In 2012, when we launched the exhibition “Swarovski Sparkling Secrets” in Shanghai guests entered through a keyhole intro a crystal maze and were drawn into an iridescent blue room that revealed the stories and traditions of Swarovski through interactive media. While the opening night event was meant to be exclusive and private, everywhere I looked fans were taking photos of participants trying on different dresses and posting them on Chinese social media. The event was now public and inclusive.
The New Yorker recently commented the same about Robert Wilson’s experiential installation for Hermes, which showed off its home collection. “Roughly a hundred per cent of them pulled out their phones to take pictures—Instagramming in lieu of contemplating.” Wilson talks about how the lights from smartphones drive him crazy, often destroying the effect of all the adjustments he makes to a space. #HermesHere Elsewhere trended on Instagram. This makes us recall Adele’s recent response to a woman on her phone during her concert in Italy. “You can enjoy it in real life, rather than through your camera.”
As event producers we can only embrace this trend. Social media and smart phones are not going anywhere. So this time around, when we produced an event last week for Swarovski where we embraced social media by tweeting and posting onsite to our personal and agency feeds. Swarovski introduced Karlie Kloss as its new brand ambassador and a campaign around the pronunciation of its brand (#howyousayit). Rather than talk about our lighting and decorations, we took the team onsite and contributed to the discussion. You can see the results here:
While as producers we strive towards the details of each event, we understand that connecting and sharing with others is a huge part of participants’ experience. That’s now how we say success.