After a two year hiatus, Pride events around the United States are preparing their comeback tour, but even with the looming promise of ‘returning to normal’, things at Pride will likely look a bit different. Here are three things to keep in mind if you are thinking about sponsoring Pride in 2022.
COVID Isn’t Going Anywhere
With the Omicron variant retreating, near term optimism is quite high, but 64% of the public believes that COVID will be with us for at least the next several years*. While nobody really knows how long we will be coping with the virus, Americans’ sentiment towards COVID certainly can shape how we view public events like Pride and how organizers may be thinking about their planning.
Over the past two years, queer events have been much more likely to cancel or modify events out of fears of COVID than the population at large. Brands need to be adaptable, but not fearful that changes might happen.
Virtual Prides Have a Lot of Value
Many Prides will likely keep virtual options as stages for performers and to facilitate interaction among community members. Brands should use virtual pride events as a way to interact with those that prefer online interactions. Virtual can be especially powerful for those under 18, the immunocompromised community, as well as community members who are still closeted.
Give Back to the Community and Communicate Your Efforts to Them
Many companies stumble in their Pride campaigns because they don’t include a give-back component in their efforts. While Pride sponsorship dollars may go towards community centers, brands should think about what other givebacks align with their values. Brands should also not shy away from telling consumers specifically what they did to give back to the community. Ideas for communicating CSR efforts include running a preroll video, putting out a press release, or sending out a newsletter.
If you’re looking to get involved in sponsoring an upcoming Pride event but don’t know where to start, reach out! Our diverse team of LGBTQ marketing professionals can take care of your activation from start to finish