The demand for public events is strong, but it will still take coordinated marketing, COVID-19 safeguards and good service for businesses and events to have a successful rebound from the pandemic, a panel of experts told more than 40 participants at a webinar April 29.
The event, “Getting Back Together: Restoring Consumer Confidence in Public Gathering Spaces,” was co-sponsored by the Lloyd D. Levenson Institute of Gaming Hospitality and Tourism at Stockton University and the Greater Atlantic City Chamber of Commerce.
Chamber President Michael Chait moderated the event. Panelists were:
- Ronnie Burt, Vice President of Sales & Marketing of the Atlantic City Convention Center and Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall.
- Bill Hansen, Vice President at Eiger Marketing Group & Tournament Director for the ShopRite LPGA Classic.
- Phil Kening, Visiting Assistant Professor of Business Studies, Marketing at Stockton University and founder and Principal with Beacon Marketing Group, Inc. which specializes in marketing research, analytics and planning services.
- Dave Sholler, Executive Vice President of Communications, Philadelphia 76ers and Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment.
The panelists agreed there is a lot of pent-up public demand for activities and events, which provides opportunities for businesses. People want to get out of their homes, but businesses and event organizers will still have to develop a consistent message and promote what they are doing to keep people safe, the experts said.
“This is an awesome opportunity to reset,” Sholler said. “We need to get people back. Try something new. People have been sitting at home.”
“People are realizing how much they miss the events they might have taken for granted because they happened every year,” Hansen said.
A recording of the webinar is on LIGHT’s website.