How to engage

Trips & Treats are already as active as they might be in cultural and other leisure activities

Trips & Treats are already as active as they might be in cultural and other leisure activities, so the challenge is to support their interest within a familiar offer whilst also encouraging them to broaden or deepen their engagement beyond the obvious.

They are receptive to advertising and direct marketing messages, but need endorsement from friends and family – as they do not have the time or perhaps the inclination to seek out new or different opportunities from the known. Led by their children’s interests, depending on their age, a good family friendly offer or accessible work offering a guaranteed family day or night out is what they are seeking. As they will invariably have to travel from the edges of town, thought should also be put into advice on transport, parking and appropriate food and drink options.

Programme

Annual events such as pantomime, carnival or circus and street arts will engage them, alongside branded shows, live bands or blockbuster exhibitions. At a local level it may be possible to support them with a more ‘risky’ or unexpected offer, but this will involve a certain amount of hand-holding – which may be effective through an initially participative route.

Partnerships

At a local level connections with local community groups may be effective etc. Links with groups supporting families such as children’s centres, family activities in libraries or local scouts and guide centres. Schools will be key partners to seek out and support, along with other local cultural activities for young people, e.g. drama centres or colleges.

This is also a group who will be receptive to brand associations – whether food, drink or retail.

Place: Environment

At the younger end the environment needs to be family friendly, at the older end the environment would need space and opportunities for socialising – whether in a bar, restaurant, foyer or outside area.

Place: Access & distance

Happy to travel into a city centre, they are more than likely to use the car, so parking facilities are important, as is security. At a local level, they may rely more on public transport, but will still probably choose to get around by car.

Pricing

While able to afford a premium price on occasion, families in this group will still be looking for value for money – so family tickets (accommodating a range of family structures) will be welcomed as well as access to some discounts. The additional costs of a family outing should also be considered i.e. food and drink, while younger families will expect free or very low costs for local activities.

Promotion

For larger shows or exhibitions Trips & Treats will expect to see prominent advertising and clear messages. If they commute they will look for street advertising, otherwise local newspapers and radio may be key sources. Word of mouth may be effective through provision of entertaining and engaging digital content which can be shared. This group are fairly responsive to direct emails or post, once engaged. Websites should be clear and informative, as they will be regularly visited once a family is interested. For more local activities, promotion via third party organisations at a community level may be effective – engaging local ‘advocates’ to help spread the word. While social media is a key influencer for this group, providing them with content through other digital channels to share and incentivising them to do this, may be most effective.

Participation

The participative route may be an effective entry route for many families into cultural activities. For younger families it will be about fun days and activity workshops programmed on a drop-in basis, and for older families more educational or structured participation or making i.e. half term ‘courses’. Connecting to local schools, nurseries or children’s centres offering outreach performances or workshops will also effectively introduce them to a different range of cultural events.

23% done arts and crafts
11% played a musical instrument

Giving & volunteering

This group may consider themselves as potential givers for the right offer and benefits. Nurturing those already giving may be effective to understand what their motivations might be. Otherwise they may also respond well to one off appeals for particular projects relevant to families or which enhance their local offer. There will be limited scope for increasing volunteering, but they may for instance be interested in supporting fundraising with their time.

Relationship building

Relationship building could initially be focused on attracting them for regular annual events in the programme or for annual treats – for instance around birthdays or anniversaries when the family would like to celebrate together. Using that as a starting point frequency could be developed with a variety of offers. Good relations will rely on a high level of customer service and guaranteed experiences, which will encourage a family to repeat visit. Attention to the whole experience may also keep them coming back with the potential for loyalty to a particular organisation or venue activity.

Increasing reach and diversity

Understanding the local population and where there is greater potential amongst this group can be supported by targeted door to door or digital marketing campaigns in key geographic areas. Diversity in programming will bring a range of age-ranges, and organisations should consider the entire offer for meeting those different needs in different ways.