Experience, the word that almost every company or brand is using at the moment. While this word is not new, it seems to have taken on a new meaning of its own recently, one that has been transforming the way brands interact with consumers and specifically, what it means to go to a museum or art exhibit. Nowadays, people are flocking to new pop-up exhibits, where both entire buildings and small spaces are being used to transport a visitor into a new world, whether that world be a galactic wonderland or a candy lover’s dream. Inside these spaces, artists and collaborators come together to create a unique environment and experience for their audience, which most of the time involves some sort of interaction with the art. For example, in the Meow Wolf installation, located in my hometown of Santa Fe, NM, people can expect to be taken to a trippy, dream-like world where entering a refrigerator is one of the many ways to enter a new part of the exhibit. Walls glow in the dark, and in the center of the exhibit is a collection of tree houses, some of which have brightly colored mushrooms that make noise if you hit them. Sounds weird, I know… however, these types of interactions that one has with the exhibit are what make it so interesting and intriguing to people. I believe that part of the growing appeal of these installations is that it can entertain all ages with different mindsets. These types of experiential art exhibits are not based on demographics, but instead focus on psychographics. Not only can a five-year-old boy find enjoyment from these exhibits, but a seventy-five-year-old grandmother can too.
Recently, I have been lucky enough to experience another interactive exhibit in my other home of Dallas. Recognizing the trend in the industry (as well as just finding it cool and wanting to see it in person and get the perfect Instagram pic) greenlight provided the agency the opportunity to experience the Sweet Tooth Hotel. This “hotel” is a 1,200 square foot experiential art exhibit located in Victory Park. The interactive space takes you into a world where each room is transformed into a place that looks like a mix between Alice in Wonderland, Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, and the Candy Land board game. Throughout the space, you will find that each room is different than the previous, but still has the same sugar filled theme that is seen in every corner. I don’t want to give too much away, but expect to find life-sized bedside tables that resemble macaroons and massive donuts wedged into walls. Not to mention, there are also some real sweet treats that you can actually indulge in. Needless to say, the experience was a sweet one!