Anyone involved with live events has heard the word ‘experience’ more times than they can count over the past few years. As people have become more circumspect around how they spend their money, event organisers have become increasingly determined to offer them more bang for their buck.
So often, this ends up in a huge focus on Multi-Sensory, Interactive, Immersive, Experiential, 360-Degree Somethings. Those Somethings can be incredible, and can provide moments that last long after the event has ended, but they are just the tip of the iceberg of what experience is about.
You can give someone everything they’ve ever dreamt of in a day or night out but if it takes them two hours to get out of the car park on the way home, most of it will be forgotten. What about if they miss the thing they most wanted to see because they were in a 30 minute queue for the bathroom? What if you fail to light the exit routes properly and they injure themselves as a result?
Are these things exciting? Not really. Are they sexy? Definitely not. Are they the difference between a good event and an exceptional one? ABSOLUTELY. It’s so easy to be magpies and get caught up in the shiny, pretty elements but without the functional parts, the rest ends up irrelevant. The best event organisers look at the whole picture and – at the risk of using another much-mentioned event buzz word! – the customer’s journey through their whole time on site.
What have been your experiences of the small details that managed to make or break an event for you?