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Immediate futures for experiential marketing 2023

Each year, we look ahead and explore what we think will resonate with audiences in the coming months, both for B2B and B2C. However, global uncertainty around energy, politics, health and climate is making predictions about our future more difficult than ever.

From supply chain uncertainty to the human cost and misery of war in Ukraine, there are many factors influencing brand and consumer behaviours and therefore, the experiences we deliver. What remains constant to marketers is the benefit of experiences which use emotional immersion and authentic expression of brand values to create value for clients. Here are some of the trends that will be influencing our creativity and strategy in 2023:


1. Comfort and Joy

In times of relative instability, people crave control and stability, refocusing on their mental and physical wellbeing. This is reinforced by the fact that we are spending more time working from home due to the shift to hybrid working. Home has become both a place to socialise and a retreat from the world, with a resulting focus on different palettes and materials. Colours are both warm and rich, taking cues both from the idea of cosiness and from the growing influence of metaverse interactions in our leisure time. The metaverse aesthetic, or rounded, blocky elements, combined with rich colours, as seen in Lego’s Fly Away Isles playground in West Harlem, will impact on materials IRL. Finally, a social refocusing on entertaining and experiencing indulgence at home becomes more common as wallets are tightened and value is sought in new ways.





Siemens recently launched their new IQ700 oven at their brand home in Wigmore Street. The whole experience was focused around stimulating and answering customers’ curiosity through the senses: from sight through to touch, sound and taste, using VR, installations, performance and digital immersion.




2. Wellness

The same uncertainties that are driving the desire to enjoy cocooning environments are also elevating the importance of wellness and health in experiences. Our shift to home working and the burnout experienced by many during the pandemic has led to a healthy appreciation for work/life boundaries that will carry over into experiential marketing. Early morning yoga sessions still have their value in an agenda, but more will be done to create wellness moments throughout an event schedule, or within an exhibition. This in turn will enable delegates to take time to enjoy a better quality experience.

Our growing understanding of the importance of plants to our wellbeing will also influence both homes and environments, and the benefits of bringing nature indoors will change our stands and experiences.





3. Walk the talk

It is no longer acceptable to greenwash your sustainable efforts or to deliver in an inauthentic way. Almost half of Brits believe brands are guilty of greenwashing (Mindshare Reality Check 2022 report), whilst still believing that brands can be a force for good in areas such as health and wellbeing, equality and protecting green spaces. Brands have to answer to consumers who are becoming more aware of their own impact. Communicating what you are doing and the work you have left to do in an honest and straightforward way will be as important as moving to more sustainable materials, thoughtful travel and measuring your carbon footprint.





4. Enjoyment Everywhere

The boundaries between the formal and informal remain blurred. Covid has only increased our desire for entertainment and enjoyment, even in places where we might previously have been more serious. Add to this the uncertainty around economic wellbeing and we have people open to entertainment wherever they find it, seeking to lift spirits and enjoy moments of fun in more affordable ways.




What does it mean for my experiences?

These four trends are emerging in response to cultural movements driven by uncertainty and instability. And yet they provide a perennial appeal to the playfulness and creativity in all consumers. We can dial them up or down, depending on specific objectives, but employing them will enable B2B and B2C experience creators to deliver effective, enjoyable and authentic experiences that truly meet the needs of the audience.


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