Plans for 2023

Plans for 2023

Building a Community for Live Immersive Creators

The Story So Far…

On the 31st May 2022, we brought together 150 immersive creators for a summit to explore the future of Live Immersive Experiences.

We shared our vision for how we felt this emerging sector needed a collaborative community to help it grow and flourish, and our plans for developing the Immersive Experience Network (IEN) to meet those needs. 

The response we got was overwhelmingly positive and since then we’ve been looking for the seed funding we need to get it going. Our vision is that the Immersive Experience Network can grow to be self-sustaining through a mixture of membership fees, grants and sponsorship but we need the initial capital to underwrite the launch and development.

Like so many social enterprise startups, in the current environment that’s been very hard to land.

We’ve had some wins: we’ve got a £20K grant from ESRC CIAA to engage with creative communities across the 10 pillars of Live Immersive Experiences to develop commercial strategy and develop new resources to contribute to the sectors future sustainability. This is going to be published in Spring 2023. 

Unfortunately we did not get the Arts Council project grant we applied for, partly because they wanted to see “greater evidence of demand for what we were proposing” so this is our big plan for addressing that.

The Next Chapter…

The team has put a huge amount of work into getting the Immersive Experience Network this far, and we’re at the stage where we need to engage the wider community to see if you believe in what we’re trying to do and are willing to get behind it. 

We are going to run a crowdfunding campaign in November to underwrite the first 6 months of Immersive Experience Network activities. This will not only give us the fuel we need to develop the community but it will also go a long way to providing the ‘evidence for demand’ that a lot of the grants we’re in discussions with are asking for. 

This isn’t about charity though, we believe that individuals who support us will get access to great educational resources and some great community events, and that companies who support us will get access to valuable commercial research and marketing opportunities.

If we can raise the funding, read on for what the Immersive Experience Network is going to do in 2023. 

Read more about the Vision for the Immersive Experience Network.

Plans for 2023

Regular Community Events for Live Immersive Creators

One of the key themes in the feedback after our summit was the desire to have a regular space for creators to meet, network and learn from each other. Rather than plan for one big event a year, instead we’re proposing running a smaller monthly ‘Huddle’ for creators. 

Plans are fluid and open to input from the community but current proposals that think they will include: 

  • Sessions where creators share the stories and practical detail behind how their work was created.
  • Panels and discussions to debate key industry questions (“how much is too much for a ticket” anyone?)
  • Cross-pollination sessions where creators from different genres can discuss what they can learn from each other. 
  • Practical workshop sessions 
  • Lots of opportunities to network and meet other creators. 

As part of our knowledge sharing mission, we plan to film a lot of the content sessions to share on our website for creators who aren’t able to be there in person. 

We hope to hold at least one huddle on the set of a major immersive experience to deep dive with the creative team into the work and we want to hold at least one huddle outside of London. 

Contact us if you are interested in being a contributor to or hosting a huddle.

We’ll announce some of the topics and contributors for season 1 in November as part of our crowd funder. 


Research

Plans for 2023

Led by Dr Joanna Bucknall, this research will seek to understand the nature and scope of immersive cultural practices to identify ways to expand and accelerate its commercial potential and contribution to the economy.

It will publish resources that will help Immersive creators with the development of a sustainable commercial strategy, and offer insights into the creative nuances of this rapidly growing cultural practice.

Plans for 2023

We want to undertake the biggest ever survey of creators making Immersive & Interactive work in the UK. We want to try and find every immersive theatre company, escape room company, experiential art exhibit, scare attraction and Location Based VR/AR attraction in the UK and find out about what they are doing.

More importantly, we want to be able to ask them about the size of their audiences, how many people they employ and the economic impact they have in the area they are in. It’s only with this dataset that we can start to evidence our argument that this is the fastest growing creative entertainment sector in the UK, and deserves the same funding and support as traditional arts. 

We hope that this can become an annual piece of work so that we can start to show trends in the sector and the growth. 

Plans for 2023

We want to produce some data to help experience creators, funders, investors and brands better understand the potential audiences they can reach with immersive experiences.

We want to commission research that explores who are the target audiences for the immersive genres, what are they looking for and what do they get turned off by.

What are the associations for them when something is branded as ‘immersive’, where do they find out about experiences they go to and how much do they think is a fair price to pay?

We believe that this will be the biggest publicly available market research ever created for this sector and we hope it will help support hundreds of commercial models, funding applications and investment decks.  


Online Community

Knowledge Sharing Platform

We intend to launch a series of knowledge sharing articles, stories and videos on our website developed with Immersive Creators where they share the practical skills of making immersive & interactive work.

There is a large resource gap at the moment for new creators trying to explore how to create and finance new work so we intend to try and explore and publish real world experience and advice to help create pathways for new creators and develop industry wide practice.

Network App

We want to launch our online networking platform to allow Immersive creators to showcase their work and help people discover new collaborators. We want it to become a vital resource for the sector of who the creators are and what they are doing. 

Our online community app will include profiles for people, companies and the experiences they create to help us start to document the work being created. We have also built a system where people can list their credits for experiences in a searchable directory like you would get with Spotlight or IMDB. We hope this will be a vital resource for people to discover new talent and new collaborators.

The app also includes Forums to facilitate discussion around the work people are creating and exploring.

Make it Happen…

We’ve been working on this for over year but now we’re handing this over to you, the Immersive creator community. If you see value in what we’ve been working on then help us raise awareness and raise the money to make it happen. 

We believe this is a unique story of an emerging creative sector working collaboratively to generate greater opportunities for new work to be created and supported. 

If you are a company, angel investor or brand, then we’ll be offering tiers of support where you can contribute more to become partners in what we’re doing. We’d love to discuss this with you and see what opportunities we can create for you as one of our founding partners.

Get on board…

The Immersive Experience Network Team. 

Date of article - October 22, 2022
Updated - March 30, 2024
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