Sarah Lawrie, Events Management graduate, writes about experiences in the events industry.
Something which has always caught my attention is experiential marketing and the way in which brands use creative design and events to showcase a product or idea to the public … in ever-increasingly wacky ways!
An article which recently came to my attention was one titled ‘Experiential marketing and the changing nature of extraordinary experiences in post-postmodern consumer culture’ (Skandalis et al., 2019). It discusses post-modernism and consumers wanting to experience something out of the ordinary and transcend into a place away from societal norms, using the case study of a music festival as an example.
Although it eventually concludes that people do not attend events (music festivals or otherwise) to escape from everyday life, and that societal or marketplace regulations still exist in these environments, the initial concept of escapism is hugely interesting and something which I have included in a few of my university projects so far.
Even at university, I have found that people are always trying to get the best experience and one that breaks societal norm: they don’t just want to go a usual nightclub for example, but seek the most experiential immersion possible, whether it is in an abandoned warehouse or a botanical garden.
In spaces where people feel freer, are away from structure and in a more hedonic event environment, they are likely to feel more open to new ideas. This kind of environment would perhaps be the best for a company to market a new product through experiential marketing. If the person is already within a space where rules are relaxed and behaviour is looser, the movement into a space where an unknown product resides would appear enticing.
What are your thoughts? Are escapism and hedonism reasons for attending events? Do these environments allow more freedom and thus more openness to new ideas and/or products?
Something which I have noticed, having worked at several festivals over the past two years, is that consumers love it when brands utilise a pop-up shop or experiential stall within an event. Examples of this include makeup booths with mirrors, beauticians and selfie pods from well-known brands such as Gypsy Shrine, or large Jeeps being driven with built-in speakers and troughs of free energy drinks from Red Bull. Both are great examples of experiential marketing and both appeared to be hugely successful with massive engagement from the public.
This is the side of the industry which interests me most and is something I want to explore much more of through my final year, and hopefully after!
This blog was originally posted at sarahsworldofevents.wordpress.com – check it out to read more posts by Sarah on life as an OBU Events Management student!