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Trends That Will Shape Experiential Work in 2017

By Laura Jay, Head of Reverb

2017 is the year for technological innovation in the events and experiential marketing arena and according to Event Magazine (2017), among the biggest experiential trends are artificial intelligence, co-created experiences, social media integration via live video and virtual reality.

Jumping on these trends, more and more experiential agencies will be utilising the benefits of these emerging ‘cool kids’ of tech, weaving them into their experiential marketing strategies to widen consumer reach, whilst creating rich and inspiring content for their clients.

So what are these technologies and what are the benefits?

Here they are in a snapshot:

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Intelligent technology continues to evolve to communicate with humans in more sophisticated ways. Weaving its way into consumer’s lives, often without them even realising it, AI drives Amazon Echo’s voice recognition, Google’s search engine recommendations and Apple’s Siri. However, what these intelligent technologies are helping brands to do is build better consumer experiences, allowing them closer access to individuals by building personal relationships in ways that have not been possible before.

Live Video Through Social Media Platforms

Bringing stories to life in real-time, Snapchat and Facebook Live allow consumers and brands to enjoy live amplification of an experience that, in return, can potentially reach a global audience. However, the challenge for a brand is to get under the skin of what excites and inspires these wider audiences to ensure nothing is lost in translation, whilst also addressing the potential risks of being unable to control the output of the content.

Combining Virtual and Real Life Experiences

Pokémon Go is a perfect example of a blended experience, where consumers are able to interact with virtual realities from wherever they are. This year will see more and more brands look to feed consumer curiosity and fascination for augmented reality by using these technologies to engage them in new experiences.

The prediction is, that eventually the lines between the real and virtual world will be completely blurred, impacting significantly on communications planning.

It is not new news that our world is changing.

We spend a large percentage of our time each day on social media, potentially more than we do talking to our friends and family – we post an eye watering 1.8 billion photos on social media every day, of which 17 million are selfies.

We are, some would say, addicted to our online life.

As technology continues to evolve and develop and the lines and boundaries continue to blur, the focus will shift towards cultivating personal and unique experiences and interactions, with social amplification and content creation forming a key component.

Media, PR, digital, social media and events are no longer considered standalone. It is imperative that they all play a role in one strategy and find routes where, together they can talk to, play with, educate or inspire the consumer.