How Zoos Can Thrive in a Post-COVID World
July 12, 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic took the world by storm in 2020, forcing businesses and cultural institutions to close down and keeping much of the population indoors for long periods of time. While we’re starting to see more states, businesses, and services open up to the public, the pandemic will have long-lasting impacts on the ways we run our business and conduct our lives.
Despite the challenges of the pandemic, there will be a lot of positive changes to the way our society functions. Businesses were forced to become more efficient, innovative, and place a greater emphasis on health and wellness in the workplace.
Zoos are no exception to these trends, and through the pandemic, we’ve seen a number of creative changes that zoos have made all over the world in order to continue engaging with their animal-loving communities.
If zoos are going to thrive in a post-pandemic world, they’re going to need to continue finding creative ways to engage with their members and build a robust following.
Zoo engagement ideas inspired by COVID pivots
The good news is that, similar to many other fields and industries, we’ve learned a lot about the pandemic, and zoos have a plethora of engagement ideas inspired by the pandemic that they could utilize for the future.
Below is a list of things zoos will need to continue implementing and building upon if they’re going to thrive in a post-pandemic world.
- Live streams – Zoos around the world are providing subscription-based access to behind-the-scenes live streams with trainers and their animals. Viewers can watch how trainers interact with their animals and engage with the stream by asking questions and conversing with other viewers.
- Video classes – Schools and universities aren’t the only institutions to bring their classes online. SImilar to the subscription service for live streams, zoos have started posting live and pre-recorded classes that transport students out of the virtual classroom and into the virtual zoo.
- School “trips” – Similar to the video classes, zoos are offering interactive virtual school trips and tours. Students can embark on safari adventures, live tours of the zoo, and specific trips to elephant parks or gorilla conservation centers.
- Partnerships to stay relevant – Unlike businesses that can cut costs or furlough employees, zoos have high fixed costs, and there’s no way to furlough animals or stop caring for them. This is why partnerships, including public relief programs, need to stay relevant.
- Research and publications – The core of all zoos is conservation, education, research, and, though it might go unnoticed, research. Hundreds of academic institutions carry out research through zoos, and zoos are a consistent and valuable resource for the sciences. Moving forward, zoos need to continue to lean into their ability to provide the science community with opportunities to learn and conduct valuable research in their institutions.
- Social media – It’s hard to convey the value of virtual tours, online classes, and behind-the-scenes access in zoos without having people see it for themselves. Social media content and user engagement has been one of the most successful and essential ways for zoos to engage with members and bolster their fundraising and donation strategies. Post photos, share live streams, and attach easy-access links to donor pages.
Regardless of the challenges, zoos have persisted through the pandemic, and if they rely on the various engagement ideas they’ve gained over the past year, they will continue to persist well into the future.
Create more members with ACME
The challenge for zoos after generating excitement with their followers will be to convert visitors to members and build more long-term donors.
ACME Ticketing offers a cutting-edge membership management system that can help zoos manage members, implement benefits programs with ease, and reach out to visitors through a powerful CRM.
Serve your current members, seamlessly acquire new ones, and make long-lasting connections with ACME today.