San Miguel to debut 'San Miguel Experience'

As part of its alternative Rich List concept, beer brand San Miguel is launching a three-day 'San Miguel Experience' event featuring masterclasses and virtual reality.

San Miguel to debut 'San Miguel Experience'
San Miguel to debut 'San Miguel Experience'

The San Miguel Experience will take place from 19-21 July at One Marylebone in London, and will promote the brand's alternative Rich List concept by gathering together 'life rich' individuals and activities to inspire guests. The Rich List brings together 20 individuals and collectives that are rich in life experiences. Event spoke to San Miguel's senior brand manager Dharmesh Rana about the new experiential endeavour for the brand.

What can guests expect from this year's Rich List event?

Last year was very much a way of us bringing to life the first ever Rich List, and we also tested how the multiple different experiences within the Rich List would be received. We wanted to test if consumers would enjoy it and the overwhelming response from last year was that they did. That has made us feel more comfortable about really going for it this year, which is why we've put on a much bigger event over three days. There are lots of different elements to it and it'll be a very different experience this time round, but there are some similarities to last year's event.

Why have you decided to stage a longer experience over three days?

We will have another launch event for the Rich List 2017 before it's published, but this three-day event is more about inspiring people to experience more. It's about giving them some motivational stories, about bringing the San Miguel brand to life and letting consumers understand what sits behind our brand in terms of its history and story, and also what it stands for and how it wants to engage with people. You never know, if we sell out we might put on an extra day - just like big concert gigs - but I'm not sure that will materialise. Three days was an optimum number for us to showcase everything we wanted to, and to allow people to experience the brand.

What experiences will you be staging and how do they relate to the Rich List concept?

There'll be talks and masterclasses - we've got people like Levison Wood, our brand ambassador, and he'll be inspiring people with stories about his travels and his photography. From a masterclass point of view, we've got Dinara Kasko, a very unique pastry chef from the Ukraine with a background in architecture, but she's traded steel, glass and concrete for chocolate, sugar and meringue and now creates what she calls 'edible architecture'. And at the event guests will get to make some of her creations. 

We also wanted to focus more this year on San Miguel the beer, so there's an opportunity to taste some beers that don't currently exist in the UK, which we're importing from Spain. We'll be complimenting the beers with food, and given that we have Spanish heritage as part of our brand DNA, the food will be influenced by Spanish ingredients and serves - featuring dishes like tapas and sharing plates. We'll also be linking the food to the journey that the brand's been on around the world. Dishes will be inspired by countries and cultures such as the Philippines, New York, Germany - the brand's been in lots of different places, so we'll be taking a range of influences but making sure there's a link back to the Spanish culture.

How will you be using virtual reality?

There'll be technology experiences as well. We're really excited about Birdly, a VR experience which recreates what it's like to fly like a bird. It's never been in the UK before, so the only way UK consumers can experience the technology is to come to the San Miguel Experience. Birdly offers a 360-degree VR experience, which replicates gliding like a bird across the New York skyline. The link back to the brand is that it's all about experiences, it's about pushing yourself and understanding that there is a different world out there and not everybody can do these things. So let's embrace technology. 

In terms of more practical experiences, we've also got Belinda Kirk, a 'social explorer' - she's all about physically inspiring people to get up and discover the great outdoors. She'll be there to get Londoners to rediscover London; there's a different side to the city that hasn't necessarily been seen - for example, she's done activities such as kayaking under the city's bridges, and it gives a different perspective to a landmark as iconic as Tower Bridge. We want people to leave feeling inspired, feeling like they can go and do something and live a richer life.

San Miguel debuted its Rich List concept last year, staging a launch event at Somerset House. 

More: Behind the brand - San Miguel

60 seconds with...Dharmesh Rana

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