23 November 2020
Building Events Under Covid-19 Guidelines
2020 has seen a dramatic change to events and activations as we know them. Still, we’ve not been defeated by the restrictions; we’ve overcome them and continued to design and produce show-stopping, memorable events!
Working closely with our clients and our health and safety team, our producers and designers have worked tirelessly to create brilliant family experiences, whilst complying with all of the new Covid Secure and Health and Safety guidelines.
The world of enhanced health and safety procedures is nothing new to the Xcite team; it’s merely about adapting how we work onsite to produce the events and how the event interacts with the guests. Our team have become accustomed to adorning their PPE and working in a covid safe environment, by social distancing, hand sanitising, hand washing and mask wearing. This year all our activations and events need to be as ‘hands off’ as possible, whilst still producing magnificent experiences.
Real life events are very much still a possibility, and our team are on hand to demonstrate precisely how to do that! Whether you are looking to host a fashion show for the Spring/Summer 2021 season or increase footfall in your shopping centre, we’ve got an abundance of solutions which work in line with the dreaded covid restrictions.
Don’t believe us, here are some of the events we’ve worked on recently with minimal impact on the client experience.
Bluewater Shopping Centre – Christmas Experience
Christmas certainly isn’t cancelled at Bluewater Shopping Centre in Dartford! Believe, this year’s Christmas experience is ensuring that children and adults alike still get to visit Father Christmas before the big day! Families will embark on an enchanting festive journey, illuminated by Christmas spirit and glowing magical moments of wonder. By increasing the footprint of rooms and minimising the number of guests allowed in at one time, we’ve allowed plenty of space for social distancing. Not to take away from the magical design of the install we’ve ensured that all covid related signage is created with the theme in mind. Whilst children won’t be able to sit with Father Christmas this year; they will still be able to experience the festivities by chatting to the big man about his reindeers and what they want for Christmas! Our elves are on hand to ensure that families are kept safe whilst experiencing the magic of Christmas, which is vital for this event!
Castle Square – Retail Plaza Launch
The launch of Castle Square Retail Plaza was a six weekend long run of bright and bold fun and entertainment in the heart of Elephant and Castle. An event that was in the planning process since the start of 2020 saw subtle tweaks to the programme to ensure covid guidelines were met and adhered to. We provided DJs, walkabout acts, world music performers and comedians, not forgetting the food trucks too! The six weeks was capped off by a bespoke, choreographed powerhouse show with gymnasts, drummers, parkour runners and dancers on Halloween weekend. With the event being outdoors, we were able to take advantage of the different restrictions to indoor events, something that our team have become experts in!
Christmas Giving Appeals
For some people, the concept of Christmas involves an element of charity. In a year that charities have missed out on millions of pounds worth of fundraising, our shopping centre clients are as committed as ever to try and support those charities where they can. Giving Trees provide much needed gifts for charities to distribute to the disadvantaged families they work with. We have made subtle changes to the way these giving appeals work to ensure guests minimise the risk of covid transmission, whilst still being able to provide the same service that people are accustom to and in line with their traditions.
No event is too big or small for our team at Xcite, supporting our clients to produce real life events has been a breath of fresh air in a year of uncertainty. We’re here to work alongside you to design and produce engaging events for your audiences. Get in touch with the Xcite team today to discuss your ideas 020 3848 7739.
13 September 2018
Inclusivity: It’s time to celebrate all British Shoppers Today’s Britain is diverse. Retail marketeers must follow suit.
There’s no denying it- Autumn and Winter are significant seasons in the retail marketing calendar. Focus centres on the fun, frivolity and shopper excitement running up to Christmas. But it’s important to take a look at your community. Are you engaging everyone with your festive focus? At Xcite, we advocate truly inclusive experiences that engage all. This Autumn-Winter, why not rewrite your traditional plans and celebrate the UK’s significant festivities. Our activations invite all shoppers to enjoy the fun:
Celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs and Jains, ‘Diwali’ translates as ‘rows of lighted lamps’. Known as the Festival of Lights because houses and shops are decorated with candles and colourful lights during the festival, the date changes year on year according to the position of the moon in the Hindi lunar calendar. This year, Diwali falls on Thursday 19th October and we’ve got plenty of ideas to get the celebrations going:
Our Diwali Door Hanging workshops let little ones use paper and glitter to create take-home banners to welcome the Goddess of Fortune into their homes.
Children will love transforming everything glittery, shiny and bright into attractive designs ready to send out to friends and family. It’s the ideal way for your centre to be the go-to spot for all of the community to connect and come together.
A necklace of fresh flowers is the customary go-to item for Diwali celebrators. Our special workshop let’s children recreate this tradition transforming paper cutouts into their special flower garlands.
Festival of Diya Mobiles
Little hands can get stuck into this simple craft workshop. Our team are on-hand to show everyone how to use bright colours and different textured papers to create light-reflecting mobiles to take home; ideal for hanging in the entrance of windows during the Festival of Lights!
Hanukkah is celebrated from the 2nd to 10th December. This 10-day Jewish festival is known as the Festival of Lights. Our activities are sure to bring everyone together to enjoy the festive traditions:
The Dreidel game
The Dreidel is one of the most traditional activities of Hanukkah. Children and adults alike will love coming together to take turns to spin the dreidel piece. Any number of players can get involved for the chance to win prizes including sweets, chocolate, in-store prizes and special treats. This is an excellent way for retailers to donate prizes and get involved with those celebrating Hanukkah and the wider shopper audience alike.
Children will love our dreidel making workshops. With the help of our specialist team, they’ll enjoy modelling the spinning dreidel from craft clay and painting them to match.
Challah bread baking demos
Wow shoppers with a delicious challah bread demo. Watch footfall increase rapidly with the smell of the bread being made before their eyes. Not to mention the opportunity for everyone to taste it at the end of the demo.
Origami candle and candleholder
Candles are the traditional symbol at this Jewish Festival of Light. Our origami experts are on-hand for everyone to have a go at folding bright and sparkling papers into their very own take-home paper candle and holder.
Christmas is the moment where retailers can engage all communities. We’re seasoned in delivering thousands of activations from Winter installs, game-show style big-wins, gifting displays, in-store promos and kids craft activities. Whether you’re channelling full-on sparkles or bold and vibrant, we’ll create unforgettable guest memories:
Every shopper enjoys the opportunity to win-big. Our specialist production team are ready to deliver game-show style activations albeit with a wintery twist. Any creative vision is possible as we transform your centre with big game-show boards, surround-sound, lit-up screens, snowy ball ponds and all the fun of a live television game-show.
In the season of giving, what better way to invite every shopper to create their own personal mark than with our custom-gifting workshops. Kids and grown-ups alike will love choosing from a wide variety of bold papers, creating their own patterns with stamps and sparkling ribbons for the finishing touch.
This year, why not invite all shoppers to escape into an alternative festive world with the help of some fairytale friends. Alice in Wonderland, Beatrix Potter, the Mr Men series and plenty more are just some of the colourful characters to take inspiration from this year. Partnering with our sister company, Vibration Design & Production, we can imagine, design and custom build sets, grottos and props to be used year upon-year. We’ve created bespoke scenes for hundreds of retailers across the country. The stats prove that when your Christmas activation offers something different from the usual traditions, you’ll become talked about as the go-to Christmas destination for shoppers by many miles. Why not chat to one of our team to see how we can brainstorm a truly unique festive theme, designed to attract everyone?
13 September 2018
An alternative Halloween This October, it’s time to dust off the cobwebs from outmoded rituals and upgrade your Halloween fun.
This October, it’s time to dust off the cobwebs from outmoded rituals and upgrade your Halloween fun. We’ve got a whole host of tricks and certainly a lot of treats guaranteed to pull in audiences and make you stand-out this spooky season. So how can you revamp(ire)?
Spell Books and Potions
Let children’s imaginations reign free with our bewitching potion making workshops. This hands-on activity allows kids to pick out their favourite recipe before mixing up the ingredients to match. With everything from creepy crawlies to glitter, the hocus-pocus experience allows for weird and wonderful creativity. Bottling up and labelling their potions, kids are left with a present to take home and families enjoy the creation of one-of-a-kind memories.
Slime is one of those go-to favourites of children everywhere. Can there be a more fitting time for them to get their hands on the slippery stuff than at Halloween? They’ll be queues down the aisles for our workshops, enabling kids to customise their own slime. Their perfect Halloween mix? Well that could be anything from pumpkin seeds, spiders, eyeballs or glitter. When they’ve finished, our team are on-hand to help them tub-up their creation, write spook-tacular labels and add gruesome stickers.
How to create the most ghoulish of pumpkins minus the mess? This year, leave the chaotic carving behind and enjoy sticky-free fun. Our Pumpkin Pimpin workshop sees children get stuck in with all things sparkly, goggle-eyed and colourful, ready to take home a new-found friend. Will they be scary or pretty? The choice is theirs.
Trick or Treat Spooky Treats
Sweet treats are more devilishly delicious when they’ve been created yourself. Little ones and bigger kids alike will delight in the chance to upgrade their usual tricks and treats in our range of tasty workshops. Our enchanting team are on-hand teaching them all the magic needed to transform cookies into vampire teeth, chocolate into freaky spiders and marshmallows into vibrant cobweb dusters.
Dia de los Muertos
Liven up the darkness of Halloween by taking inspiration from Mexico’s vibrant Day of the Dead festivities. Rich, bold decorations hint at a time for festival colours to parade in full array. Our team will help everyone get in the mood with everything from sugar-skull decoration, paper crafts and garland making.
Want to make your Halloween celebrations truly haunting? Our selection of spine-chilling entertainment goes hand-in-hand with our experiential workshops. Fancy a former Cirque Du Soleil Witch Doctor to bring bombastic fun to your activation? Or how about our charismatic snake-handler to draw shoppers in with her amphibian friends? With a long roster of exclusive acts to choose from, why not give our team a call to discuss a bespoke plan that will enchant audiences way beyond your Halloween event?
13 September 2018
Autumn/Winter fashion Alert! This season, how can shoppers be inspired? Fresh season, fresh ideas for increasing footfall, dwell time and spend!
This season, there’s a sure-fire way to see shoppers hot-foot it to your centre: by letting them get a first-look at the top trends to step off the catwalk. We’ve done all the legwork, working with our in-house stylist to identify the key looks consumers are sure to love. What’s more, through strategic investigation, we’ve dug-deep into the stats. Our findings reveal that clients enjoy a significant uplift in footfall, dwell time and average spend during and after one of our catwalk-shows. We’ve rounded up key ideas for shoppers to get trend-savvy and connect with retailers.
Look to the catwalk
This season, the trends are on fire with an interesting mix of colours and patterns. We’re all about those rich burgundy tones, paired up with Autumnal block colours. Animal prints remain top of the charts as the go-to look particularly when partnered with earthy brown. The Queen’s Balmoral look will beckon fashionistas as they channel heritage-chic picks including re-invented tweed and printed silk scarves. With our experienced event producers, stylist, dancers, models, choreographers and audio-visual technicians all on-hand, our catwalk shows never fail to leave audiences wanting more. The best bit? Shoppers take-away lasting connections with retailers and know where to shop to stay ahead of the trends.
The show needn’t stop at the catwalk. Customers love experiencing the glamour and excitement of fashion first-hand. What better way to immerse them in this chic world than with their own bespoke makeover. Our make-up artists are some of the industry’s best and can show customers everything from how to favour flawless smoky eyes to how to get that perfect pout plumper. It’s great for make-up retailers to be involved in Autumn/Winter activations, increasing footfall and spend within their stores. What’s more, customers leave feeling inspired by industry-level make-up knowledge and ready to return again and again when they want a fresh new look.
Not everyone can rock head-to-toe leopard-print. But every shopper can channel the latest trends with some clever accessorising. We’re here to help everyone get on top of the best new looks; our accessorising workshops are just the trick. We’ll design and install an imaginative set to display top accessory choices. Our stylist will then explain how they can work with every-day fashion followed by a Q&A session for shoppers to gain personalised fashion advice, hints and tips.
Prosecco and cupcake bar
Can there be anything more glam than casting your eyes over the catwalk with a glass of prosecco and yummy cupcake in-hand? Incentivise shoppers to make a seasonal wardrobe makeover by rewarding them with a glass of bubbly and a sweet treat. We’ll install a chic looking bar, custom-dress it to match the look of the catwalk and have our friendly team on hand, offering lucky shoppers some TLC after a hard-day of hitting the shops. Now that’s the way to get Autumn/Winter-ready!
If you’re looking to really inspire shoppers this Autumn/Winter, why not speak to one of our team to see how we can custom-create the ideal event strategy for you?
06 July 2018
Summer Holiday Sustainability: How retailers can craft eco-friendly family time this Summer
Sand, sea and sustainability. This Summer shoppers will be out in force, looking for holiday-ready ranges and ways to occupy little ones. Yet there’s something greater emerging on our Summer agenda: Sustainable living.
With hard environmental headlines hitting everyone, consumers have shifted focus from buying more to buying better. So how can retailers be at the center of 2018’s eco-efforts whilst attracting shoppers to enjoy precious family time?
We’ve been working with green herbal pioneers to curate special-edition workshops. Inspiring guests to connect with nature and learn about everyday garden herbs, our workshops enable all ages to create mini-terrariums. Guests leave with all the knowledge needed to keep up their indoor gardens- great for shoppers without outdoor planting space. Every family-member can be involved; a memorable way for parents to cement precious bonds with kids. What’s more, everyone gets to enjoy a take-home terrarium memento of their time. Retailers find their reputation rapidly growing as the top place for quality family time to sprout!
Heard of the expression ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’? Well this 2018, this phrase could never be truer. All around us, we’re immune to seeing throwaway goods. Perhaps it’s time to think of our trash as treasures. We’ve launched an array of activities designed to re-cycle and up-cycle the items we waste. The result? Unique crafts consumers can take home. Ever thought about how a plastic milk bottle looks like an elephant? Maybe not. But with clever decoration, handles turn into trunks and friendly faces emerge- much to the delight of little ones. With many more up-cycling activations on our agenda, now’s the time to captivate audiences with imaginative eco-crafts.
Britain’s bees are in trouble! 35 UK bee species are under threat of extinction. This is where retailers can help! Our unique Bee B&B activations offer all the family the chance to be heroes that help nature. Children become hands-on crafters of hives using bamboo sticks. Painting and decorating them with bright colours, their creations become bee-attractive homes. A resident expert is on-hand to explain to little ones the importance of their efforts meaning kids know they’ve helped the plight of their much-loved stripy friends, creating B&Bs that encourage pollen creation. With kids bonding with parents, siblings and friends, it’s an ideal way for everyone to feel the Summer buzz!
To gain inspiration from our team on how to activate your Summer sustainability strategy, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 020 8531 5869.
06 July 2018
Get Your Game: On Digital Activations for forward-thinking retailers
We know the score. Everyone’s sitting watching digital screens and family-interaction is at an all-time low. Yet emerging technology has an incredible capacity to connect people together. Which Is why we’ve dreamt up a powerful way to re-direct consumer-use of their smartphones. What’s more our solution not only cements long-lasting ties between people but it also connects people to retailers.
How? We’ve created a range of tech-driven games. Consumers simply have to download our specially designed app and they’re sent on a treasure-trail across your retail space. Their on-screen virtual world maps out your shopping space as consumers enjoy real-world interaction with the brands they love and the brands they’re about to love.
Along the way, shoppers solve clues and puzzles, stopping off at our specially-designed activity hives strategically placed in specific retail spots. Friends and family alike can opt to compete with one another or just play on their own, ensuring that everyone can be included in the fun.
What’s more, we’ll customise your game-app with your own bespoke branding and can even integrate it with your centre’s own app. With your centre coming alive in digital form, our custom app games are the perfect way to engage consumers now and well into the future.
To check out the virtual world we can integrate with your reality, speak to one of our team on email@example.com or call 020 8531 5869.