want to start promoting these events, so we'll create a dedicated page for all events running in Coronavirus to help people get back outdoors in a socially responsible way! Share you events with us and we'd love to help.
Ideas for Opening up More Fully
Speaking to tourist boards, land-owners and activity companies, we’ve seen lots of ideas for re-opening as restrictions are eased will focus on the following:
- Acknowledge Coronavirus in your activity advertisements - this is the elephant in the room that’s not going away anytime soon. In all your product pages, be sure to clearly state something like “We are strictly following COVID-19 government guidelines for re-opening and your health and safety is our first priority.” + outline any specific measures you’re taking.
- Maintain social distancing (obviously) - some walking guides have started to invest in radio headsets ready for taking larger groups who’ll need to walk further apart
- Allow for sufficient time between bookings - for high frequency activities, build in a buffer between clients to give time for cleaning and make sure clients don't run into each other in the cross-over
- Invest in deep cleaning practices for any kit, equipment and facilities. We've heard it lots of times, but warm, soapy water and disinfectant kills the germs, so deep cleaning is vital.
- Consider wearing a face mask - although this has only been recommended for certain scenarios by the government, it may make clients feel safer
- Keep it in England right now (if you can): It probably goes without saying, but consumers are more worried about international travel, especially with planes and the difficulty of social distancing and shared air conditioning. If you were planning for international trips, consider focusing on the UK market for the foreseeable
- Offer flexible terms for amending bookings . We’ve built a really easy system on Beyonk where you can amend the date of a booking and send an updated booking confirmation in seconds
- Limit bookings in-line with government advice: As restrictions are eased, the next step will likely be being able to cater for Single house-hold bookings. Make a booking private. When filled up, it disappears.
- Set yourself up for success: Whilst things are starting to pick-up, get set-up with our booking software to make it easier for your customers to book with you 24/7 and share live inventory across our fast growing network of tourist boards, national parks and accommodation. We’ve now built lots of options to integrate, with your own branding throughout and lowest fees in the industry, so drop us a message and we’ll get it set up for you in minutes.
- Content and Marketing Campaigns to keep customers engaged. Whilst opening is limited, there's still stuff we can shout about to keep on top of minds of customers! Want to write a blog, or contribute to one we’ve already written? Or have something great to shout about? Let us know and we'll share it across our network. Likewise, we’ll happily write for your website. We recently put together a complete Guide to Kayaking and have a backlog of over 150 blogs (yes we’ve been busy), all aimed at promoting your activities in an engaging way! Let’s work together and help more get involved with the amazing experiences on offer!
What have we been up to?
Despite furloughing staff, the rest of us have been busy. As well as writing well over 150 blogs over the last 7 weeks to outline useful content to your prospective clients we’ve also:
- Improved our booking software, now with a single-click booking portal, that allows you to show off all activities within your own brand in a really professional and slick way from your website - making it easier for you customers to book with you. We also created an embedded booking system which allows your customers to check out within your website. Giving all options for integrating! For those using our booking system, they have higher priority listings for greater visibility and first chance for press, influencer and partnership opportunities. Drop us a message to get involved.
- Working with Lancaster University and the Institute for Outdoor Learning - We created a platform to ‘Open up the British Countryside’ whereby tourist hotspots can upload available car park spaces limited to digital booking. In addition attractions can limit taking bookings within a local radius or allow for only booking to over 65s to help the vulnerable to get out sooner - all with the goal of opening up responsibly and reducing an influx of visitors across the countryside.
- We signed up some major distributors of your experiences, helping to get them in front of more new customers. These include a couple of the largest regional tourist boards not yet announced, hundreds of accommodation providers and a large nationwide outdoor company. These'll help to get your activities in front of a wider audience of high-intent customers to help you get discovered. More news on this to follow over the coming weeks!
Anything in here of interest, Let's catch up!