Meetings No 21
Intro
Gender Equality the New Growth Factor
Atti Soenarso on the silent knowledge women have built up.
Cover Story
Women Deliver
Focus on the Women Deliver Conference.
Women Leadership
Dubai Women Establishment
A champion for women’s participation.
Radar
IMEX Launch
The “She Means Business” event
Disruption
The Future Disrupted
Rohit Talwar on shocks that could overturn our world.
Intermission
A Life Remembered
Tim “Avicii” Bergling.
Young Leaders
Gaining Edge Scholars
Learning, contributing and building the future.
Smart Cities
How Does a City Become Smart?
Lessons from Tel Aviv.
Mindset
Motivating Using the Right Mindset
Scientist Alva Appelgren on praise and learning.
Economic Impact
Regarding Rwanda
Becoming one of Africa’s leading business events destinations.
Radar
IMEX Frankfurt
Innovation and Inspiration.
Incubator
MCI Experience
Kim Myhre: The power of brand experiences.
AR/VR
Johan Hagegård
“The future isn’t at all what it used to be.”
Sharma
Habits to Build Your Empire
Robin Sharma: Resist the saboteur!
Strategy
Iceland
Collaboration is key in winning association meetings.
Brain Check
Cecilia Björkén-Nyberg
On reading printed books and listening to audiobooks.
Kellerman
Why Is It Taken for Granted That I’m the Boss?
Roger Kellerman: More Space to Women!
classifieds
news
Growth from Asia
Asia Pac exhibitors
extend footprint at IBTM World 2018.
IBTM World 2018
When the party’s over… top tips for measuring ROI
top tips for measuring ROI.
business Intelligence
IBTM World
announces 2018 Tech Watch Award shortlist.
business Intelligence
Precinct Transformation
Receives National Acclaim.
New jobs
Carlson Wagonlit Travel appoints Derek Sharp
as Managing Director of its global meetings and events business.
Flash
German travel warning
European tourists to Turkey.
IACC
reports record first-time attendee numbers
at its Europe Knowledge Festival in Lisbon,
world meeting
ICC Sydney impresses
on the global stage with seamless execution for Sibos.
new statistics
Seoul grabs 40 international conference
wins so far this year,
New knowledge
IBTM World announces 2018
Tech Watch Award shortlist.
Links
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MCI Experience

The marketing landscape is changing. An increasing amount of corporate marketing budgets now appears to be moving to experience marketing as marketers recognise the power of brand experiences to cut through the digital clutter, engage customers and build stronger more valuable customer relationships. Well-designed brand experiences can enable marketers to achieve new levels of affinity, trust, loyalty and advocacy.

But whilst this may be good news for the events and experience marketing sector it’s definitely not business as usual. Today’s digitally connected consumers are much more demanding, more impatient and have high expectations for events to be more engaging, personalised and participatory. The traditional event agency focus on logistics and production, whilst still important, is just not enough to create the next generation of brand experiences.

In response, in November MCI announced that it was launching a new kind of brand experience agency that integrates a range of creative and strategic marketing disciplines. MCI Experience is created to serve as an incubator of new, innovative marketing capabilities to design and deliver more strategic, creative, personalised and memorable marketing campaigns.

“We aspire to help brands realise their marketing objectives and ambitions through meaningful and memorable live, digital and virtual experiences. Our interdisciplinary design thinking strategic approach to brand storytelling is imaginative, immersive and emotive. We partner with our clients to create breakthrough marketing experiences that achieve measurable business results,” says Kim Myhre, Managing Director at MCI Experience based in London.

“Since that announcement we have made great progress. We’ve been busy building our proposition, recruiting great people, launching our website, opening our new London office, getting to know some of our 2,400+ colleagues in the MCI Group, and we have won some exciting new client projects.”

Kim Myhre is also keen to talk about the biggest challenges and opportunities facing the business at the moment.

“New breakthroughs in experience design and technology have now empowered brands to create much more personalised and more integrated live and online experiences. But in order to take full advantage of these opportunities we are going to have to master some new skills.

“Clearly experience marketers are going to have to take a much more strategic and multi-channel approach to experience design. Brand experience will transcend the boundaries and time and place that we have relied on in the events business. Yes, events are an experience, but they are only one component of the overall brand experience. Thinking about experience design through an ’event’ lens will limit the potential to create engaging and continuous brand experiences that connect attendees in much more meaningful, memorable and shareable ways.

“Understanding how to measure and demonstrate the commercial value of experience marketing will also be critical. Traditional event metrics have often been more useful to event planners than to sales management. As experience marketing continues to evolve as a more mainstream brand marketing investment, experience agencies will need to learn to speak the language of business not logistics.

“Another opportunity will be in the appropriate integration of technology with the purpose to enhance not distract from the experience. With so many new ’experience’ technologies emerging like Event Apps, AI, VR and even Drones there has been a tendency to throw technology at an event experience as a feature rather than an enhancement. Better integrating the best of digital with the best of live experience will be critical.

“Finally, recruiting and retaining talent with the diverse range of skills and experience required to support the interdisciplinary nature of brand experiences will be a huge challenge and also an amazing opportunity. As the experience marketing discipline grows, so will the number of types of competitors vying for a piece of the brand experience pie, talent will be a critical competitive requirement and differentiator.

“The talent that we’ve been able to bring together in the six months since we officially launched has been remarkable, and the work that we’re producing is great. We have three agency principles, the business needs to be financially successful, we want to do great work, work that we’re enormously proud of and that our clients value, and lastly it should be fun and personally rewarding. Because it’s a fun business, and it should be. And, it’s exciting to be a driving force of innovation and transformation in the brand experience business.”

Kim Myhre also delves into the longer perspective and how this market will develop in the next five to ten years.

“As demand for brand experiences grow, brands will require more from their agency than ever before. Experience marketing agencies will need to recognise that there is more to delivering a brand experience than event logistics but will instead look to all relevant touch points both live and online to create client success and this will require an agency with an increasingly diverse range of skills.

“The convergence of emerging technologies, more demanding digital native consumers, and a growing and increasingly complex choice of content and media options means we will need to rethink our more traditional views of brand experience.”

“First, the tables have turned. Consumers are now in control of what marketing experiences they will accept and engage with. They have moved from passive observers to active participants and their attention is at a premium. We may be able to get them to attend an experience, but for them to put down their device and actually participate in the experience means that we will need to make sure that the experience is relevant, personalised and delivering real value. Gone are the days when attendees will sit through irrelevant, boring, uninspiring experiences that are designed around the brand’s needs not theirs. This will require experience marketers to have an in-depth and empathetic understating of their target audience’s needs, preferences and desired outcomes and applying this insight to experience design.

“One of the things that is becoming increasingly important, particularly to Millennials, is the clear articulation of brand purpose. This was a very important theme of last year’s IMEX event. Many of the world’s most respected brands are becoming active at promoting how they are helping to make the world a better place. The trend is also influencing how brands are incorporating these values into the design of their event experiences.

“One of the most important feature of future brand experiences is the trend towards the multi-sensory. One of the latest ways to stand out from the visual and auditory barrage that dominates most marketing is the use of multi-sensory experiences that use techniques like haptic and scent. Haptic for example, explores the possibilities of communications through the art and science of touch. While scent marketing techniques leveraging smell can be transformative to the live experience. Scent marketing has been used frequently in retail environments to evoke emotions and is being applied in the experience marketing world to bring branded environments to life.

“Finally, brand marketers are beginning to realise that live experiences are an amazing source of sharable social content. Increasingly live experiences will be designed to reach both the audience that is actually physically present as well as the potentially much larger audience that’s not even there.

“The changing nature of brand experience will reach well beyond what we today think of as an event and will require a new approach to design and delivery. And this is a good thing.”