Event Cook

What’s Your Experience ?

The word “experience” is frequently used nowadays in the context of satisfaction from attending events, using products or services; Companies , entrepreneurs, business organizations and projects invest reasonable amount of time and know-how to create, stage and deliver memorable experiences that will retain existing and acquire new consumers and event’s attendees. Do you know how your experience is related with the economic value delivered to you ?

Adaptation: Pine & Gilmore, 1999, The Experience Economy: Work is Theater and Every Business a Stage

Once we taste new product, use a service or participate at events, very often, we face the following questions from our friends, partners and colleagues : “How it was?” or “Do you have a good time?” The occasions that triggered such questions are happening daily: travel escape booked on-line, dinner at the newly open restaurant, watching movie at cinema, starting new yoga course, participating at the seminar, visiting artisan shop or theme park, tasting wine, attending opening party of our friend’s new business and more. The answers we provide are describing our experiences when using those products, services or attending the events. Nowadays, extensive number of businesses and projects are staging (or trying to) various kinds of experiences. The goal is to gain competitive advantage, try to retain existing or acquire new customers or in case of projects – secure commitment with project activities or achieve desirable outreach of the project’s results. Allocating resources for producing, staging and managing the experience in this context is part of the concept called Experience Economy. According to authors Pine and Gilmore, who described this concept in their book “World is Theater and Every Business Stage” dated 1999, this is the fourth phase in the development of the economic value. In this stage (happening nowadays around us) the intention is products and services (incl. events) to be delivered more differentiated in their features (characteristics) at higher, premium price – followed by particular experience during their consumption, use or attendance.

The experience in this context can be delivered though the following dimensions:

a.) the level of participant’s interaction with the event’s content (or added-value when using products of services). The level of interaction varies between active and passive participation, and

b.) the level of absorption or immersion within the event’s content (or during the product use or services’s added-value).

Practically, we could say that by passively interact with the performance, customers (event attendees) do not influence the event through which the experience is delivered. (e,g. watching movie in the cinema, listening the music at the concert). On the other side of the dimension describing the level of customer’s participation is active participation, which means that the customers (event attendees) could influence the performance through which experience is delivered (e.g. learning more about corporate environment by participating in the team-building activities, gaining new skills and knowledge through specially designed training).

Adapted from Pine Joseph P., Gilmore James H. 2020, “The Experience Economy: competing for customer time, attention and money”

The second dimension describing the levels of absorption or immersion with the experience refers to the connection between the customer (event attendee) and the environment where the particular experience is staged. In this sense, at one side of this dimension is absorption, meaning, to what extend the experience “goes into” the customer (e.g. recorded webinar, on-line workshop, theater performance). On the other side of this dimension is immersion, meaning, to what extend the participants “goes into” the experience (exhibition at the museum, conference at the hotel, congress in particular destination).

Coupling these dimensions creates the four realms of the experience: entertainment, education, escapism (the feeling of being there), aesthetics (the benefit of doing). These mutually compatible domains are forming the concepts for delivering particular experience.

Hope this text will help you to structure your ideas in terms of how you can create an experience you like to deliver to your target audience. In the following weeks i’ll describe the important characteristics of each element domain through which the experience can be delivered. In the meantime, If you have any ideas for your next autumn event and you like to talk with an expert how to structure them and deliver valuable content for your target audience – feel free to contact us.