According to a new survey conducted by CGPR, a consumer active lifestyle agency owned by French West Vaughan, while most Americans have followed “stay at home” restrictions surrounding COVID-19, an entirely new consumer group has discovered outdoor experiences for the first time.
While it may be obvious that Americans have been going outside more, we thought it was important to dig deeper to find out what these new discoverers of the outdoors plan to do when restrictions are lifted.
The news is good: Over 82% of these individuals say they will continue to stay engaged in outdoor activities after restrictions are lifted, paving the way for increased participation and an optimistic future for the outdoor industry.
Survey respondents were divided into those new to outdoor experiences and enthusiasts who regularly participate in outdoor activities. Additional survey takeaways include:
- For novices, the top reason for going outdoors was exercise, followed by getting sunshine and fresh air and, lastly, walking the family dog. When asked about the key factors behind their choice not to spend time outdoors previously, 59% said lack of time; 29% said lack of knowledge about what to do outdoors; 18% said the price of gear and/or apparel; and 12% said lack of access.
- For enthusiasts, when asked if COVID-19 impacted how they enjoyed the outdoors, over 60% said it had changed how they engaged in outdoor activities. More than 70% of this group of devotees said post COVID-19 they will be more careful, cleaning equipment and practicing social distancing.
To capture the emotional and physical benefits and the ease of getting outdoors, CGPR and FWV turned to friends and family, asking them to capture themselves enjoying their favorite outdoor activities. The result is a video, “Reach Out,” that is being released today to celebrate these simple pleasures. The video showcases outdoor experiences of all kinds including walking, hiking, canoeing, surfing and swimming.
CGPR and FWV have been front and center during the pandemic, sharing best practices during the shutdown and offering insights on the future of the industry and on the new media landscape. Specifically, CGPR is working closely with Outdoor Retailer, the largest trade show serving the outdoor industry. On May 21, CGPR’s founder Chris Goddard will host a live chat for Outdoor Retailer on the art of pivoting communications programs that will cover media relations, internal communications and B2B initiatives.