Over the last 10-15 years something amazing has been going on – quietly, often secretly, always with a huge amount of surprise and delight. Immersive events and parties are probably the biggest thing you don’t hear that much about, unless you’ve been to one yourself, in which case the memory is likely to be vivid and long-lasting.
What is an immersive event?
Immersive experiences date back to 2000 when a handful of theatre companies started challenging the way actors and audiences interact, pushing the boundaries and encouraging greater involvement. Fast forward a few years and Secret Cinema took the concept to a new level, creating pop-up cinemas in abandoned buildings and immersing the audience in each film’s theme, era and style – 28 Days Later put the audience slap bang in the middle of a zombie apocalypse, Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge saw the audience step back in time to 19th century Paris and an array of colourful and vibrant live performances. The whole experience at such an event is exciting, absorbing and totally mind-blowing – it’s visual, it’s visceral, it’s intoxicating, what better way to spend a few hours!
The concept of immersive events works brilliantly whether it’s an event for twenty people or 200 and it’s something that has filtered down from mass participation events to private events and parties. From our experience it’s something that has started to capture the imagination of clients wanting to throw a party that has an extra dimension. An immersive event provides that extra dimension plus a massive wow factor – and an unforgettable experience.
Transforming a party into an immersive experience
What makes an immersive party successful is absolute commitment to the chosen theme and attention to detail from beginning to end to create a convincing setting – you can’t go in half-hearted, it has to be all or nothing. Throw in some very talented actors who are brilliant at staying in character and can improvise for hours on end and you’ll see even your shyest guests entering into the spirit of the event.
We love working on immersive parties and events. It’s fantastic when a client starts to talk about their favourite movie or TV show – they get excited, we get excited, creative ideas start flying around, planning and organising an immersive event is almost as much fun as being there on the night! We had a great time devising and creating an immersive Sherlock party for one client’s 30th birthday celebration, and another client’s favourite film, Back to the Future, gave us the opportunity to recreate the 1950s inside a marquee, which was an amazing transformation.
The guest experience at an immersive event is unlike any other party. But you may need to give your friends and family a few hints when you’re sending out invitations. Creating an immersive event around The Great Gatsby will really only work if everyone enters wholeheartedly into the theme and guests dress appropriately for the theme – turning up in jeans and t-shirts would leave those guests feeling uncomfortable. You don’t have to spoil the surprise of what will happen on the night, just give enough information so that your guests arrive ready and raring to go. We’ve found that it works well to provide props and accessories – more reticent guests often feel more ready to play dress-up once they’ve relaxed into the atmosphere.
Thinking of making your next party an immersive event? Give MGN events a call and we’ll help bring your ideas to life!