Magazine article Marketing

Opinion: The Marketing Society Forum - Could People Ever Feel Affection for Heathrow Airport as an Event Venue?

Magazine article Marketing

Opinion: The Marketing Society Forum - Could People Ever Feel Affection for Heathrow Airport as an Event Venue?

Article excerpt

Over the next few months, Heathrow is to host a range of experiential activity focusing on the UK's calendar of cultural and sporting events, as it concentrates its marketing efforts on younger people.

YES - Gareth Evans, Business development director, Frukt Communications

Historically, airports have been functional, uninspiring transit hubs - a necessary evil en route to excitement, romance, relaxation or discovery.

Terminal 5 has seen the light, creating a bright, clean, spacious and even tranquil environment. It's an extra destination that is now an integral part of the travel experience. Where better then to engage a receptive audience with the things they love, and curate unique entertainment experiences?

Heathrow is the gateway to a culturally diverse country that is building toward the Olympics - a festival during which visitors from around the world will queue up for a uniquely British entertainment experience Terminal 5 should become the first of many venues that reflect 21st-century Britain's cultural diversity.

As T-Mobile has shown, affection is heightened between loved ones at airports, and entertainment only broadens the smiles. If Heathrow is part of the memory, why wouldn't you save some of that affection for the airport itself?

MAYBE - Hugh Robertson, Founding partner and chief executive, RPM

Unusual venues such as airports and railway stations have played host to a range of marketing activities, from flash mobs to gig venues and cultural activity from tourist boards. Thousands of people arrive and depart from these points every day, so engaging that audience, particularly when they have time to kill, could be a smart move.

However, airports can also suffer as a venue because they are emotionally charged. People may be tired from a long journey, or associate them with delays or the fear of flying. So if they are to be used as venues, marketers must take this into consideration.

Brands should also ensure they choose venues based on a smart strategy and suitability for the creative idea. With people flocking to London for big events such as the royal wedding, the Olympics and, hopefully, the 2018 World Cup, Heathrow can give brands an opportunity to interact with an international audience.

To gain event organisers' affection, however, Heathrow still has challenges to overcome.

YES - Michelle Clothier, Co-founder, Livity

This is fantastic 'blue skies' thinking from the Heathrow marketing team. …

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