Neil Hooper's experiential predictions for 2016

Circle Agency's board creative director, Neil Hooper predicts three trends in particular will come to the fore within experiential in 2016.

Three key trends are on Hooper's radar in 2016
Three key trends are on Hooper's radar in 2016

Don’t just use social, behave socially

As brands look at digital as the holy grail of communication reach, we should not forget the facelessness of digital. Brands need to consider their response platforms, as they spread their accessibility. A face-to-face conversation needs to be followed up with an open forum to talk further, not just a dead end road. Good digital amplification remains as a two-way conversation.

Facing the bad with the good is a given in social media now, or should be, so to show recognition, be polite, be responsive to questioning and encourage further inclusion, should be welcomed with open ‘virtual’ arms.

The year of the influencer

Influencer programmes and partnerships are deep in our social strategies for 2016. The rich quality audiences that can be profiled for brands, through active online influencers, are prime for targeted growth of endorsed recommendation, via word of mouth.

Experiences start stories, stories start conversations and conversations drive word of mouth.

Helping co-create surprising content at live events, tailored to these influencers taste, is a massive opportunity going forward. Platforms like Periscope and Snapchat are prime examples of ‘self-proclaimed’ media channels that bring live coverage straight to your mobile.

Event technology is already in your pocket

If I have one of the most sophisticated computers, stills and video cameras in my pocket already, why do brands want me to login to a kiosk on their activation?

The interface and tools people are most comfortable with are already in their hands; you just need to give them the reason to use it to spread the word. Brands should embrace self-creation and create opportunities for people to take their content, customise it and share it.

From ticketing to paying, to contributing and challenging, the device exists to do it, you just need to put as few barriers in the way to open the gateway to duel flow brand interaction.

Hooper placed at no. 41 in the Event 100 Club 2016, and he also sat on the judging panel for Event Awards 2015

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