Why People Want Experiences More Than Things

This recently shared article, about how experiences give people more happiness got us thinking about the reasons why.

After all, as a trade show and events agency, we see the power of experiences to draw crowds and engage audiences all the time. So what is it about people today that makes experiences so appealing and powerful to them? Here are a few thoughts:

  • Our standards are higher We can chase virtual reality Pokémon characters all over town, stream thousands of movies into our homes and Skype our daughter during her semester in Paris like she’s in the same room. So it takes more and more to get our attention, break through and dazzle us. And a cleverly created experience can do all of that and more.
  • We want to learn our own way People attend trade shows to find out about new products and services, yet no one wants to be pitched to. They’re trying to dodge the eager salesman or the carefully crafted marketing jargon and separate the hype from the fact. A good experience can create a journey of self-learning, putting the attendee in complete control of what they view and how. Plus, it makes the process of learning a lot more fun.
  • We prefer personal treatment Amazon and Netflix know who we are and what we like. Starbucks remembers our favorite drink. The new iPhone will even recognize our face. It’s a personalized world and people have less and less patience for companies that treat them generically. An event experience can deliver content customized to a person’s industry, professional status, geography—even content created just for that one particular person—and give each person the VIP treatment they desire.
  • We love to share Some people can’t even order a meal without taking out their phone and posting the picture on Instagram. Nowadays, it seems like nothing we do is real or complete until we’ve shared it with someone. Experiences lend themselves perfectly to social media sharing, with the best of them having sharing mechanisms built right in.

No question, we’ve entered the age of the experiential. It’s totally in sync with the way people live and think today. And it’s a sure bet that we’ll see more and more of it in the future.

If you ask us, that’s the best part. All of this is really just beginning. Just imagine what experiences will be like tomorrow, and five years from now!


Looking for more on customer engagement and event experiences?
Check out ExperiTech™ by MSM.