The trials of the past few years highlighted the crucial role Structure has to play in each of our centres. Beyond maintenance, retailer relationships and creating a safe environment, we are responsible for building and maintaining communities. People need to come together more than ever, and building an engaged, excited and loyal community around a shopping centre sets everything up for long-term success.

We had a busy schedule of events and activations in the neighbourhood shopping centres we manage. Each has been an important lesson in the true value of having fun and uniting the community.

Here’s what we learned.

Simple is best

Our 2022 events have attracted hundreds of shoppers. From a Halloween-themed scavenger hunt to movie nights and spin-and-win activations, each event has been unique, but all have taught us that keeping things simple is the best way to attract customers.

Our movie night at Marina Square Shopping Centre in Wentworth Point is the perfect example. It had been washed out by rain and finally went ahead in October with a giant outdoor screen and ticketed customers on provided bean bags. All proceeds went to a local school, and the feedback was fantastic.

Bookings were steady, but it wasn’t until the screen went up that people got excited. More than half the tickets were sold in the last hour simply because the buzz around the screen meant the crowd was ready to engage.

We made it easy for community members to participate without completing lengthy sign-up forms or making it compulsory to purchase something from the centre. Goodwill is worth so much more.

Get the community involved

Community is at the heart of everything we do at Structure and is at the heart of all our centres. We saw this at our Christmas Carols night at Marina Square, with pre-show entertainment provided by the local Wentworth Point Public School choir and band.

The kids loved being on stage, and gold coin entry ensured everyone could attend. The proceeds went straight back to the school, and the event will be remembered for some loud singing and a strong community vibe.

“I was at the concert on Saturday, and it was so lovely to see our students on stage in front of a supportive community. Wentworth Point Public School appreciate your support.” – Jayne Muir, Principal, Wentworth Point Public School.

Make it accessible to everyone

We make sure our activations are about building engagement, not immediate big-ticket sales. If we can bring people together and show them a fun time, spending in the centre will always be a knock-on effect.

Our recent spin-to-win invited anyone who had purchased in the centre to have a go at winning $15,000 worth of prizes. If you were holding a coffee, you qualified. Then there are the market stalls, food trucks and performances in the centre that don’t require any spend at all to enjoy.

With a low barrier to entry, everyone can participate, and everyone, in turn, gets a great customer experience.

You can’t go wrong with puppies

Getting a bunch of cute puppies together in one place may seem like a cheap trick, but it turned out to be one of our biggest hits of the year!

At Puppy Playdate, dog owners could bring their pooches in for puppy-chinos and gourmet dog treats made by a local bakery. The response was excellent; every dog owner or dog lover from age eight to 80 got involved.

At Structure, we’ve hit upon a formula that brings people together. The key is innovation and inclusion. Make it engaging, fun, and a low barrier to entry and the community flock to events in and around our centres.