The inaugural summit included a session on the topic of commercial strategy for immersive
UK - The Immersive Experience Network has held its inaugural Live Experience Summit, bringing together over 150 creators of immersive and interactive experiences to debate the future of the sector.
The Immersive Experience Network has been established to support creators making new work, developing audiences and growing financially sustainable companies. The Network’s strategy is centred around encouraging collaboration by building a community of creators, facilitating knowledge-sharing and undertaking research to grow the sector.
The community includes genres from across the immersive sector, including immersive theatre, scare attractions, escape rooms, Location based VR/AR, experiential art, immersive audio, Live Action Role Play (Larp), themed attractions, Alternate Reality Games (ARG) and transmedia experiences
The inaugural summit, held on 31 May, included a session on the topic of commercial strategy for immersive, where Farouk Deen and Mark Sarfo from Nexus made the case for private investment and Meri Mance and James Sinclair-Smith from Mance Communications discussed testing the market with PR, whilst James Seagar from Les Enfant Terribles spoke about the benefit of being agile and being able to move between performance mediums in order to make a profit.
There was a session on finding venues for site-specific shows with contributions from Bertie Watkins and Charlotte Potter from Colab who spoke about their experiences finding and running venues for immersive theatre. Meanwhile, David Ralf from Theatre Deli spoke about their work and partnership with British Land, whilst Brian Hook and Neil Connolly from Hartshorn-Hook shared their experience of opening up major commercial immersive spaces in London.
Finally, the future of immersive experiences was debated with Pip Brignall from The Round who showcased their new AR performance platform, Jorge Lopes Ramos from ZU-UK who spoke about the potential for immersive as a tool for social change and Hamish Jenkinson from The Department who discussed the opportunities within the Metaverse. Rob Morgan from Playlines detailed the future of VR/AR, Chloe Mashiter spoke about hybrid immersive experiences, and Owen Kingston from Parabolic Theatre argued creators need to love their audiences in order to create great work.
The founders of the Immersive Experience Network believe that the sector requires more recognition and support to fulfil its potential.
“This was an incredibly encouraging start for this new community and proves to us that there is a desire for the creative sector to work collaboratively together as we try and rebuild a stronger, fairer and more healthy sector out of the COVID disaster,” says co-founder Andy Barnes. “We’re providing the vehicle but the momentum is coming from the world leading experience creators we have in the UK who are both economically and culturally vital to this country’s future.”
The organisation will shortly be launching its own networking app to foster collaboration and an educational resource website to facilitate knowledge sharing within the sector. The next Immersive Experience Summit is set to be held in January 2023.

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