“It is not easy, trust me!” One of the event curators at Blankets and Wine, eyebrows raised, replies to my question on ‘what is the hustle of selling an experience to Kenyans and other global citizens.”
For a growing number of us, the phrase ‘Kenyans are the hardest people to please” is not new. Being in the events industry, there is a rise of a certain musical and artsy intellectual class that is going for what is beyond the hype, an experience!
“We are spoilt for choice, yes,” notes one event goer on the many festivals coming up in the city. All these dozens of festivals and events are tapping into the lucrative event production industry.
It is all these contradictions that make Nairobi a great city of extremes, possibilities and contradictions. An event curator tells us that events are no longer making profits off ticket sales. A ticketing company representative explains that the cash is in selling spaces to corporates and other businesses on the venue site.
With a surging market, coupled by hunger for an experience, Blankets and Wine is tapping into this.
International acts all over the world make most sales on tours off merchandises sold on the ground venue and never on tickets. This past weekend, Blankets and Wine seemed to go the same direction, unveiling their very own special wine and going ahead to sell their merchandise on the ground.
With a rise of a hunger for tailored experiences, Blankets strategically positioned themselves. The tents, pop-ups and food trucks encircle the crowd. Most of these partners having paid for space at the venue, now provide catered options to suit the revelers personal interests.
Event enterprising has seen a lot of profits made for most companies compared to their usual day-to-day sale reviews.
“Events are ‘dying!’” An ardent social chronicler tells us confidently. “We are now looking for an experience. That is where the future is!” Blankets and Wine have with time moved from terming it as a ‘festival’ and no calling it ‘an experience.’
If you were at Blankets yesterday, then one thing you must have noticed was, even the brands that invested in buying space on the ground were looking to leave an experience with event goers through engaging experiences.
By providing consumers with these experiences, these brands in turn seek to leave an emotion connection with the hope that at some capacity, the attendees will invest in the product or service.
But with the hustle of creating and selling smarter experiences, experiential marketing will come to play. Perhaps that is a story for another day in this near future.
For now, the dawn of experience is here and Blankets and Wine are pacing it!