• February 8, 2024

The Age of Re-enchantment: Why events need to deliver on emotion

The Age of Re-enchantment: Why events need to deliver on emotion

The Age of Re-enchantment: Why events need to deliver on emotion 1024 683 micebook.

Brands and businesses have a huge opportunity to bring the emotion back into events to tap into a growing demand for reconnection, joy and awe-inspiring experiences, according to Marie Stafford, Global Director of VML Intelligence.

In her session on ‘The Age of Re-Enchantment’ at our recent micebook EXPO, Stafford shared insights from VML’s global trends report on the topic, released last year.

The report highlighted the growing sense of detachment, unease and fear in people’s lives, with technology often making us feel more disconnected from one another and the real world. Most people (85%) feel that people seem to have less time for one another, while 67% feel that tech makes us more detached from the real world.

This is leading to ‘generation dread’ – a generation of individuals who are worried about the future, with concerns ranging from inflation and mental health to inequity and climate change.

Stafford said: “What we found is that people are craving more emotion and there is a growing yearning for re-enchantment. People are sitting there with open arms saying I want to feel something. I want to feel alive. Three-quarters of people said they are waiting for something good to happen – maybe you could be the ones to fulfil that need.”

She believes there is a huge opportunity for brands to create experiences that connect people in a more meaningful way and create moments of joy and surprise – 65% of people say brands should make for effort to wow me, and 70% can’t remember the last time a brand did anything that excited me.

“The reward is that people are more likely to spend on something if it delivers emotionally.” Stafford suggests we should start thinking in terms of emotional brand KPIs. “What is the value you deliver on terms of the emotional payback? What is the emotional reward that you are going to deliver and how are you going to make people feel?”

She talked about considering at brand metrics such as heart swells, spine tingles and jaw drops and creating experiences that make people feel joy and awe.

“Lots of people shy away from darker emotions. But what psychologists tell us is it’s important to allow all emotions to be felt, not just the positive ones, and this is something that companies can also lean into, but in a more measured way, particularly with younger generations,” she said. For example, 66% of Gen Z and millennials like to feel a few goosebumps every now and then.

People also like experiences with an element of mystery, surprise, and even absurdism, especially Gen Z.

While Stafford shared many examples of forward-thinking brands that are doing some exciting things to surprise consumers in the B2C space, she added: “I think it applies to all events and experiences. It’s anywhere where we touch the consumer and engage with them. That consumer could be B2B, B2C or anyone attending your events.”

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