Immersive event design

In a world saturated with events, the key to standing out lies in pushing boundaries, creating a purposeful vision and an immersive event concept targeting the audience to build stronger loyalty.

As an innovative events agency, we specialise in blending together the perfect balance of creativity, technology, storytelling and design to elevate your events.

We spoke with our Creative Technologist, Malcolm Ché, and our Executive Creative Director, Dan Colborne, to discuss how to transform your corporate event into a powerful experience and vision that leaves a lasting legacy and meaningful memories.

What is immersive event design?

Immersive event design can be described as a creative approach to planning and designing events that deeply engage attendees by enveloping them in a multisensory experience. Going beyond traditional event planning to create an environment that transports participants into a carefully curated world. The goal? To foster a sense of connection, wonder and lasting impact.

Immersive experience event types and examples

Immersive event experiences have become increasingly popular across various event types, offering attendees deeper and more engaging human interaction with an event.

An immersive experience could take many forms, for example;

  • Interactive exhibitions where attendees can interact with installations or manipulate digital displays within an event space
  • Virtual reality activations in which attendees can explore entirely virtual environments 
  • Augmented reality overlays where attendees can use smartphones or devices to complete real-time challenges or uncover extra information, adding a digital layer to the physical world
  • Hybrid event experiences that seamlessly blend physical spaces with online or virtual worlds to cater to in-person and online audiences
  • Themed immersive experiences that tell a story through an event theme or concept

Why is immersive design such a critical aspect of creating memorable experiences?

As a human experience agency, we take people on a journey of emotion through uplifting and engaging worlds with purpose to access and redefine people’s expectations.

It’s a consideration around what the reciprocal nature of the immersion is. People come into an event as a visitor, they then become a spectator by actively engaging in what’s happening. True immersion happens as a participant gets lost in the environment, becoming part of the storytelling narrative, the journey and the event experience as a whole. 

The three human levels we approach experience design through are:

Paddlers – those who observe on a passive level.

Swimmers – actively engaged audience who participate with interest and knowledge of the brand. Open to new messages.

Divers – committed fans of a brand who will engage and easily convert.

What are the benefits of an immersive experience to an event?

When you build an event experience in the metaverse, VR or Spatial Computing, for example, we would refer to it as world-building. If you’re creating a piece of cinema, or crafting a photograph it’s also world-building – you’re creating an environment that a story can unfold in.

This world-building approach means we can create an experience that brings your brand to life. We shape and mould the event around your message so that people are fully immersed in your message and vision to meet your objectives. That’s the beauty and power of world-building – we get to write the narrative, create the ecosystem and shape the experience. 

People come to an event experience with preconceived notions, attitudes and their own lived realities. We create a world for them to experience and take away the message or objective. Through the event, we can define the narrative that comes afterwards.

What are the key ingredients for an immersive event to be successful?

  • A meaningful connection to the brand
  • A unique and personalised experience
  • A multi sensorial journey of discovery
  • An environment that unites physical and digital worlds  
  • And a powerful memory lasting legacy

“For example; a restaurant will also provide a deep level of immersion through architecture, ambience, taste, sound, sight, smell and the added human experience of exemplary service with a smile. Immersion is a personal and multi sensory experience” – Dan Colborne, Executive Creative Director.

The London NYE fireworks was an immersive celebration whether on the River Thames or watching at home. It resonates because of the sense of celebration and what it means for you, your family and friends. You succumb to the experience, believe in it, you let yourself go and you become part of it. That is an immersive experience.

Overcoming challenges for immersive events

Accessibility and sustainability are the key factors and key considerations in eliminating limitations to experiencing the event.

We always design events with accessibility in mind to allow for a rich, rounded and inclusive experience for everyone. 

Sustainability is a big consideration for us when it comes to printing elements or creating immersive rooms. Projectors are great because we don’t waste vinyl and ink with printing, nor have to worry about recycling afterwards.

From eco-friendly materials to energy-efficient lighting, we strive to minimise the environmental impact of our events. See our commitment to sustainability at events to learn more.

How do you create an immersive event?

As event planners and designers, we have experience delivering large-scale events across the globe. Here’s what goes into creating an immersive event that works…

Understanding your audience

We always start with the human. Considering the needs and behaviours of your target audiences to deliver events that really connect with the people that matter.

Setting the stage

Aesthetics play a crucial role in the success of any event. It’s not just about filling a space with decor; it’s about curating an atmosphere that immerses attendees in a world. From the moment guests walk through the door, we want them to feel transported to a different realm, leaving behind the ordinary and stepping into the extraordinary.

The power of sensorial immersion

Immersive event design goes beyond the visual; it engages all the senses. Imagine a symphony of ambient sounds, experiential food opportunities, and interactive elements that invite guests to touch and feel. Whether it’s a corporate conference, product launch, or private celebration, multisensory experiences can resonate with attendees on a deeper level.

Technology as a canvas – choosing the right tech

It’s not about piggybacking on the latest trends. It’s about using technology to seamlessly tell the right story. 

From an immersion perspective, projection mapping, creating an environment or world using VR /AR or even investigating the metaverse – those are the obvious components of event technology that go toward building an immersive experience.

Projection mapping, augmented reality, AI for events and interactive installations are just a few tools in our arsenal. These technologies allow us to transform ordinary venues into dynamic canvases, where every surface becomes an opportunity to tell a story. From breathtaking visual displays to interactive touchpoints, we leverage technology to enhance engagement.

Lighting and sound

How do we use the environment, the natural sensations and the sensory processing that we have as humans to experience that emotion? Lighting, sound design, smells, temperature control, tastes – those kinds of physical, tactile, visceral experiences go a long way towards creating an immersive experience. Even if you’re using virtual reality, if you’re not paying attention to the colour and the lighting and your sense of space, then you’re not going to create that level of emotion.

Tailored interactive experiences

No two events are the same, and we embrace the uniqueness of each occasion. Our team works closely with clients to understand your vision, brand identity and desired atmosphere. We tailor our approach to ensure that every detail aligns seamlessly with the overarching aesthetic.

The future of event design

In the universe of creative event design, aesthetics aren’t just a superficial layer; they are creating the world…for which the people become the soul. We create visions and concepts that don’t yet exist. That become firsts for the clients, pushing boundaries, being brave and taking clients and their audiences on an epic journey of discovery.

To build loyalty, legacy and to take your brand on a journey of discovery into the future, elevating your audience experience and their beliefs – we encourage deep conversation and a meaningful output that expand your brand’s vision.

To elevate your brand and connection with your audiences on a powerful level, explore our creative event services.

Author acknowledgements

Dan Colborne is an industry-recognised and award-winning Executive Creative Director and brand strategist with a track record for delivering relevant and memorable audience experiences – both live and digital, that have a measurable impact on business growth. Over 25 years of experience building brands – from both the ground up and accelerating customer relevance for some of the world’s biggest brands. From London’s NYE Fireworks to Google’s Android Avenue, his expertise spans multiple sectors and disciplines. Dan works at a senior level with brands and clients to create the vision for the future. Working closely with the Identity creative teams developing storytelling experiences where brand world’s create love and loyalty for the long term legacy.

Malcolm Ché has 20+ years as a Creative Technologist, bridges the gap between digital creative and execution teams across diverse industries. Malcolm’s expertise includes broadcast TV, advertising, branding, live events, and emerging technologies such as algorithmic video production, Extended Reality, and the metaverse. Focused on placing people at the heart of experiences, He pushes creative storytelling boundaries to produce brand experiences that inspire audience action.