2020 Experiential Forecast: Our Biggest Bets for the New Year

2019 has been a year of evolving trends, and as we move into 2020, here are a few we are very excited to champion into this next decade.

1. The Wellness Movement shifts Focus to Mental Health

As a category, “Wellness” represents $4.6 trillion and spans health, beauty and fitness. Within the category, we’re witnessing a shift from a focus on physical health, to questions about mental health like, “how do I manage anxiety?” Brands are catching on and creating space to help their audiences navigate these tough questions with sound baths, meditation spaces, and self-reflection chambers. The brands getting the most traction, though, are the ones who show up authentically and truly add value to the conversation with brand values that align with their audiences’ and products that empower their consumer to take their wellness journey even farther. One brand we absolutely love partnering with, who leads the wellness charge, is goop. They’ve created experiences like their signature “In goop Health” summits which invite guests to explore and discover their own wellness journey. By authentically empowering their consumer, goop has cemented a cult-like following who regards the brand as their go-to wellness resource, and follows the brand and its summits around the world.

2. Drop Culture Creeps into New Categories

We’ve seen the fashion industry harness the power of Limited Releases,
Small Quantities, and Short Notice as a recipe to engage audiences around new products. But today, we’re seeing the same model recreated by other industries to harness the same spikes in interest. Travis Scott for example, to announce his Netflix Original Documentary, put a single post on instagram before making an appearance at a video store in Houston to “drop” a limited amount of VHS trailers that generated awareness, cemented community ties, deepened brand affinity, and ultimately pointed fans and followers to the actual release of the documentary which followed several days later in LA. It’s this calculated release of sensitive information in alignment with product experiences that builds a new approach to Experiential marketing, and we’re seeing the mechanic move out of just fashion into music, entertainment, and other categories who discover the power of The “Drop” experience to leverage engagement for exposure.

3. Global Citizens Build Community that Transcends Borders

While in Seoul, I slid into the 2020’s.. Last week, I was lucky enough to get a personalized tour of the House of BTS from the gracious team at Big Hit Entertainment, which was a total treat. As producers of these types of experiences, I went in with my producer hat on, ready to see some cool installations, major merch displays and took note of the 2 hour long line of fans from all over the world (which apparently remains any time of day) all waiting to get in and obsess, experience, buy, cry and connect with their ARMY (the fan base) community. But what I experienced tapped into a much bigger picture of global trends and community than just sheer fandom and products. With the monumental success of BTS – the world wide supergroup (so much bigger than K-Pop, let’s just say, the massively successful, sold out stadium touring artists) whose music streams in 97 countries and have more awards and broke more records than I possibly name, singing mostly in Korean, mange to bridge a more global audience and diverse fan base, from Korea to Saudi Arabia, US to Brazil, than we have seen in decades. As hyper-connected, global citizens we now build community transcending language, age, politics, race, and religion. etc.. The export of culture as a unifying force is the cultural movement we plan to champion in the2020’s… And just wait till their tour and pop ups hit the US in 2020!