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How to keep customers, members and supporters engaged during the COVID 19 crisis

COVID 19 is having a dramatic impact on all of our lives, both personally and professionally. Working from home is now the new norm for those lucky enough to still maintain their jobs. Aside from the obvious effects to our health institutes, huge impacts are being felt by education, charities, and experience-based service organizations such as travel, entertainment and sports.

In the US the travel industry is expected to see a fall in revenue of 45% according to a report by the U.S Travel Association and Oxford Economics.

The global value of the sports industry is estima­ted at US$756 billion annually and with most sporting events cancelled and gym and fitness centers closed there is a huge impact to these industries and their suppliers such sports retailers, infrastructure, food catering and betting.

Charities are also expected to see a fall in total giving in Australia of around 7.1% in 2020 and a further 11.9% in 2021 after rising by almost 5% over each of the previous two years according to a study by JBWere. This reduction in giving can also provide an indicator globally on the impact COVID 19 will have on the charity sector.

While the number of cases in many countries are definitely on the improve it is expected that restrictions on social events and gatherings will exist for some time yet.

So many individuals and organizations alike are looking for ways to fill the engagement void that COVID 19 has created while maintaining safe social distancing.

This has created a massive boom in the digital engagement space and in particularly the use of video as a key medium. In fact, over 50% of 16-23 year old and over 44% of 24-37 year old users are consuming more online video since the COVID-19 breakout.

Many experience and member-based organizations are turning to video in combination with online competitions as a new way to keep their customers and members engaged during this crisis.

Online video dance competitions and auditions for example are sprouting up everywhere. This not only includes professional dance institutes and choreographers but also amateur dance competitions across all genres. They are a great way to keep members active and engaged with their passion. At the same time this can also create content that promotes positiveness in a time when we all need it.

One example includes a dance competition platform that has surfaced in India called DanzStation ( encouraging dancers to show off their talents to world renowned dancers who judge for their favorite entries in

combination with a people’s choice vote.

Another is a global dance competition called IODC (International Online Dance Competition) that is judged by famous choreographer Rick Tjia. As an added twist IODC is also collecting revenue through their competition and donating some of this to Artists Relief to help performing artists affected financially by the global COVID-19 shutdowns.

Video competitions are also being used heavily in lieu of live award and judging events. These include speech competitions, entrepreneur pitch events, music and singing events or even equestrian events (yes you read correct). We are even seeing live sporting event-based organizations leverage competitions to surface content from pre COVID 19 to keep their fans engaged while their events are on hold.

A couple of other sectors which are leveraging video competitions heavily are education and charity-based organizations.

Educational institutions are leveraging video competitions to help augment online learning. It allows institutes to add variety to the online learning process and make it more fun for students by harnessing their inner competitive spirit.

Charities are also realizing the power that online competitions bring to their supporters. In many cases charity and other Not-For-Profit organizations are leveraging competitions to supplement their fundraising activities. Whether it is asking participants to donate funds to enter the competition or as we are seeing more recently, asking participants to donate funds for votes. The entry with the most donations (votes) wins.

While organizations during this COVID crisis are looking to jump on the online competition bandwagon, it is still vitally important that key aspects are considered when you start planning for your competition. These include defining the goals, measures, premise and rewards for your competition.

We have written a comprehensive guide that covers these aspects and have also published a short form video that introduces the first steps you should take when defining your competition

This COVID 19 crisis is one of the biggest challenges society has experienced in a generation. It not only tests us personally but also tests our professional will.

Those who embrace lateral thinking and look for new ways to keep their audience engaged will be the ones who put themselves in the best position to survive and even thrive during and after the pandemic.

To contact us to find out how we can help with your contest campaign do not hesitate to contact us at

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Yash Budhani
Jul 28, 2023

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