Ever wonder why you remember certain things in your life – people, places, events, moments? You’ve heard the trope that no one remembers what you said; they remember how you made them feel, right?
Making us feel a certain way is what defines an experience. It’s what turns the ordinary into the extraordinary, the mundane into the magical. The musical notes into your favorite song.
Much has been written about us living in an experience economy: coffee as an experience, retail as an experience, experiential restaurants, even Terminal 1 at O’Hare is more than just a tunnel from concourse B to C – it’s a 466-neon-light-tube visual and sound experience.
For many, the material consumption of things is not enough. Meaning, value and even happiness is derived from some blend of being in the moment and, at the same time, feeling optimistic about the future. Experiences can be the delivery system we are looking for to add meaning and relevance to the products and services we buy and the events we attend.
Events are in desperate need of becoming experiences—experiences that allow the audience to savor the moment, while looking ahead to something that will inspire, connect or surprise them.
Designing experiences is different from planning an event, organizing a meeting or planning a trade show.
Experiences must originate from a new center, an organizing vision and core purpose.
Experiences must be curated to serve the individual, as well as the masses. They must provoke, stimulate, elevate and engage.
A key definition of an experience is something personally encountered, undergone or lived through.
Do your events allow your audience to explore, discover, encounter and undergo a series of moments that transform them and help them learn, connect with others and lose themselves in an experience that leaves them feeling, thinking and behaving differently?
You are what you get paid for.
Your audience will pay more for an experience – they will return next year, and they will be your most powerful marketing channel.
Begin to think about what you can do to transform your event into an experience. Move from an aging mindset to a youthful personality; shift from the sleeping giant to the hungry tiger. The status quo was never very good anyway.