The challenge for every theme park is to stay fresh and keep renewing itself, to turn visitors into fans who remain loyal and come back again and again. Social media allows for more direct engagement and two-way interaction. In some cases, it can enable fans become the stars of the show, which in turn gives the theme park new vigor. Samsung C&T Resort Group’s Everland theme park has learned these lessons and adopted them, making Everland fans truly a part of the show.
Fans showcase their skills in Everland’s Halloween Parade
In October, Everland held an online challenge campaign, called Showcus, ahead of Halloween to recruit participants for its Halloween Parade and to strengthen its communication channel to its fans when people were spending a lot of time at home. People were invited to upload videos to social media platforms showing off their own special talent, whether it be singing, dancing, or performing a magic trick. Some lucky people were awarded with prizes, while the truly talented among them were selected to come to Everland and perform on stage as part of a real live show.
One of the fortunate few was 14-year-old middle school student Lee Joon-jae. In his Instagram video he dressed in a Halloween costume and showed off his juggling prowess. That is how he came to be invited on stage at a recent Everland show, right before the Halloween parade. Despite being a little nervous, he gave a good juggling performance and was well received by the audience.
An exhilarated Lee commented on his experience, “I have been practicing juggling so long and hard all alone, and to be able to show off my skills on stage at Everland is like a dream.”
According to Everland, approximately 300 people took part in the Halloween Showcus Recruitment challenge. Given that similar video upload challenges held by companies usually attract around 100 participants, this event was seen as a particular success.
An Everland spokesperson said, “Our Showcus Challenge campaign was so popular that digital celebrities such as popular YouTubers and live streamers also joined in,” adding, “The total number of views of the videos posted as part of this event during the three-week period was about 230,000.”
Online concert for Halloween
Fans once again became the stars of the show when, also last month, girl group Brave Girls and boy band CIX performed in a special online concert that beamed live from a stage at Everland’s Four Seasons Garden.
In keeping with social distancing guidelines, the performance had no live audience on site, but was broadcast live online instead. Behind the singers, a giant 24-by-11-meter LED screen showed a cheer squad of 400 fans online.
Throughout the show, the fans, who had dressed up in many creative and colorful ways, became participants in the performance, waving cheer sticks and dancing along to the hit songs sung by Brave Girls and CIX.
The number of viewers of this real-time Halloween concert, live streamed on Everland’s official YouTube channel, reached about 56,000, and with the montage of 400 fans visible behind the singers, it gave the feeling that people were at a real concert.
Your face on the big screen
In another opportunity for fans to become stars for a day, the theme park has invited people to submit their photos or videos taken at Everland by uploading them to the official website. Selected photos and videos have been shown on the giant LED screen at the park, at a time and day of the fans’ choosing.
Beginning in April, about 50 visitor-submitted photos and videos of cherished memories and Everland landscapes have been shown. Then in October, the theme park began screening videos of fantastic and fairytale-like media art produced by Hongik University’s Graduate School of Graduate School of Film, Digital Media & Communication.
Opportunities to be a star abound
In addition to all this, in the first half of this year, Everland held various events in which ordinary people become the stars of the show. One example was the “open stage,” when the outdoor carnival square was made available free of charge to budding performers who dream of showing their skills such as singing, playing a musical instrument, and dancing to the public.
The Everland spokesperson explained, “To step up our communication with Millennials and Generation Z, who value play and participation, we will continue to offer more opportunities in which customers can become the stars of the show,” adding, “We will strive to create a new Everland every day together with our fans.”