Watch XLIVE’s interview with Brian Strickland CASE, Director of Sales, Live Events at Experient, from the XLIVE Annual Conference & Expo, December 9-12, 2018 in Las Vegas.
About Experient: “In today’s competitive business environment, event organizers are constantly being asked to deliver more. More attendees. More exhibitors and sponsors. More revenue. More innovation. More breakthrough insights to help event guests improve, personally and professionally. The “more” mandate shows no signs of slowing, and Experient is the event management partner you can rely on for outstanding support to deliver it. From concept to completion, we partner with clients to deliver exceptional experiences across the full spectrum of event touchpoints for all guests – attendees, exhibitors, sponsors, partners and you. In fact – it’s our organization’s mission: Perfecting the event experience®.”
[00:03] We’re here with Brian Strickland with Experient. Brian, how are you doing today?
[00:07] Great. How are you?
[00:08] I’m good. I’m excited to have bonded with you over our mutual lasik surgery! But, we’re here to talk about something even cooler than Lasik surgery. We’re here to talk about one of the leading event management companies in the world, Experient.
[00:32] Yeah! You know, I’m fortunate enough to have been there almost 20 years at this point. My background, I started out in traditional association and corporate meetings. Those were exciting, but about five years ago we had the chance to open our live events division, which we took a lot of those best practices and industry standards and industry buying power that we had, and moved it over more into the live event space where we found there were a lot of organizers who were really great at executing the event, what happened inside the turnstile, but they needed a lot of help executing what happened outside the turnstile. Whether that’s hotel contracts, or creating a better event experience, or vip services, we saw that as an opportunity where we can help this part of our industry grow.
[01:15] Right, and I know you guys are big on delivering more attendees, more exhibitors, more innovation, more sponsors, all of that good stuff. So how do you really bring that to the event space? To the live event world?
[01:27] Well, I think it starts by taking a step backwards, which is understanding what it’s like to be a consumer and what motivates those consumers throughout those buying experiences. So we’re lucky enough to have a group of people inside of our company that are neuroscientists and neuropsychologists, and we partner with some of the leading universities around the world to really understand why people are motivated to do the things they’re doing, and to hope our event organizers understand how knowing that data can be powerful to their event. So creating a more authentic or unique experience.
[02:00] That’s amazing. You wouldn’t think that those two worlds, psychology and live events, would come together like that.
[02:08] I don’t think that they did for a long time. Whether it was the marathon market, 15 or 20 years ago where there was Boston, New York, LA and a couple of other big ones in Chicago, and they really kind of had cornered the market and people went there, exclusively. I think that you see a world today in the marathon space where there’s a race almost every weekend, probably right in your backyard. So you really have to hold onto that idea of novelty. And I think that music festivals kind of came next. There were always those big festivals like Bonnaroo, and Coachella, which are still the cornerstones of the industry and it’s not to take away from their importance, but there are a lot of micro targeted music festivals that are created just for your tastes now. And you don’t have to spend five days at Bonnaroo to see the one artist you want. You can go to a festival that’s focused on the type of music that you want. So that all creates parody in our industry. And as we see the emerging esports market, I think that we’re trying to learn from what we saw the marathon market do and the music festival market do, to help esports be better engaged for their future success.
[03:18] That’s exciting. So with this new move into the live event space, what are some of the highlights for you? What are some of your favorite experiences that you guys have had through working together?
[03:29] Well, I think that the favorite experience that we all have is that moment when you see all of the science and data actually generate into something that’s tangible and real. We can talk all day long about cognitive bias, about ocular bias, but when you see the practices that you put in place to fundamentally understand the buying behavior of an individual and see them have a better experience from it, and maybe even see that pushed back out into the universe through social media or web or survey results, I think that’s when you walk away from it and feel really proud. And so for us it doesn’t really matter what type of event it is, we just need an organizer who’s willing to say, “I want to create a better experience for the people coming to my event”.
[04:17] Which goes right in line with your mission statement, “perfecting the event experience.”
[04:22] Correct. And it’s very aspirational, right? We’ll never perfect the event experience. We just want to make sure that we’re lining up our goals with our customers to point in that direction, and that we don’t stop trying to do that. I think that it’s the quest to have this perfected event experience that really motivates and drives our teams to interact with our customers in a very unique way.
[04:45] That is good! Good things happening with Experient.
[04:47] It’s an exciting time, and I think that we find that the live event space is a really great place to be, especially for our organization and what we believe in.
[04:56] And I’m sure your customers feel that way. So how about the potential future customers? How can they hear more about Experient and learn how you guys could really bring something to their live events to benefit them?
[05:06] Well, I think it starts with a conversation and us understanding what are your goals as an organizer? Where do you want to be? For some organizers, it’s we want more people. For others, it’s we want less people, we just want them to spend more money with us. So how do we use technology and the data and the science that we know and can apply, to help you meet those goals. But if we were to go in and just say this would work for everyone, I don’t think it would. We’re just not that type of organization. So I think we’re looking forward to meeting a lot of new faces here, and having a lot of new conversations.
[05:38] Well, I’ve enjoyed this conversation. It’s been great, thank you.
[05:41] Thank you!
[05:43] We’ll see you guys next time.
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