The immersive trend is nothing new but it is a very powerful tool that should not be discounted as a fad by event management companies. By bridging the lines between events and theatre we are challenging boundaries, changing attitudes and increasing engagement. Immersive theatre is popular for a reason. Event management companies are beginning to realise that people want to get involved. No longer are we content to sit in the dark and observe the action taking place on stage…we want to be part of it. The events industry picked up on this desire and rightly so as it makes our events more powerful on many levels. From corporate parties to brand activations or product launches the intention is the same…to immerse your guests in a temporary experience that will leave a lasting impression.
Here are some simple ways for your or chosen event management company to inject a bit of immersive into your event:
Create a story for your event. Even if it is simply a themed party you need to create a whole world for your guests to explore and a journey for them to go on. What is the setting? Why are they there? Instead of it just being another masked ball create a mysterious character who is hosting the party…things like this make it easy for you to create a narrative to your event. Immersive actors and bespoke sets are really useful ways to construct different realities for your audience to discover throughout the event. Talk through ideas with your selected event management company and look through their case studies.
Think about all the senses. Our sense of smell is incredibly powerful in evoking emotions and really bringing a scene to life. Aroma machines are a great way of infusing just about any scent into a room without being too overpowering. Incense, scented candles, spices, fresh flowers and live cooking are some of the other ways you can immerse your guests in a different world.
Special effects are a great way to deepen the experience and bring your theme to life from wind machines, heat lamps to give the impression of the sun, rain machines, sound effects of crashing waves or jungle animals…the possibilities are endless and can be supplied or sourced by your event management company.
Look at every element of your event and then see how you can follow the theme through. The small details are often what turns a themed party into an immersive or theatrical experience. What are your bar staff wearing? How can the cocktails be tailored to be part of the experience? How can you make the entertainment a natural part of the experience rather than an obvious ‘performance’? What edible elements will enhance the story? Is there anything in the toilets to relate back to the party? Again, use the knowledge and experience of the event management company to bring your ideas to life.
Let your audience make decisions! This goes back to us wanting to get involved and you need to empower your guests to interact with their new environment. Perhaps they are given maps, passports, riddles or set mini challenges when they arrive. Create ways for your guests to shape their own experience by having secret rooms or areas for them to find, places for them to transform themselves with accessories or makeup, make them ‘work’ for their food and drink in some way. Don’t be scared to put your guests in situations that require them to be proactive…the event management company will make sure it is balanced with enough ‘downtime’ to enjoy the party so you will not alienate anyone.
Offer escapism to your guests! Some of our favourite immersive events we have managed have allowed our guests to be childish or naughty…encouraging behaviour that would usually be foreign to them. We organised a children’s birthday party for adults where guests were sent into a giant pass the parcel room. The guests were actually inside the pass the parcel so every time the music stopped they tore down walls of wrapping paper to reveal treats. In another room, guests could put on white suits, masks and goggles before taking part in a giant food fight. Elsewhere in the party guests got inside a giant lucky dip where they were literally buried up to their necks as they hunted for prizes. As silly as this sounds, these simple offerings brought pure joy to our eager party goers!
If you are looking for an event management company, contact Theme Traders for more information on 020 8452 8518
To be continued…