Experiential Events: What Makes an Immersive Experience?

November 3, 2022 Jessica Stewart

What makes you so successful as an event planner is your creative thinking. You can take an idea and weave it into a strategy for hosting a gathering that truly engages and inspires. It’s a rare gift to possess, but you know it’s what makes your services so unique from any others. 

What today’s event planners also recognize is that those creative talents require fine-tuning, sharpening, and improvement. And one way to become even better at your craft is to explore ways to make your events more experiential and immersive. Transport your guests to another plane of awe, delight, and experiences with just the right event elements and aesthetics. Today, we’ll dive into experiential event planning and discuss what it is that truly makes for an immersive experience.

What Makes an Event Experiential and Immersive?

Whether your event is in person or virtual, you can explore ways to make the experience more immersive. By using a genius mix of visuals, audio, and technology alone, you can create an environment that pulls an attendee into another world. What makes an event experiential are those elements that interact with the guests, like a keynote speaker walking into the crowd or pulling volunteers up on stage. Look for ways to invite attendees to interact with the event space around them, invoke emotional responses, and bring event stories to life in a tangible way.

Does Your Event Tell a Story?

Every event you plan is based on a story. Weddings are based on love stories. Bar/bat mitzvahs are rooted in coming-of-age stories. Business conferences are designed around success stories. You can be using those stories to weave experiential elements into your event experience. And the common components of any story can play a starring role in your event, including:

  • The narrative
  • The main characters
  • The beginning, middle, and end
  • The imagination and emotional connection

Use these elements to create memories your event attendees can take with them when they leave. Present in a way that inspires goosebumps, smiles, or pride. 

Leveraging Technology in a Big Way

What’s so exciting for today’s event planners is the ongoing innovation and slew of technological advancements that help you bring your creative ideas to life. Immersive experiences today are infused with tech that helps tell the event story and connect with guests. Here are just a few innovative elements you can introduce to your upcoming events to improve audience engagement:

  • Beamforming
  • LIDAR Sensory Tech
  • Haptic Speakers
  • Interactive Displays
  • Projection-Mapping
  • LED & QLED

The Five Senses Checklist

Another way to ensure you’re making your event as experiential and immersive as it can be is with a five senses checklist. Imagine your event from the perspective of your attendees and look for ways to engage with sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and touches. This might translate to an impressive light display or interactive booth. It encompasses music and sound aesthetics between event segments. It means dinner service, scrumptious appetizers, and stunning desserts. Comfortable seating matters, in-floor vibrations matter, and brilliant imagery can all tie your event story to the five senses.

The Growing Trend of Interactive Event Elements

Experiential events also incorporate interactive elements. It’s a growing trend among event planners, too. Event photography alone has grown beyond the disposable cameras at the tables to the 360-photo booths and video creation experiences you see today. What began as paper 3D glasses to watch a video has now transformed into virtual reality and augmented reality experiences where guests can step into new environments altogether. Collaborate with your audiovisual and tech design partners early on in your event planning process to brainstorm all the interactive possibilities.

Take your creative event planning gift to new levels of attendee experiences by incorporating experiential elements. You can continue to improve your ability to create immersive experiences with each event, dazzling your clients and guests!

Today’s event planners know the best place to be for keeping up with the latest trends in experiential event planning is The Event Planner Expo. Get on the waitlist for 2023, so you can receive announcements and updates leading up to this incredible conference!

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