Live Consumer Engagements are Back—Here is What We’ve Learned

Metro Brand Ambassadors standing behind a red table with white metro paper bags

Canada is cautiously opening back up and it’s both exciting and scary. Exciting because we’re regaining some of our freedom but scary because we’re reminded daily by our neighbours to the south that COVID is just waiting for us to let down our guard. 

That being said, it’s clear that Canadians are hungry to get back out there. We’re seeing people flock to explore their own provinces and insights from IMI International show that consumers are anxious to get back to events when the government deems it safe to do so.   

You can tell the tides are changing amongst brands now too and recent conversations with clients support this. There’s a comfort level to start planning and re-imagine live experiences today and in the near future. Don’t get me wrong. It’s not back to 2019. But we’ve had our first few clients take the leap and re-enter the arena, and to be honest, the positive energy we’ve all felt has been palpable.  Consumers for their part have been extremely receptive to engaging with brands again. 

We’ve also had a few false starts. While there is interest, some marketers are hesitant to be one of the first out there. They’re worried about causing crowds and the general optics of it all. All worthy concerns that we continue to evaluate and address.   

It’s meant breaking down live experiences to their core and rebuilding them for today’s world and guess what? The future is exciting!  Hybrid events including both live and virtual elements are just one example of how we’ve had to re-think what it means to ‘engage’ with a consumer.  

So what are some specific steps are we recommending to our clients to bring back live experiences safely? 

  1. Footprint designs are being adapted to keep a steady flow of people going in one direction and avoid crowds 
  2. Using onsite decals and signage to promote physical distancing 
  3. Brand new safety training and daily wellness checks for staff 
  4. PPE mandatory for all staffplexiglass used when needed and strict sanitization protocols 
  5. Having a clear communication plan onsite to articulate safety and sanitary measures to make the footprint feel safe for consumers 


Consumers are ready to interact safely again. How will you, as a marketer, help lead the way back? We’re ready. 

Lorne Cooperberg

Senior Vice President, Growth & Innovation


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