May 05, 2015

Keep your events behind closed doors

Well, it’s safe to say secret events are no secret anymore, with the likes of Secret Cinema, Gingerline and Red Bull’s dial-a-rave. As the rise for the immersive experience came about, so did opportunities for these kind of events. But what is it that draws people to these events and what can you do to keep tempting people back? Well, let’s cut to the chase and dig in!

Firstly, let’s take a tour down memory lane. With our dire human need to connect to one another and find a sense of belonging, most, if not all of us can remember forming part of or being excluded from a secret club; one that came with a secret code. If you can’t remember, this should ring a few bells:

Sometimes getting in was as easy as saying open sesame, but if you really wanted to gain social acceptance you’d probably have to bark up the right tree (literally).

Secondly, these secret clubs also provided us with a place where we could be whoever we wanted to be, where we lived outside the realm of parental authority. They almost gave us a place to escape from the real world, and it’s no different today really. This is partially where the Secret Cinema concept has come in and done so well, as people are asked to come in as their alter egos, only living by rules their characters set out for them.

On the other hand, it also gives us that bit of fame we’ve always hoped for by immersing ourselves in the movie. Just like mum, dad or grandma often told us ‘you’re special’, and being part of such an exclusive community satisfies that notion. Mum, dad and gran were right all along!

To say the least, these ‘experiences’ provide us with a venue for self-expression. They give us a backbone to share our story with like minded beings. Red Bull saw this opportunity, grabbed it by the wings and fueled it by the increasing trend in raving and the rise of the 90s child. Essentially, they acknowledged the era of the Millennials paying homage to illegal raves, whereby you’d have to phone a number to find out details about the party, but coupled it with social media, instead, giving people a hashtag to follow.

Gingerline has equally seized this opportunity, but alternatively given the foodie a sniff of the pie and awaited the last minute before giving him/her a slice. A bit like Secret Cinema and Red Bull, they create a build up prior to the event swearing everyone to secrecy. All you know is that you’re going to eat and have some sort of interactive experience in a secret location. A few hours prior to the event you are sent a text with the location you are to go to.

What these three organisations do is properly acknowledge their audience and respond to them. By understanding their needs, wants and the time they come from they are able to rope in a community that are passionate about the content of their event, thus creating a positive vibe. At the same time they are able to add surprise and a sense of belonging. They also do a mighty good job of satisfying human curiosity by giving their audience just enough hints of what’s to come, just like the minion movie has done.

So folks, when throwing your next event, perhaps you’d like to keep the cat in the bag!
If this has sparked your curiosity and left you wanting to learn more about the idea of building a tribe and why we share, then take a chapter out of Seth Godin’s life, and check out his Ted Talk.

by Emma Brincat