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Going Above and Beyond to Design Inclusive Experiential Events

By Lori Cioffi

The second in our four-part series of recordings from the Event Innovation Lab at IMEX America, this post will share expert insights on experiential and hybrid event design. Explore how event design can positively impact the event experience by creating unique moments of engagement and learn how event tech platforms are supporting future-focused event strategies.

Expectations around the event user experience are rising, with attendees looking for fresh approaches that create milestone moments. While we may struggle with engagement at virtual events, they have also raised the bar regarding ease of use and inclusivity. But how can you change behaviors while keeping everyone interested?

Hybrid events open a world of possibilities but also come with many challenges. This installment covers event design concepts and theories, showcases impactful event activations, and explores the ins and outs of inclusivity.

 

Mastering the WOW factor in the Experiential Economy

Experimenting with ways to change behaviors while keeping an audience interested was key to the discussion around event design. "Design your client’'s events with activations that hit the emotional "sweet spot" and remember there is always room for the unexpected,"
said Rolando Espinoza, Co-Founder and Creative Director of Champagne Creative Group.

For Espinoza, there is always a way to make even the most outrageous client requests happen. Quoting from Pine and Gilmore’s 1999 book “Experience Economy”, he demonstrated how event activation should ideally fall in the sweet spot between passive and active participation, and at the same time, between absorption and immersion.

Using plenty of examples from his work, he stressed the importance of creating unique experiences rather than offering “stuff” when considering event design, particularly for millennials.

Redesigning the attendee journey for a hybrid event format, presented by EventMB and Socio

Nolan Ether, Content Marketing Leader at Socio, discussed the need to redesign the attendee journey for the hybrid event. Design, he said, is about more than the visual components of a production. There are three elements of a well-designed event, said Ether: intentionality, adoption of a hybrid-first strategy, and continuous engagement, or “thinking about engagement in the broader scope of marketing.” He further explored the idea of events as important milestones that are part of a broader customer experience, one that we now have better tools to manage and measure our impact.

Ether also discussed how Socio offers its clients the opportunity to create inclusive events. Firstly, stating that Socio, and parent company Cisco, have inclusivity built into their culture and concluding with all the types of features now available to include event attendees with various disabilities.

about the author

Lori Cioffi
Lori has extensive experience as a content strategist in the international business events industry. She was named one of BizBash Media’s Top People in the Events Industry in 2018 and 2019 and is a proud recipient of the Medal of Tourism from France. She delights in connecting people, places and industry partners for their common gain. 
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