Festive lighting over the Christmas period is often a given for cities, towns, and public spaces, but how can you attract visitors in the so-called “off-season”?
The answer is to turn all or part of your space into a light park, light festival, or light trail. If you’re not sure what this means, you’re in the right place because we’re going to be taking a look at how you can transform your space into a visitor magnet all year round using… light.
Today we’re looking at different types of lighting events that you can use to turn your space into a destination out-of-season. We sort lighting events into three areas: light parks, light festivals, and light trails.
Light parks tend to have an annual theme, and a defined space (like an open space, or a cordoned-off area), and that space is then transformed using light art, light sculptures, and clever light displays that fill visitors with wonder. Some of the lights on display will have animated or even interactive features and the event might include hourly sound-to-light shows, as well as food and beverage options.
Light festivals tend to take place in a city or part of a city, and their original purpose was to give people the opportunity to re-discover historical buildings, squares, bridges, and parks by using light to highlight, accent and enhance them with light. Light festivals often include large-scale illuminations, 3D mapping projections, laser light shows, and light art, and depending on the size of the event might also include live music, live performance, and culinary treats.
Light trails usually exist to guide visitors along a path or trail to enjoy specific sites and tend to work best is clearly defined spaces like zoos, parks, or in cities. Light art and 3D light sculptures are combined with accent lighting light string lights, floor lighting, and 2D motifs, and visitors follow the trail created by the light, moving through the space defined. Light trails might have a theme – animals in a zoo, summer nights in a park, historical characters in a city — and are ideal for bringing visitors to an area of local interest.
How can lighting events turn your space into a visitor destination?
We humans are social creatures. Social media and the internet may have given us more ways to interact with one another, but we still crave “real” experiences that we can share with friends and family in person.
And we don’t just want “real”, “live” experiences: we want new and interesting and engaging experiences that tap into our senses, and that we can share with our digital communities, too.
We also crave light. Although we take it for granted, we need light to live, and the right light in the setting can boost our mental state, influence our behavior, and allow us to enjoy life.
Lighting events deliver on all three counts AND they can be tailored to your space to bring your city or your park or your zoo to life. Whether you choose to create a light park, a light festival, or a light trail, you can offer a unique experience that locals and tourists can enjoy in person and share digitally. Each lighting event is only available for a finite period of time, which makes it desirable and interesting, and because your medium is light, you have a good chance of engaging visitors of all ages and backgrounds.
The result? An attraction that has the potential to significantly boost your out-of-season visitor numbers, raise the profile of your city or space, and encourage people to sample the delights on offer during the event, and in your city, too.
Thanks to the boost in visitor numbers, the local economy is likely to benefit, and your city may even see an increase in visitors at other times of the year thanks to mentions in social media as well as the local and national press.
An additional and somewhat intangible benefit is the revitalization of your local community: businesses and individuals working together for a common good, which is something that has positive long-term effects.
Sounds great, but how do you get started?
Organizing a lighting event needs a little thought and planning: what space is suitable? What kind of event do you want to offer? How can you raise funds? How do you deal with the creative aspects of the event and the logistics of creating a light park, light festival, or light trail?
It sounds like a nightmare, but with a little help from people who know what they’re doing, it doesn’t have to be hard work.
From lighting design and lighting production to organizing and launching the event, we can help
Whether you want a lighting event expert who can guide you through the process step by step, or you simply need help with one aspect of your event, like design, products, or installation, we can help. We’ve been working with light for 22 years and we know a thing or two about helping cities and public spaces realize their wildest dreams!
The best way to start is with a conversation, so why not get in touch and see how we can help?