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Design live experiences as a medium for true attendee impact

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Bruce Mau
Bruce Mau

Chief Design Officer

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We have the unique ability as event marketers to integrate our deeper understanding of human behavior into the brand experiences we create for our audiences.

Designing for the human experience is the greatest thing that we can do, but we have yet to take full advantage of the opportunity that live events afford us.

When we create events, we incorporate a number of different digital mediums: images, sound, video, and interactivity. Yet more often than not, we design in a piecemeal fashion, wanting these single mediums to shoulder the burden of trying to reach attendees on a deeper level that they alone cannot achieve. Why? Because they are only part and parcel of what we should be designing—the live experience.

Live experience is HD for events

Reality is our true medium, combining all the senses and all media into one multisensory, captivating experience that truly allows visitors to be inside of our ideas, of our brands. Each media format can only capture one or two senses, like sight or sound, and alone, it is nothing more than a flat, two-dimensional piece of content.

Think of it like this: designing in a single medium is essentially like using a low-resolution image. Most cameras can only capture at 25 megapixels. But the human eye is the highest-resolution sensor there is, at over 475 megapixels—no technology can match it. Utilizing the live experience as our design medium is like designing in the highest-possible resolution.

Live experience is the most powerful medium

We can literally move people’s bodies through the physical force of sound, conjure emotion through the sense memory of smell, and create trust through touch—the original social network. These senses are so powerful that attendees can’t help but be drawn in by them when they are combined into this unstoppable force.

A multisensory live brand experience is the most influential medium we could possibly imagine. We can use it to envelop attendees inside a brand’s message, bringing the senses together in a truly immersive experience that has the potential to be the ultimate extension of a brand’s marketing, the maximum realization of the brand promise.

Live experience creates inspiration and value

Two of the most important things in the event industry is how a brand’s events are differentiated from the rest and how to provide attendees value year over year. Consumers are constantly learning and changing, with new technology always at their fingertips. Their needs will not stay the same, so if we want them to keep coming back to events, we have to give them a powerful reason.

Creating inspiring live brand experiences is the best way to stay top of mind and to create context for attendees to learn and interact within the parameters we want to set. What’s more is that when you dazzle attendees with a one-of-a-kind brand experience, they become your best word-of-mouth marketing. Make your event memorable, and they will tell everyone what they felt, saw, heard, tasted, and smelled—and they’ll inspire others to seek out your live experience too.

That’s the power of designing live experience as a medium.

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