EVERYTHING’S AN “EXPERIENCE”
[dropcap]W[/dropcap]hether consumers are shopping for groceries or diamonds, eating fast food or dining out, gambling at a mega-resort or inside a small casino, and staying at budget motels for vacation or 5-star hotels for business, the purveyors of those destinations are being told by industry pundits that they need to provide “an experience” in order to attract business.
This is where the Age of the Internet, with its 24/7 convenience of never having to leave home and the simplicity of smartphone apps has brought us. Restaurants, hotels, movie theaters, grocery stores, shopping malls, and individual retailers have had to evolve to meet this new wave of consumerism. Why eat out when GrubHub or UberEATS can deliver restaurant food directly to your door? Why pay top dollar at a hotel when you can rent a home/condo in the same area through AirBnB?
Hollywood box office numbers are down significantly this year as families prefer to stream movies at home. Meanwhile, Amazon has been steadily chipping away at the old retail paradigms to monopolize the sales in most every product category out there.
All of that evolution has led to where the hospitality and commercial industry is today — providing “experiences” so that more customers physically walk into their businesses. The result is an unprecedented amount of renovation work and rethinking of space for hotels, restaurants, entertainment venues, retail stores, and even the office spaces we work in. How can they deliver a tangible atmosphere that will draw in new customers and retain the existing ones? Similarly, how can a cutting-edge business visually express its uniqueness when courting fresh talent?
What I’ve come to find out, as the Editorial Director of our sister publication enLIGHTenment Magazine, is that innovative lighting techniques – not just the solid-state LED variety, but also those employing video projection and more – are a large part of a successful project’s recipe. With our quarterly supplement Contract Lighting, we aim to (pardon the pun) “shine a light” on how enterprising designers are utilizing these new tools to create memorable customer “experiences” through the visual environment. If you have completed an out-of-the-box project for a non-residential client, I hope you will share it with us.