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Immersive events: Hot tips on how to get ahead

By Tania TilbrookApril 9th, 2015

Event planning as a discipline is competitive and it pays to understand where the market is going and how event attendees and client expectations are changing. What we’ve seen over the last 12 months is event planners and marketers really getting to grips with how to use all the exciting new technology to create a wow-factor experience for their guests.
Experiential marketing is here to stay and it needs a wider skill set than ever before. So how can you get ahead of the crowd?
1) A live event is a fantastic way to create a memorable and emotionally involving experience that makes your guests feel connected to each other and enjoy the event more.
E.g. Yes we know it was back in 2012, but the London Olympics did this phenomenally well by involving people from all over the UK in its Games Maker volunteer programme. All of us in the UK knew someone who was involved and it made us pay more attention. It is still being talked about 3 years on and the Games Maker choir still perform regularly.
We don’t expect you to have a comparable budget to the London Olympics, but how can you use guests and supporters to increase involvement with your event?
2) Enable your guests to participate and co-create something memorable as part of the event. This is experiential marketing at its best and will leave people talking about your event for a long time.
E.g. The Goodwood Festival of Speed 2014 used a live social media feed to gather together comments and photos from all over the festival, from hundreds of attendees. Pulling off a real time feed is no easy task and involved all kinds of production and marketing skills.
3) Production skills are increasingly valued and valuable within the events industry as event logistics, content programming, audio-visual displays and mobile technology all come together to create an immersive experience the participant is firmly at the centre of.
E.g. This ‘The Shining’ immersive cinema screening event. This was created by a group of young film producers back in Nov 2013 to showcase their creative production skills.
Then think of where event management has taken this idea of stepping into your favourite movie with London’s Secret Cinema.
Where would you take this highly successful trend next with your own amazing event idea?
4) Understand your participants expectations to avoid a ‘So what?’ response. What other events do they go to and enjoy, how can you create something to inspire them?
Consider ways to generate information about people attending your events and there are some large and small ideas for how to do that in this article about audience data for event managers by Create Hub.
Also think carefully about what else is offered by other events aimed at a similar market and define really carefully what makes your event stand out, as the VAULT festival organisers did. They’ve defined their underground space and programme as novel and original and they got good feedback on it.
Are you interested in finding out more about what happens at the cutting edge of event management and how to be a part of an industry that challenges you every day to think more creatively and bring together a raft of different skills to realise your ideas?
Take a look at our courses or contact us to find out more about the training we offer to help your dream career become a reality.

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