Last week’s Illuminate gathering saw industry experts from all over the Bay Area discussing how to deliver innovative event experiences to attendees. We touched on the latest trends, interactive experiences, personalized content, and creative and stage designs.

The AVT team left feeling energized by the insights gained from panelists and audience alike and knew we needed to share with you, our virtual community. Please enjoy these top takeaways and advice from our Illuminate panelists: 


Experiential Marketing Goals

“The goal of experiential marketing is making connections between the audience and the brand. Find shared interests, desires, and goals, and creating an experience that reflects those. At a personal level, you want your audience to think ‘this brand and me.’ Extended to the event, it’s ‘this brand and me and this excellent moment I’m having,’ leaving a positive impression of the brand. This kind of experience can turn prospects to fans, fans to clients, and clients to advocates.

– John Murray, Owner, John Murray Productions


The Content Experience

“Content needs to be highly personalized, even at large events. Attendees are accustomed to experiencing relevant content and expect that to translate to live events. Don’t just serve content you want attendees to hear. Be cognizant of why someone’s attending and speak to that need. Live experience has to map to attendee expectations.”

– Sheila Hatch, Creative Director and President, Decca Design



Event Marketing is trending towards immersing users inside of digital content. It can create extreme loyalty. One thing I suggest is modeling your events after some of the most successful pieces of experiential content on the market: video games. They provide a story and let the user become the hero, allow for a rich and rewarding experience, and use technology to connect and engage. Most importantly, they’re immersive. What could be better than an attendee completely immersed in (read engaged with) your event for 1-3 days?

– Justin Gelinas, Co-Founder & Chief Creative Officer, Britelite Immersive


The Illuminate Audience

“The audience indicated a real interest in helping their employers and clients rise above the noise with innovative and memorable event experiences (at a reasonable price). Attending educational panels like Illuminate and working with vendors who can come to them with “state of the art” ideas and a good sense of the next big thing allows them to accomplish this.”

– Steve Maller, Founder, Mallermedia



“This event once again reminded me how important it is to collaborate with your peers. Everyone gets so busy; we forget that connecting face-to-face and discussing the issues that we all face provides some of the most useful insights.”

– Sheila Hatch, Creative Director and President, Decca Design



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