Oh, the places you’ll go in XP Land
Letter from the Editors
Hello and welcome to XP Land — a new digital news platform for all things experiential. We’re so happy to have you with us on this journey.
Before we dive into our regularly scheduled programming, we wanted to tell you a bit about why we felt that this platform needed to exist — for all of us — and what we plan to cover in this big and valuable, yet still somewhat amorphous, world of XP. As we’ve articulated in the past, XP encompasses a broad spectrum of events and experiences — whether launched by event creators, artists, brands, companies or localities — that combine creativity, thoughtful UX, data and impact with the intention of driving engagement and growing communities. There is also a very heavy dose of magic involved, which we feel pretty sure you’ll agree with.
When the COVID-19 pandemic took hold in 2020, many of the typical and familiar avenues for people to connect with each other — and yes, with brands — were cut off. Almost overnight, venues, stores and restaurants — not to mention concerts, pop-ups, conferences and more — went dark, and the indents in our couches deepened as we engaged with the outside world almost entirely through screens. For awhile, it really felt like we were losing the magic of creating and connecting.
Thankfully, as we have all learned time and time again (and again and again), creativity thrives when constrained, and the XP industry certainly did not miss its moment. Last year saw a soaring increase in virtual event technology adoption and investment. And even now, despite the many regions emerging from pandemic lockdowns, there is ongoing financial interest in new hybrid technologies that have the potential to further revolutionize experiences.
Why the growing interest? Because despite the many hardships of the past year-and-a-half, there was also saw a soaring increase in creativity, allowing experience-makers to totally reimagine the format, function and delivery of our work and to reach bigger and more global audiences than ever before. It’s pretty amazing, actually — in the face of the pandemic, all of us figured out a way to create even deeper connections on an even greater scale. And that momentum isn’t slowing down.
What has emerged — is emerging — is an even more complex and fascinating XP universe with more interesting questions to explore and more puzzling problems to solve. How do we balance pandemic realities for global consumers? Where will the demand for live vs. hybrid vs. remote experiences net out? What type of tech do audiences expect now? How do we build a team and project plans for these uncertain realities? How do we measure return on experience (ROX) when the audience touch points have changed? And, most importantly, how do we continue to make people “feel” things with all of these newfound challenges ahead?
Pre-pandemic, we know that consumers craved experiences. Eighty percent of millennials reported that participating in experiences made them feel more connected to the world, according to Eventbrite. After more than a year of being cut off from each other, all signs point to that demand being fully pent up and ready to unleash. We are all on the hunt for magic, no matter Gen X or Gen Z, creators and/or experiencers.
As longtime pros in the industry ourselves, the conclusion we came to was that there needed to be a platform that focused a critical, editorial lens on all of these questions as the surge in experiential demand grows before us. We had looked around for an outlet that satisfied that need and came up empty. So here we are, endeavoring to fill that void, for ourselves and for you.
Whether you are an XP creator yourself or come from a brand, an agency, a tech company, a foundation, a venue, a vendor, an economic development office, or elsewhere, our goal is to offer coverage that will introduce you to the most creative experiential minds working today; inspire you with behind the scenes views of leading projects and events; help you stay in the know on industry trends and where experiential is going next; and keep you informed about platform and technological evolutions, through tactical guides, video tutorials and other essential resources.
You’ll find our coverage organized along these verticals:
- News: Stay on top of the latest news and trends impacting the XP industry.
- People: Meet the creative minds behind your favorite projects.
- Projects: Get expert analyses of noteworthy projects from the wide world of XP.
- Resources: Navigate the new, hybrid XP landscape with proven project templates, platform reviews and more.
So, consider yourself very cordially invited to XP Land. We hope you’ll subscribe to our weekly newsletter and visit us regularly to stay informed about what’s happening in XP, learn from your fellow experience-makers and discover inspiration for blending art, science and impact in your own work. XP has a real, tangible influence on the world: Gatherings make people feel and move them to action. We’re honored and excited to be a part of the journey!