news • Jan 03 2024

What’s in Store for 2024: An Experiential Outlook

The future of experiential design is a bright one. In a period when almost every aspect of society feels like it’s constantly in flux, the importance of people and the human experience will always reign supreme. That’s why it’s so important to understand that the way we experience life will guide the innovations of tomorrow. 

While experiential design had tremendous successes in 2023, the next year is set to bring even more. Read on to learn about some of the incredible genres that will undergo a revolution in the next year thanks to the power of experience.


Themed Retail Experiences

2024 will bring unique innovations in the world of themed retail spaces. You’ve probably seen themed “museums” popping up across the globe, but these aren’t the typical museums with historic dinosaurs or artistic masterpieces. The Museum of Ice Cream, a spinoff of the popular Austin, Chicago, and Singapore locations, will open a Boston location in the Seaport neighborhood in 2024. It will feature 14 interactive installations, described as having “multi-sensory experiums” based around the theme of ice cream. Not only are these themed museums a tremendous driver of foot traffic, but all feature a strong retail component. From ticket sales to extensive merchandise offerings, these venues are a wonderful generator of revenue. 

Another example is the first permanent location of Central Perk, a coffee shop inspired by the beloved sitcom “Friends.” Recently opened in Boston, it features prime “Friends”-themed photo ops, like a giant orange couch perfect for selfies, and plenty of Easter eggs of trivia for superfans. But Central Perk goes beyond the typical “pop up.” Instead, permanent venues like Central Perk are designed to be inspired by the original show, but entirely self-sufficient and high-quality enough to run successfully on their own.

In the children’s market, which has tremendous revenue possibilities, Sesame Street’s 6,800 square-foot themed retail store is likely to be a success. While they’ll include merchandise from recent Sesame Street productions, they’ll also utilize the power of nostalgia, which is a major draw for Millennials and Gen X’ers. 


Health and Wellness Experiences

Back in 2022, the global wellness industry was worth $22 trillion, and experts predict it will only continue to rise in the future. But experts are also predicting that the future of wellness will be filled with experiential components. 

One example is the power of wellness tourism, which we examined in our previous post. With the global wellness tourism market expected to grow to $1178.93 billion in 2027, it’s nos surprise that travel is relying on powerful experiences to build momentum. But beyond tourism, the future of wellness has an essential component: It revolves around being social. For example, consider spots like Remedy Place, dubbed “the world’s first social wellness club,” or Peoplehood, which hosts 60-minute guided group conversations called “Gathers.” Each of these venues are building businesses based around self-care that all involve creating lasting relationships with others. 

In the next year, virtual and augmented reality workouts will continue to rise in popularity for both at-home and in-studio workout experiences. Whether it’s gamifying the workout experience to drive healthy competition or offering holographic instructors for a more immersive experience, the possibilities are endless,” one popular brand predicts, citing how the trend aligns well with the industry’s move towards hyper-personalization, “offering members a tailored fitness journey like never before.”


Experiential Design in the Office

Heading to work isn’t the most exciting thing in the world, but those who are developing the offices of tomorrow recognize that people are much more willing to go to the office if the experience is a pleasant one. The experiential workplace will only become more important in the future, embracing private offices, open huddle areas, conference rooms, a lunchroom, an inviting lobby, and break-out areas for impromptu meetings and brainstorms, WorkDesign Magazine shares

As bosses make strident attempts to get staff back, they’re creating spaces that make working something that employees will want to experience. Take a look at cereal brand Magic Spoon’s “Instagrammable” New York office. “They’re deploying traditional perks like cold brew, or less traditional ones like the Lizzo concert Google put on for its workers,” one expert says of the trend. 

Other businesses are bucking tradition by creating “work neighborhoods.” Nogin wanted to “capture the ambiance of each fashion market: Paris, Milan, Tokyo, and London” in their office space. By incorporating unique materials and custom design features that embrace each city, they’re creating a work experience that employees want to be a part of.  

The future of experiential design is both bright and diverse. Whether it’s stores that bring legendary programs like “Sesame Street” to life, a luxurious vacation in Southeast Asia planting exotic flowers, or workplaces with meeting rooms that look straight out of an Instagram page, businesses that grab hold of these amazing opportunities are the ones that will survive and thrive into the future. 


Strength is found in the ability to adapt to changing tides, and through the power of immersive design, the spaces we hold can be an essential component of that. 


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