I like to keep my eyes open for what’s now, and what’s next.
Let’s have a peek at my current experiential radar. Here’s 4 high value marketplaces requiring creative, architectural, and interactive services. If your business is experience, there is some golden opportunity here.
We saw it start with The Museum of Ice Cream, and then continue outward. Our own MODE Creative Director Butch Allen followed quickly with the first install of Happy Place in DTLA (now touring in a more portable form). Then we saw the epic Meow Wolf – which, as my good friend Phill Hettema said, “catches lightning in a bottle”. Brands are now piling on as well, creating instagrammable moments at trade shows and in pop-up retail.
Look no further than Disney’s plans for the immersive Star Wars Hotel – Where you check into a galaxy far far away. This mind blowing experience will come with costumes to wear, a room with a galactic view, and the opportunity to be embedded in a true Star Wars adventure. Look for more IP and lifestyle based theme resorts to follow quickly.
I already wrote about this phenomenon, calling out the fabulous work at Nordstrom. There is a growing recognition that retail HAS to have experiential value now to lure the consumer away from the digital marketplace. Imagine retail where the experiences are themed, personalized, and have incredible resonance. Actually, no need to imagine… A wander through NY’s SOHO district, or DTLA will reveal a wealth of compelling immersive retail experiences that are turning the market of live consumption on it’s head.
Observation Deck Experiences
The Seattle Space Needle has invested 100+ million dollars in a customer experience that is immersive, interactive, and stunningly scenic. Look also to the World Trade Center in NY, as well as the new Hudson Yards Observation Deck, Edge. Perched at 1100 feet above the street, are incredible engagements, and a view available from nowhere else.
There are other prime targets on the radar, including multi use sport facilities, e-sports, and brand ‘neighborhood building’.
The bottom line – Experience and entertainment are exploding out of their usual containers. The result, a vast new marketplace for agencies and production.
My challenge to you: Go find a niche that interests you, and determine which 3 players YOU will start building relationships with NOW.