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Customer Experience

Event Concept at Cannes Lions 2019

In this edition of The Spotlight, our Director of Marketing & Content, Kane Dempsey, and Director of Creative Services, Kate Connell, explore the trends surrounding customer experience (CX) design presented at Cannes Lions 2019 and how these can extend to guest experience design for events.

The biggest ideas concerning CX at this year’s Cannes Lions centred on tapping into shared humanity. Repeatedly, the point was made that we can engage our audiences better by gathering insights about their lived lives, rather than defining them solely by data. Discussions around CX included artificial intelligence, mixed reality, voice and sound. But at a high level, the conversation has shifted toward a more fundamental point of view.

According to Forbes, 80 percent of companies feel they provide their customers with ‘super experiences’, yet only 8 percent of customers agree with them. Regardless of how often we talk about CX, actually cutting through is tricky, and therefore presents a huge opportunity to differentiate through live experiences that will resonate. Sure, for experiential events but also for conferences, award shows and corporate hospitality. By identifying communications touchpoints before, during and after an event, it becomes possible to design an experience that connects at a human level.

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Since its first outing in 1954, the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity has been bringing the creative communications industry together every year at its one-of-a-kind event in Cannes to learn, network and celebrate.

At Cannes, CX success stories included using gaming, social and voice technology to allow customers to actively participate in an experience and, in turn, help to shape the brand. Case in point: ‘Hey Google, Ask Nike’, an award-winning gaming collaboration that allowed consumers to shop the NBA game for shoes worn by the players via voice and engage more deeply with the players they love. In the live environment, we anticipate demand for ideas powered by similar interactive technologies will increase and not just for commercial events.

Brands are creating authentic messaging that reflects lived lives, demonstrating an understanding of consumers as humans and creating bonds beyond a transactional relationship. More and more this trend is playing out in the live environment as an approach to creative. The truth is, in the world of events, it is entirely possible for the same amount of craft to go into an aesthetically underproduced, less stylised piece of creative as something with an obvious high production value. For us, the point is always about bringing a brand as close as possible to its audience by starting with ‘Why’ and then embarking on ‘How’.

Events are an investment and so, like any other, they generally carry a set of objectives; while the objectives can vary, creating relevance paves the way to achieving audience resonance. After all, at the heart of a great guest experience is an authentically human experience, every step of the way.

N.B. Views presented in relation to event design, planning, content and guest experience are those of Event Concept. This article includes some syndicated extracts prepared for delegates of Cannes Lions 2019.