In recent years, experiential events have been on the rise. Secret dining clubs, interactive cinema screenings and virtual reality expeditions; events have seduced ticket holders with expectations of participating in exclusive and unique adventures. Sadly – for now anyway, these are distant memories since Covid-19 has forced event organisers to hibernate, during what should be one of the busiest times of the year.
When it is safe to emerge, what then? How do events re-introduce themselves to, what will understandably be, a cautious market? The beauty of Sneaky experiences is that they are incredibly interactive – all the senses are challenged and characters interacting with the audience is a given. So, how the hell does that translate to these new social distancing times?
Thankfully, Sneaky Experience already delivers a model which is perfectly designed for the new restrictions, including lower audience numbers at events.
We believe in providing a personal experience for every audience member, without exception. That passion is evident in every one of our experiences; the one-to-one dialogue, a suggestive look from a character, a secret doorway…all create a unique experience for our guests. The challenge is delivering these creative dreams, whilst ensuring shows are commercially sustainable.
Sneaky Experience deliver its experiences to small, intimate groups, entering the experience every 15 minutes. This applies to our family Santa experiences in the same way as an immersive Halloween board game for adults, where the audience are the game pieces. This means that whilst the capacity per night may be 1,000+, the actual audience in each staged area, never exceeds 30 people.
Do not under-estimate what a logistical challenge it is to make this work; producing a creative experience, whilst ensuring group number two doesn’t run into group number one, and if group number three goes down that corridor, will they hear group number four in the adjoining room – just a tiny handful of challenges we are faced with – more so as every venue we work with has a completely different layout and peculiarities. 8 years of site plans, spreadsheets and literally 1000’s of performances later, Sneaky finds itself with a social distancing solution which was initially designed to solve a completely different issue!
We do recognise there’s a lot more to consider. It is important further safety measures are put in place to keep everyone safe and to reassure our audience as well as Sneakys performers.
Due to deliver an Easter themed experience to over 6,000 in various locations in the North, we were entering our busiest season when the pandemic hit the UK back in March. After some quickly organised management meetings, the difficult decision was taken to postpone our programme of events. It was a first for us, and a decision we weren’t sure was the right one at the time, especially as other event organisers were still soldiering on at that point. We’re now working on new dates, mindful of customer confidence, as well as the safety of our audience and extended teams. We have invested in temperature tests, safety masks which tie into the theme of our events, and we’re working with venues to deliver our intimate experiences in even larger spaces, enabling guests to spread out.
Events may not be happening right now, but we’re as busy as ever, continuing to create new experiences for smaller groups, whilst working with venues and our teams on safety procedures. There’s lot’s going on at Sneaky HQ – now all we need is an audience.