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Why Virtual Reality is a Brand Event Essential

Category: Blog Post// Tags: Tags: , , ,
// Date: June 25, 2018

Above all, experiential events must be IMMERSIVE. We’re sure you’ve heard this before, but we can’t reiterate it enough! An immersive and engaging experience is an unforgettable one.

We jump at the chance to integrate virtual reality into our events, as it allows us to quite literally immerse our guests in carefully, custom-designed worlds. According to Garner, the definitive guide to emerging technologies, virtual reality isn’t going to become mainstream for 5-10 years. However, the event industry loves to stay ahead of the crowd, and we’ve already welcomed VR technology as a huge trend that isn’t going anywhere!

Virtual and augmented realities are leading the charge for creating unique experiences for guest, and are a fantastic way to ensure a healthy ROI. Here’s everything to know about these headset gizmos, and why they’re the perfect addition to your event.

What actually is virtual reality?

Virtual reality (VR) is artificial, computer-generated simulation, and it’s as amazing as it sounds! It’s an immersive (there’s that word again) experience that uses headsets to block out real-world visions. VR allows you to transport your guests – minus the flight costs- to any destination, and give them a 360-degree view of entirely new worlds.

Augmented reality (AR) is a little different, as it marries computer-generated images and reality. A great example is Pokemon Go: even though a rare Pokemon wasn’t actually hiding somewhere in Central Park in 2016, AR technology blended the real and virtual worlds to make it appear so, and people went WILD for it.

Why should we use it?

 

#1 For memorable brand experiences

Millennials today value experiences over material items- and we couldn’t agree more! However, a spot in someone’s memory bank is a precious and privileged spot to have, so you’re going to have to earn it. Providing a custom-made experience unlike any other is a good way to start, as you can leave your guests with a unique, unforgettable memory that they’ll treasure as one of their greatest.

We love using VR in our events, and always make sure it’s fitting with the overall message of your brand.

Recently we teamed up with The Annenberg Foundation to kick-off Opening Night at the Annenberg Space for Photography, launching the ‘Cuba Is’ exhibit. We know how to run wild with a theme, and were eager to take the Cuban-inspired event to a whole other dimension.

We used VR to give guests the feeling of strolling along Cuba’s soulful seaside boulevard, Malecon. And people loved it! It was an amazingly fun, fresh and exciting addition to our event, and really helped to create an everlasting impression.

#2 For increased engagement levels

VR gives you a unique way to demo your products, and provides users with first-hand experience of how awesome your brand is. Using VR for product demos actually increases sales by 135%– and the facts speak for themselves!

We believe that giving guests the opportunity to fully engage with your brand or product is the best way for them to realise how badass it is. Plus, as a society we love to (over)share, so if you create an event worth sharing, people won’t be able to stop themselves from spreading the word about how much fun they had- to everyone and anyone willing to listen!

#3 For marketing automation

If you’re running an experiential marketing campaign, you’re going to want analyse the results and see how well your efforts paid off.

When working with traditional live marketing campaigns, like giveaways and samples, it’s really hard to capture enough consumer data to work with. VR makes it incredibly easy to capture consumer data, before during and after the experience. You can track how many people participate, how long they spend engaged with your VR experience, and whether they keep coming back for more and engage with it again.

Being an evolving technology, VR has a tremendous potential for creating distinguishing experiences. We use VR to create rich, life-enhancing experiences that connect people to one another. We make sure each VR experience is tailored specifically to your brand, and will help create an unforgettable event. Our LA and NY teams at this is LESTER love mixing the real and virtual world to create memorable, extraordinary design concepts and brand experiences. If you are as captivated by all things techy as we are, hit us up! We can’t wait to get creating together.

How to Find the Perfect NYC Event Space

Category: Blog Post// Tags: Tags: , , , ,
// Date: June 19, 2018

The Met Gala, the 2018 GRAMMY Awards, and Times Square New Years Eve: All iconic events in their own right known for their decadence, A-list guest-list, and, most importantly, outrageous venues. If you want your brand experience to be equally fantastic (and who says it can’t?!), you’ll need to find an equally impressive event space.

In New York, we are spoilt for choice. We love NYC’s unbeatable skyline, and are forever conjuring up new, unforgettable ways to transform such stunning architecture. However, unless you’re completely in the know, finding THE perfect venue can be a chore. Here’s what we always consider (and you should too!) before locking down the hottest spots.

Why does it matter?

Whether it’s a black-tie affair, campaign launch, or sultry, raucous afterparty, finding the perfect location elevates an event from great to INCREDIBLE.

Finding a distinctive and exceptional event space shows you appreciate all the support for your brand, and want to do something to repay the favour! Marketing, spatial design and custom fabrication can only come after the venue is booked, so we recommend getting ahead and looking around ASAP (no pressure).

Whereabouts should you look?

Location is key! And as much as a remote island in the Mediterranean sounds appealing, you need to pick somewhere that’s easily accessible to your guests.

Unfortunately, if you’re throwing a celebration in the middle of NYC you’ll need to consider a dreaded reality…traffic. We’d NEVER want you to have to cancel a guest speaker because they’re stuck across town, and that’s why we recommend being as meticulous as possible with your planning.

In 2012, we created a global media event to celebrate Cedella Marley teaming up with Puma to design her first clothing line for the Jamaican Olympic Team. With many outstanding venues in the running, we knew we needed a central location to accommodate our guests busy with Fashion Week (like Vogue Paris, Vogue Milan, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, W).

The venue we chose was stark white, but it’s location made it the perfect spot, and we quickly Jamaica-fied it with wayfinding decals and graffiti-style creative instalments to create something spectacular.

While it was easy to transform a Manhattan venue into a Jamaican haven, it would have been impossible to physically move it. Had we gone with a venue further afield, many of our guests would have missed out on our Jamaican celebration, so make sure to prioritize location, and make it as easy as possible for guests to attend.

Consider capacity

No artist wants their highly anticipated exhibition ruined by overcrowding and general chaos, right? Not only will this ruin the vibe, but it will also breach some serious fire and safety codes.

When choosing your location, you’ll need to consider the size and layout to make sure you can fill it up just right. Walk around your faves with this handy checklist, and try and mentally map out your event as you go:

  • Where are outlets?
  • Is the space accessible for all?
  • Where are the high traffic areas, like doors and registration?
  • Are you going to need a bar?
  • A stage?
  • A space for people to stand and admire your amazing installations?

Make sure to also request illustrated floor plans from the get-go, as this will make it so much easier when it comes to designing installations later on!

Make sure it’s got that WOW factor

We’re not saying every event must be held in a French Renaissance castle (although there’s an idea), but you do want your event space to give off a certain je ne sais quoi.

We understand how important it is to stay on brand, so look at the existing décor of potential venues to see if they match with your own brand’s image or message. The less the ambiance matches the desired feel of your event, the more you’ll have to transform it.

Ultimately, only you know when the venue is right for you. Here at this is LESTER, we love to meet and exceed expectations, and we’re bursting with unconventional, fantastic ways to re-invent traditional event spaces with insane décor and installations.  We pay attention to every single detail of an event to create seamless, spectacular experiences that are unique to you. If you have any queries about booking an event space here in our fabulous city, or would like advice on how to create the venue of your dreams, give us a bell, or drop into our NY office on 243 5th Ave for a chat- the coffee is on us!

The Summer 2018 Event Trends you Don’t Want to Miss

Category: Blog Post// Tags: Tags: , , , ,
// Date: June 14, 2018

 

The interior design of your event is going to be the first impression you give to your guests when they walk in…so don’t you want to nail it?

Filling a room with assorted décor (you know- party streamers, balloons and paper plates) just isn’t going to cut it in 2018! An event can only be made perfect by an equally perfect design concept, which expresses the personality or message of your brand in a cohesive and flawless way.

We love coming up with innovative and badass concepts, and are savvy at understanding, predicting, and creating new design trends. If you want to be in the loop on upcoming event trends, check out our pick of the hottest styles that are going to be popping up everywhere this summer.

 

It’s all about the #tb

Grab your flares for this one as we’re throwing it back! It’s as if the Bee Gees knew ‘70s trends would be stayin alive, as retro décor is back this summer- bigger, better and more vibrant than ever.

Think bold prints, structural glass, and an abundance of velvet. The electric aesthetics of the ‘80s are also energetically bursting onto the scene, and we’re here for this retro revival! 2018 isn’t just a copycat of decades past: It’s all about a fresh take, and spicing up vintage eras with a modern flair, so expect the unexpected.

 

2018’s bold color code

The past few years have been dominated by neutral colors: In 2016 Pantone named Rose Quartz and Serenity as its Color(s) of the Year, and we all saw millennial pink dominating fashion, restaurants…and all of our Insta feeds.

Well that’s all a-changing this summer, as our favorite bright colors are back in the game. Event design is going BOLD, and we’re forgoing creamy pastels for warm ‘70s and vivid ‘80s tones. Gold is (rightfully) regaining its crown as the color of the season, and we’re seeing it mixed with bold purples, warm yellows and bright oranges for an iconic, luxurious look.

 

Think non-traditional spaces

Finally we get to say goodbye to conventional conference rooms, and hello to unique, intimate venues! This summer we’re thinking outside the box/building, as unconventional spaces are becoming increasingly popular. Try an al fresco poolside celebration or sunlit after-party to exude effortless glamour, and make your event a truly memorable experience.

We are thrilled with the sudden excitement over exclusive, sensational locations. We’ve worked in some fantastic venues, including 30 Rockefeller Plaza, where we designed and produced an action-packed day to get people excited for the NBC Locals Only Campaign.

It was epic, and we really appreciated being able to personalize and transform such classic architecture with over 500 feet of hand-drawn cityscapes. The event garnered a lot of positive interest, and the stunning venue could not have been more perfect for creating an unforgettable experience.

 

Think all things techy

We love interweaving technological installations into our brand experiences, and the event world seems to agree! With event tech becoming more reasonably priced (yay!), expect to see a steady rise of gadgets and gizmos at events.

While drones are nothing new, these little guys have rightfully earned their spot at summer soirees. With new advanced controls and an impressive quality capture service, they’re great for event documentation, and getting stunning aerial shots.

The other hot trend is Artificial Intelligence. AI has been hyped up for years, but it’s only really starting to have its moment. We can’t promise robot bartenders, but more brands are using Chatbots to speedily answer attendee questions, both during the event, and before it on apps like Facebook Messenger. Nearly all of us already use Siri or Amazon Echo, so this seems like a natural step.

 

And finally, the most unusual trend of the season…

Pets.

When goat yoga burst onto the scene as the most adorable fitness fad ever, we had no idea what was in store. Our beloved household pets are now getting a taste of experiential action, as people are being encouraged to bring their pets to parties, and even festivals.

We’ve all heard of dog and cat cafes, where you can enjoy a coffee while basking in the company of furry friends, but next time you attend an event, it’s worth checking to see if your four-legged companion is also on the guest list.

As much as we love event industry trends, they never control us. Here at this is LESTER, we are creators, and we’re constantly pioneering new and spectacular ways to showcase your brand. If you need creative direction, our LA and NY teams are innovative geniuses and custom fabrication whizzes! We’d love to bring your fantastical events and campaigns to life, so get in contact- all of our deets are here.

 

How to Get Started with Experiential Marketing Campaigns

Category: Blog Post// Tags: Tags: , , ,
// Date: June 8, 2018

 

Brand events and other work related dos have got something of a bad rep. You know the ones we’re talking about – stuffy conference rooms, name badges, and a weird mix of cheese and pineapple canapés!

Well, the days of awkward event small talk are over!! Experiential marketing is blowing up right now, and it can be your most powerful tool to transform your events or marketing campaigns from nada to Prada. Done well, you can create the most badass, creative experience for your audience that will completely bowl them over and increase their affinity to your brand. Win win, right?

We’re not claiming that the following pearls of wisdom are going to magically transform you into an experiential design guru. Nevertheless, there are a few basics you can, nay, SHOULD, learn before you dive into creating an immersive and unforgettable brand experience.

#1 What’s the point?

If you’ve pulled your hair out trying to put an event or campaign together chances are you started out without identifying a clear goal. We know experiential design is having a moment, but jumping on the bandwagon just to blend in could seriously backfire or at least cost you a pretty penny and not give you a lot in return.

Instead, develop a strategy and have a clear vision in your mind. Sit yourself down and ask what you hope to achieve, and the lasting impact you want this experience to have. Nailing down the prime objective will help you in deciding how best to promote your product, service or brand.

As an example, if your goal is to prove how comfortable your new super amazing bowling shoe is, then giving people a chance to try the shoe seems like a logical way to showcase this benefit. Perhaps a pop-up bowling lane at a popular sporting event where people can try the shoe for themselves.

Alternatively, if the goal is to convince people your bowling shoe is indestructible – perhaps a demonstration with fire may be more appropriate.

Once you have a concept and core message, the rest of the glitz and glamour can follow.

 

#2 Don’t be afraid to get creative

You definitely want your brand experience to be a stand out event. So don’t hesitate to get a little crazy.

For our project with Task Rabbit, an online marketplace for handymen services, we built a tiny home in 72 hours right in the middle of New York’s Meatpacking District. It was disruptive, informative and generated a lot of positive interest. Including some fabulous free publicity from awesome publications like CNN Money and inhabitat. In the end our beautiful tiny home was auctioned off raising $26K for charity.

This entirely unique project was a huge success and showcased Task Rabbit’s offerings perfectly while building brand awareness and interest. A little creativity can go a long way so try to think outside the box.

 

#3 Get techy with it

The physical and digital worlds are no longer mutually exclusive – don’t we live in amazing times?? Technological installations are a great way to fully immerse your guests in the experience you’ve created, and captivate all of their senses.

We honestly live for augmented and virtual reality experiences. They’re really cool and deliver high emotional engagement, which means they’re pretty great for creating memorable brand experiences. You can decide how intrusive you want these to be at your event: go low-key with a VR game in the corner, or take note from Rihanna’s recent Savage X Fenty launch and go full on extra with holographic installations of yourself all over the venue – we won’t judge.

 

#4 Spread the love

The most realistic and immersive experiences get the greatest emotional response, so give your guests a valuable takeaway and create an overwhelmingly positive lasting impression.

We’re not saying make it so emotional that they start weeping, but if they leave feeling their lives have been enriched in some way, you will have improved their connection with your brand and got yourself some loyal supporters. Pay attention to every little detail so your attendees have a smooth and untarnished experience.

 

#5 Trust the Pros

This might all sound like a lot. But, in the famous words of the king of pop MJ, “You are not alone”. Here at this is LESTER, our teams in LA and New York are experiential marketing masterminds. We specialize in creating unforgettable, extraordinary design concepts and branded experiences, and can help turn your simple ideas into jaw-dropping events and creations. If you’re ready to get creative, inspired, and maybe a lil wild, we would LOVE to hear from you. You can also check out some of our previous work here.

Halloween

Category: Uncategorized // Date: October 31, 2017

BOO!

Annenberg Foundation

Category: Uncategorized // Date: September 26, 2017

And by the way, LA, this exhibit is totally worth seeing and it’s up until March 9th, 2018! Check it out: https://www.annenbergphotospace.org/exhibits/cuba-is

Equal Rights Amendment

Category: Uncategorized // Date: July 18, 2017

Watch this!!One of the amazing ladies from the enso hackathon, Ali Vingiano, created a BuzzFeed video about the ERA and it’s AWESOME. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T04h2PloDk4

Equal Rights Amendment (ERA)

Category: Blog Post // Date: July 13, 2017

80% of Americans believe women are guaranteed equal rights in the Constitution.

Newsflash. They aren’t.


WHAT IS THE EQUAL RIGHTS AMENDMENT (ERA)?

Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.

Sounds pretty reasonable, right?

First proposed in Congress in 1923, the ERA is the only way to provide legal equality of the sexes and prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex. In 1982, it fell three states short of the 38 needed for ratification. It remains the only clear-cut way to protect against all legal gender-based discrimination in the US, and is supported by 94% of Americans (source).

Without the ERA, women are not federally guaranteed basic rights, like:
equal pay / protection against gender-based violence / reproductive health care / bodily safety

You can TAKE ACTION Here: https://www.passtheera.co/tools, and use these amazing assets to spread the word!


THANK YOU Enso.co
, for bringing awareness and taking action towards this extremely important cause. We were very pleased for founder, Lesley Morphy, to take part.

https://www.passtheera.co/

Farmville & Amex Collaboration

Category: Blog Post // Date: May 8, 2017

SO. MUCH. FUN. This project was da cutest. Amex was thrilled at their partnership with Farmville and we had the pleasure of bringing this indredibly dynmaic tree to life.
Have a look at our process!

Sage Advice

Category: Blog Post // Date:

Who you hang out with determines what you dream about and what you collide with.
And the collisions and the dreams lead to your changes.
And the changes are what you become.
Change the outcome by changing your circle.

Seth Godin

this is OUR CULTURE

The ‘this is LESTER’ team are artists first. Creativity is our lifeblood. We’re fueled by a cocktail of inspiration, imagination and audacity. We take time to understand your brand or client, the message and mission and find experiential ways to give that meaning and impact in the real world.

this is Dreaming

First and foremost, we’re a team of creatives that think in terms of what could be, not what has come before.

this is Doing

We’ve been in the business 15 years. We know what it takes to make an experience go off without a hitch. We sweat the small stuff and are pedantic when it comes to production.

this is Real

We show up to our work with all that we’ve got. We’re raw, real and brimming with passion for what we do and a commitment to honoring our creativity… and having fun a little fun as we go.

this is Connected

We don’t work in a vacuum. We get off on collaborating with top artists, originators and influencers to heighten the creative vision.

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