Covid-19

In a time of global chaos, we outline the steps businesses can take to imagine new scenarios and build future-fit strategies to turn uncertainty into action.

Need to Know
15 : 04 : 21

Four Seasons’ hybrid event futures, Masks for Good give new life to disposable PPE and UK citizens admit to short-term money mindsets.

Four Seasons’ phygital meetings connect global attendees

Meetings, Reimagined: Hybrid Meetings by Four Seasons

Global – International hotel chain Four Seasons is enhancing meeting and event experiences for its guests, catering for both in-person and remote attendees.

The chain’s Hybrid Meetings concept future-proofs conferences, galas and events using audio-visual technology, flexible interiors and versatile catering options. Rolled out across Four Seasons’ hotels and resorts, Hybrid Events offers a multi-broadcast studio – a professional environment for hosting large-scale virtual conferences or webcasts – alongside its Hub & Spoke meetings, which can connect multiple Four Seasons venues to create a single event. In some cases, guests attending remotely can also receive Four Seasons dining services delivered to their door.

‘Hybrid Meetings offer the service excellence, innovation and creativity that Four Seasons is known for, while elevating the safety and care required to bring people together in the current environment,’ explains Ben Trodd, senior vice-president of sales and hotel marketing at Four Seasons.

With hospitality venues increasingly adopting immersive technologies, Media-tels are going mainstream in their offer of experiential events.

Stockly syncs retailers’ e-commerce inventories

Stockly, France Stockly, France
Stockly, France Stockly, France

France – Shared inventory start-up Stockly is a platform benefitting retailers by providing third-party supplies in place of out-of-stock items.

The burgeoning service helps e-tailers mitigate abandoned transactions by allowing them to sell items even when they’ve run out of stock. Using a bespoke algorithm, Stockly can identify availability of millions of products elsewhere in its distribution network and attribute orders to suppliers according to demand, and considering factors such as price, distance and quality score. Each third-party supplier is advised to send items in neutral packaging to avoid any confusion from recipients.

While Stockly is already working with retailers such as Galeries Lafayette and GoSport, this system provides an example of how small-scale e-commerce sites can enhance and protect sales.

This form of adaptable retail that caters for wavering consumer demand reflects the need for Flux Capital – a trend we identify in Elastic Brands.

Masks for Good positively upcycles PPE waste

"I protect you. You protect me" #masksforgood by Blessing Mutore

UK – Creative agency Backlash is launching Masks for Good – a social initiative that turns disposable PPE into new products, while supporting local community projects.

At its branded Masks for Good kiosks, opening initially at UK shopping centre Westfield Stratford, people will be able to buy an affordable, re-usable facemask and know that proceeds are going to community groups in the local area. The kiosks also give people a chance to recycle their used masks and other PPE items, by doubling as a dedicated drop-off point. From there, campaign partner TerraCycle will safely collect and recycle used masks and PPE into new products such as garden equipment and office furniture.

‘The ready-to-go campaign for businesses creates a positive social movement that aims to turn mask-wearing into a force for good,’ says Katie Peake, creative director at Backlash. ‘Through the simple purchase of a reusable mask the public will simultaneously be supporting charities in their local community while also being kinder to the environment.’

As consumers explore retail destinations during the inter-Covid period, initiatives like Masks for Good are highlighting retail’s growing community focus.

Stat: UK citizens lack future financial plans

Liberty by Pentagram Liberty by Pentagram

The majority of UK citizens don’t have long-term financial plans, according to a new financial wellbeing study by Aegon UK.

The research finds that 87% do not have a financial plan in place to achieve long-term life goals. Elsewhere, 38% of people say they have a vague idea of where they want to be financially in 10 years, and 29% have a specific idea. Building on these figures, the report suggests that a mindset shift is key to developing positive financial behaviours and planning.

‘Financial wellbeing is an increasingly hot topic, but it’s usually talked about in very narrow terms – money in the bank or levels of debt,’ explains Steven Cameron, pensions director at Aegon. ‘For most people, the biggest improvement they could make to financial wellbeing is to reframe the way they think about money.’

To discover more about how brands are supporting consumers in adopting healthier money habits, read our Financial Wellness microtrend.

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