As I scratched the “pineapple” stripe on the scratch and sniff “notes of rosé” wall, I realized our expectations about events, education and experiences are changing pretty swiftly. But let me back up.
Last month I was in New York, and attended the Rosé Mansion. The “mansion” is a repurposed retail space (think multilevel H&M store) that you buy a ticket to enter in order to take a journey through the development and consumption of rosé wine. While you stand in line, you can try on and purchase items like pink sunglasses, wigs and any number of items emblazoned with declarations of rosé love.
We were handed a glass and a sheet of stickers so we could help decorate a black and white room.
We scratched and sniffed and posed by giant grapes. We got to create our own blends of rosé and for some reason, swung from chandeliers and tried on crowns.
Information about rosé production, terroir, taste and development appeared consistently throughout the space. And as I kind of half-mocked and half-laughed my way through the exhibits (you try remaining serious while lobbing giant balloons/“bubbles” at a friend while holding a glass of wine), I had a few thoughts.
- We now expect a lot of entertainment with our learning. This isn’t really new – as one of the first generations that grew up on Sesame Street, I certainly understand how much more fun and memorable learning can be when combined with joy and laughter.
- Content that is dense and serious isn’t necessarily better than content that is presented in a light, accessible way. I have sat through any number of wine tasting and education experiences – and I bet I retained more information from my hour in the Rosé Mansion than I did during an endless class on the “Whites of Burgundy.”
- Pretty is no longer optional. As I watched endless groups of women determine the best Instagram and Snapchat filters with which to capture friends swinging on chandeliers, toasting in a bathtub full of paper rosé petals or posing by giant purple grapes, I thought of the aesthetics of a typical exhibit hall. We have a generation of technology users who are all fluent with the need for good lighting and angles and how to leverage a step and repeat. We need to catch up in some of the experiences we deliver.
Recently, our MCI UK office worked on a fascinating project with Quiksilver. In order to raise a “new wave” of awareness about plastic waste in our world’s oceans and to showcase Quiksilver’s commitment to recycling via its line of activewear (100 million plastic bottles recycled to date), they created this amazing wave from recyclable bottles. When I saw this image, I loved the creativity on display – and thought back to my experience at the scratch and sniff wall, and flipped through my photos. At MCI, we are committed to creating sticky experiences and learning opportunities, and are already practicing and investing in new, exciting models to do so. Hopefully, frequently with a glass of wine in hand while doing so.
Erin Fuller is the president of association solutions at MCI USA, and believes there are two seasons each year: rosé and red.