Window on the World: Global trends you need to know about (part two)

In the second of a two-part series, Brea Carter takes a look at four global opportunities that are worth pursuing.

Ballantine's plans to roll out its Prestige Taste Experience across the globe
Ballantine's plans to roll out its Prestige Taste Experience across the globe

Ballantine's continues to expand its global footprint

The Scotch whisky brand delivered music events in cities including Johannesburg, Moscow, Edinburgh and Barcelona in 2015, as part of its Stay True Journeys campaign in partnership with music broadcaster

"Throughout the series of events, artistes who resonate with Ballantine's' 'stay true' mantra - those who got to where they are because of authenticity and passion - are celebrated," says Tom Elton, senior global brand manager at Ballantine's Finest.

"Ballantine's has renewed its partnership with for 2016, and there will be a further five events, starting with Brazil on 21 January," he adds.

Last year also saw the immersive Ballantine's Blending Experience pop-up visit airports in Paris and Warsaw, where travellers were encouraged to stop by to learn about how Ballantine's blends are created. The brand also launched a digital table experience, known as the Prestige Taste Experience, in London, which it plans to roll out across the globe.

Digital experiences and reusable spaces in the United States

Scott Cullather, global managing partner at New York-based agency Invnt, explains that brands are moving towards online experiences, as digital becomes the accepted mode of communication.

"Digital brands, from Amazon and Seamless to Fresh Direct, are truly changing the way people shop," he says. "Bricks-and-mortar stores are struggling to remain relevant. Storing inventory in mid-town Manhattan no longer works from a business perspective, as rents soar and shoppers shy away, to click, order and receive shipping online." 

Cullather believes the physical store needs to evolve into an 'experiential playground' that delivers unique experiences if it is to remain relevant.

"One trend that is slowly gaining traction is the use of physical stores as theatrical, educational, storytelling platforms to inspire consumers, engender a sense of desire in them, and aspire them to co-create with the brand," he says.

"Some brands have begun to use their space to give consumers a real treat, and then drive them online to make their purchase," he adds.

Reusable and older, redeveloped spaces are proving popular sites in which to host events in the US, a trend Cullather believes shows no signs of slowing down in 2016.

"Spaces that allow for clever, multipurpose and inexpensive makeovers will continue to be highly sought after. Even as the economy recovers, the old days of expensive and wasteful event decor have generally gone away," he says.

Taipei performing arts centre

The Taiwanese capital's Taipei Performing Arts Centre is set to open in 2016.

The building features a cube structure that is clad in corrugated glass, sits above the ground and includes three theatres.

The Proscenium Playhouse is designed to resemble a suspended planet docking with the cube, and includes an inner and outer 'shell' that guests walk through to gain access to the space. The Grand Theatre is slightly asymmetrical, and its stage level, parterre and balcony are located on one plane. Situated opposite the Grand Theatre, the Multiform Theatre is a flexible space that can accommodate performances.

A Super Theatre can be created by combining both the Grand Theatre and the Multiform Theatre.

Stockholm receives an immersive Mamma Mia! experience

Stockholm welcomed an immersive experience coined 'Mamma Mia! The Party' in January. Situated within restaurant Tyrol near the Abba Museum, the space captures the atmosphere of the Mamma Mia! musical and film, and is the brainchild of former band member Bjorn Ulvaeus.

Each four-hour event takes place within the fictional venue of Nikos Taverna on the Greek island of Skopelos, where the movie was filmed. It is complete with olive trees, fountains and scents of the Mediterranean, and is available to book for large groups.

Guests can expect Mamma Mia! inspired singing and dancing acts, a Mediterranean buffet, arrival drink and costumes.

More: Window on the World - Global trends you need to know about (part one)

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