Let us entertain you: 10 examples of experiential best in class

Let us entertain you: 10 examples of experiential best in class

There have been many experiential events in recent years. From the US to the UAE, here are just a few that have captured the public’s imagination


  • Events
  • Innovation

1) Nike Makers’ Experience

In 2017, Nike launched its cutting-edge Nike Makers’ Experience, enabling consumers to create highly personalised footwear in the brand’s dedicated, state-of-the-art New York studio. Following the campaign’s huge success, Nike has subsequently transformed hundreds of events around the world with pop-up shops, in which Nike athletes bring tablets and work one-on-one with guests to personalise their shoes.

2) Mad Scientist Event

In 2015, a virtual reality start-up held a mad scientist party to thank their partners who helped to push their technology to the industry fore. The event, held at the iconic Exploratorium on the Pier in San Francisco, featured interactive exhibits, walk-around entertainment and Nitrogen drinks. There were also Bar-Bots, robots who mixed and served signature drinks for high impact entertainment. The guests were the star of their own evening, hopping on stage to play Rock Band Karaoke, a cross between the classic sing-along, backed with a full band for an elevated component that wowed guests.

3) Lean Cuisine’s #WeighThis

In a massive industry pivot away from diet marketing, Lean Cuisine erected a huge wall in Grand Central Station and asked women how they would prefer to be weighed, separate from body weight. Women could ‘weigh in’ with a professional sign-painter who would write down how each wanted to weigh herself — whether it was by the amount of love they gave their family, the amount of happiness they brought to the world or their education. The installation and message, which launched in 2015, inspired women to engage with the experience and garnered more than 211 million impressions.  

4) David Lloyd’s ‘Run for Your Bun’ Café

In 2017, the gym and fitness club, David Lloyd, created a hugely successful pop-up café in central London where guests paid for food by completing a 10-minute high intensity workout. The venue was deliberately placed in an area that attracted high footfall of the target audience – office workers who may struggle with living a more active lifestyle, and subsequently caused a big stir.

5) Masters of Dirt

In 2015, DXB Live transformed an exhibition hall into an extreme sporting pit in preparation for Masters of Dirt, the much-anticipated freestyle bike show. Targeting bike aficionados as well as families, the show lasted four days and featured 17 international freestyle motocross riders, BMX riders, mountain bikers, quad bikers and snowmobile riders, as well as two fire cube artists, a fire-breathing dance and stunt troupe and a live DJ.  

6) The Kia Dream Chute

For the 2014 launch of the Kia Soul, Kia transformed a section of London’s Westfield Shopping Centre with a two-storey, fire engine red slide for adults, reinforcing the brand’s fun and youthful brand values. With a built-in camera, those sliding down the Dream Chute could take home pictures of the experience as a souvenir. The event, part of the brand’s ‘ready to roll’ campaign, was highly successful, smashing data capture lead generation targets by 29 percent.

7) GE: Healthymagination

In 2017, General Electric invited industry professionals to experience its Healthymagination initiative, which promotes global healthcare solutions, especially in developing parts of the world. To help people see the impact of this initiative, the company created ‘movie sets’ that represented three healthcare environments where Healthymagination work took place: a rural African clinic, an urban clinic and an emergency room. The aim was to enable doctors to share their stories live, in front of 700 attendees and illustrate how GE’s healthcare technology played a major role in each setting. The campaign won major awards, generated substantial media attention from CNN and the Associated Press, and saw GE exceed its sales goals by 140 percent.

8) Game launch

The Box SF, a historic loft space in San Francisco, hosted a game launch in which the venue was transformed into a 1930s newspaper office working to deadline. Customers entered the space and enjoyed drinks and nibbles, while employees continued working, making it an authentic and thoroughly fun experience.

9) HBO Escape Rooms at SXSW 2017

Riding the wave of popularity around escape rooms, television network HBO created a mega ‘Escape The Room’ experience at music festival SXSW 2017, combining three separate rooms into one huge mystery. Each room was a recreated set of a popular HBO show: Veep, Silicon Valley and Game of Thrones.

10) GCAA Montreal Elections 2016

Two locations on different sides of the world were united at the GCAA Montreal Elections 2016. DXB Live created a gala dinner experience to highlight the UAE’s achievements within the aviation industry, and to provide a platform to share the best of the country’s culture in Montreal. The journey included a walk route activation path scattered with UAE facts; a welcome area, which showcased all seven emirates; and 3D mapping on the building façade showing landmarks such as Abu Dhabi Grand Mosque and the Burj Khalifa. It also featured a cyber illusionist, a choir and Arabic band.