When you work with as many malls as I do, this is a question that comes up often. The events under this banner generally include film and music launches. The filmmakers want to promote their film by having the lead actors visit a mall, where they will be welcomed by thousands of screaming fans.
Malls tend to be quite polarized on whether they want this or not. The argument for, is that you get high footfalls (who also aren’t in someone else’s mall) and the mall’s reputation grows by association with the celebrity names. The argument against, is that these events fill the mall with people who have not much else to do except watch celebrities, even the people who would shop get caught up in the event, and people who want to seriously shop are turned off by the crowds blocking every corridor and escalator.
The logical arguments can then be completely thrown out based on whether the mall manager likes or dislikes the celebrities in question 🙂
Typically the bigger malls, that are more confident in their reputation and footfalls, are less interested in these events and smaller malls, or those struggling to pull footfalls are more interested. I was surprised therefore to see Inorbit’s recent announcement that they are actively working with event agencies and film companies to attract more of these events into their Malad mall.
I’m not sure that focusing on this category will benefit the mall. They already have great footfalls with good conversion. Sure they’ll get some more, but possibly at the cost of retailer happiness. Further, these events don’t pay, so there is a loss of revenue from other advertisers who could have used the same space.
I think the trick is to be highly selective. Retailers won’t complain if they know that the events are only occasional and are well targeted to the malls usual (paying) clientele. The CEO of one of the best malls in the country told me his techniqe for selecting such events: they see the mall as a person, with a gender, age, interests, personality, character etc. If the event would appeal to that person, it can happen, otherwise, forget about it!