In the wonderful world of Experiences!


The WXO - World Experience Summit - which took place last June at Phantom Peak in London, revealed the market's growing appetite for immersive experiences and highlighted the importance of holistic design, technology integration and community building. The event provided valuable insights into the future trajectory of the industry and the potential socio-economic implications of advances in experience design and technology.

Here we summarize the main themes that were presented:


A flourishing market:

The immersive experiences market is experiencing robust growth, with mature markets such as the UK, the US and Germany seeing significant investment. This growth has been accompanied by the emergence of a new lexicon to accompany the sector, with terms such as "Mindfulness", "AWE", "immersiveness" and "transformation" becoming commonplace.

Experiences in these markets are built consistently, carefully developed over long periods, usually between a year and eighteen months, sometimes even longer. This level of dedication and investment underlines the value placed on creating immersive and transformative experiences in today's society.


The magic of transformative experiences:

Transformative experiences were highlighted as a keystone in several presentations. Rather than providing mere entertainment, the industry aims to create experiences that have a significant impact on participants. The "AWE and WOW effect" is representative of this goal, encapsulating the ambition to deeply affect visitors.


Design for all phases of the experience:

The idea of planning well for all phases of the experience - Anticipation, Follow-up and Reflection - was emphasized, particularly in Victoria Taylor's presentation. This proactive design approach suggests that every part of the customer journey, from anticipation to reflection, can and should be carefully crafted to increase overall engagement and satisfaction.


The power of shared experiences:

The desire to share moments and experiences has emerged as a key factor in the experiences industry. Moment Factory's "campfire concept" sums up this focus, showing how shared experiences can fuel the development of the industry. Shared experiences or "collective effervescence", which refers to the feeling of excitement and togetherness that can arise when people come together with a common goal, are essential to this immersive design.


Digital tools and technology in experience design:

The integration of digital tools to enhance experiences is a ubiquitous aspect of modern experience design. However, technology must be subtly integrated into the fabric of the experience, serving the design rather than dominating it.


Mindfulness and neuroaesthetics in experience design:

A curious intersection is emerging between well-being and experience design, with concepts of mindfulness and meditation becoming increasingly prevalent. Neuroaesthetics also plays a crucial role, offering potential antidotes to the growing pressures of contemporary life.


Gamification and the future of experiences:

Louis Alfieri's reflections suggest that gamification will significantly shape the future of the experiences industry. He presented a somewhat dystopian future where experiences can be bifurcated along socio-economic lines, evoking narratives similar to Steven Spielberg's "Ready Player One". This perspective highlights the potential socio-economic implications of advances in experience design and technology.


Exhibitions and unique experiences:

This WXO Summit featured a number of unique experiences, such as the Sound Bath and the Sacred Garden. These diverse exhibits showed the vast potential of the experiences industry, from exploring the power of sound to creating immersive retail environments and even sound experiences in water. Each example exemplified a different aspect of sensory engagement in design, demonstrating the limitless possibilities of this rapidly evolving field.

All in all, a number of intriguing insights into the burgeoning experiences sector were presented, highlighting how market growth is being driven by an increasing appetite for experiences and immersion. As with any growing sector, a new lexicon has emerged, with words like "WOW", "AWE", "immersion" and "transformation" becoming part of the common dialect. Interestingly, the esoteric concepts of mindfulness and meditation practices are being used regularly in this context, indicating a growing convergence between well-being and experience design.

An event that was also entirely an experience, carefully developed and which now leaves us in a moment of reflection, which we have no hesitation in sharing with everyone!

In the aftermath of the event, we're looking forward to the next edition and to being able to share some of our success!

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