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Designing Experiences In Events – A Study On Event Agencies In Portugal

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Qian SUN and Sara ALMEIDA


"This study aims to explore how ‘design’ is related to 'experience’ within an event industry context, with the expectation of establishing higher recognition of the value of design in consumer experiences within event projects. There has been a substantial amount of research conducted within the field of design and events respectively; however there is little research demonstrating the value of design within events as part of the new paradigm of experience design and modern models of practice. There is also a lack of information on current practice within the event industry. Five event agencies in Portugal were sampled to represent the event industry in most post-industrial societies, with in-depth interviews used to collect data. This study concludes that despite the stated recognition of the value of design in the very existence of events and acknowledged importance amongst other disciplines, design is undervalued and unexplored. The concept of experience as an offer or even as a design discipline is almost completely disregarded from agency discourses. The findings on organisational structures, work processes, design and consumer engagement in the context of Portuguese event agencies provide valuable insight into business and practice within event projects. Based on the findings, the authors have developed a conceptual framework on the event experience cycle which contributes to knowledge by proposing a new way of exploring the connection between the experience cycle and design process. This forms a starting point for further research into practice. For the first time, experience is located at the centre of event projects from beginning to end, turning experience design and event management into the main areas of knowledge behind this concept for event projects."


PUBLISHED: Proceedings from the The 18th DMI: Academic Design Management Conference, 2012


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