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Technology is ushering in a new and exciting way for brands to connect with audiences – and new research has found that experientialism is the way to consumers’ hearts. Half (50%) of UK consumers want to physically participate in events – not just watch them.

New European research, commissioned by global technology firm Epson, entitled “The Experiential Future”, has highlighted the attitudes of consumers towards participating in events and attractions. The research sought views on the use of immersive technologies at events and attractions including large-scale projections, interactive displays, holograms, virtual and augmented reality.

Millennials are the demographic most attracted to this type of event. Nearly two-thirds (63%) of survey respondents in this age range have taken part in or attended an experiential event or attraction over the last 12 months, whilst more than half (57%) believe that immersive technology isn’t used enough at events. Over a fifth of Millennials (22%) and 17% of Generation Z and have even attended an experiential event outside their home country, as well as 17% of Generation XThis shows that businesses employing these elements stand to gain clear financial advantages, whilst highlighting how the wider tourism economy stands to benefit as a result. Six-in-ten (60%) Millennials also agree that they prefer events or attractions that include an experiential element, followed by 53% of Generation Z, 41% of Generation X and 32% of Baby Boomers.

A visitor experience that triggers emotions and creates a powerful connection is not just crucial for venues and hospitality businesses to attract new consumers; it’s also key to drawing people back. Nearly two-thirds (64%) of Millennials would revisit an experiential event, as well as nearly half of Generation X (49%) and Generation Z (49%), as well as over a third of Baby Boomers (36%) – demonstrating that experiential technologies help drive customer engagement for return visits.

“New technologies are drastically changing the nature of attractions and events. These findings show that businesses must harness the power of experiential elements not just to drive footfall, but to encourage repeat business. Millennials, Baby Boomers and Gen-Zers all want immersive events and attractions; now it’s up to organisations to deliver on those expectations,” comments Neil Colquhoun, Vice President CISMEA and Professional Displays, Epson Europe B.V.

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