In the months of March to May, students in the Urban Leisure & Tourism Lab Rotterdam, in collaboration with Rotterdam Make It Happen, tackled the following question: ”What innovations / concepts / experiences could help to involve residents (from certain neighbourhoods) in international hybrid events (online/offline) such as the Eurovision Song Contest?” In this blog series, the four student groups give an insight into their research process and answer the main question for the neighbourhood they have been doing their studies. The series is concluded with a blog by lab lead Ko Koens who reflects on the different concepts.
Rotterdam Make It Happen asked us to come up with a concept to get our target group, the over-65s in the Zuidwijk and Slinge district, more involved in international hybrid events such as the Eurovision Song Contest.
First of all, we conducted online research into the neighbourhood and the target group. This revealed some useful information, but not enough to understand the wishes and needs of our target group. To find out more about our target group, we decided as a group to physically travel to the neighbourhood and observe the people there. Here, around noon, we briefly interviewed people in the neighbourhood on the street. We asked questions about the target group’s image of the neighbourhood, what is organised in the neighbourhood for the target group and what the target group would like to see happen in the neighbourhood with regard to events.
We also made an appointment at Aafje Slinge, a home for the elderly. Here, we were allowed to interview some residents briefly about the neighbourhood, and their wishes and needs.
What emerged most was that in the area of events and meetings in the district little was happening for our target group. The residents in the neighbourhood and in Aafje agreed that more should and could be done in the neighbourhood in the area of events.
Our target group was hit very hard by the corona period and the measures that were in place for a long time. They have been outside very little, have had little contact with other people and want to experience a bit of fun again.
The following concept has therefore been developed especially for the over-65s who live in or near care homes and senior citizens’ complexes.
The international event is brought to the senior citizens’ complex by Rotterdam Make It Happen by means of a programme including activities, a (food) market and applied decoration that is appropriate to the international event taking place in Rotterdam at that time. At that moment the 65+ people are triggered offline to be a participant of the international event and afterwards experience this event online together with their peers.
By applying experience marketing to our concept based on the following six aspects, a unique experience will be created for the target group:
o The emotions of people over 65
o The experiences (past and present) of 65-plussers
o The senses are stimulated
o Stories will be created
o Personalise the concept
o Helping to remember (marketing before + after the event)
Experience marketing is less applicable to the target group of people over 65 than it is to the younger target group. The reason behind this is that the active involvement of these older target groups is often held back by the lesser physical condition in which a part of the 65+ population finds itself. On the other hand, it is easy to respond to this target group because everyone has something in common. Retrieving memories from the past was indicated as desirable by every over-65s surveyed. Everyone has a story to tell about an experience in the past and they would like to share these experiences with both known and unknown people because these people are proud of the past and the accompanying experiences.