Interview with Tina Kavanagh (029): “People demand experiences”

Interview with Tina Kavanagh (029): “People demand experiences”

029 is the winner of the Best B2B Event at EuBea 2015. Creative Director Tina Kavanagh tells us about the current event scenary in Germany, where the clients seem to be ready to understand innovations. For companies, now, it’s becoming crucial to embrace experiencial strategies to make their event experience interactive.

Our exclusive interview with Tina Kavanagh, creative director zerotwonine 029. The agency won the first prize at European Best Event Award 2015 in the category for Best B2B Event with the project Wella TrendVision Monaco French Riviera 2014.

Tina Kavanagh Creative Director 029

us about your backgrounds and your career in the world of events?

For me, it’s been an exciting journey into experiential and events. After starting out with a focus on moving image, I was quickly swept up by the dot com world where I got my first real taste of developing for the ‘interactive experiences’ – knowledge that proved to be essential when I later moved to classic advertising agencies to design integrated campaigns and consumer journeys -. Inevitably, my own belief in the power of the experience as a mean for brands to sustainably bond with recipients was what finally paved my way into a more experiential approach, and events are a big part of staging the type of interaction that offers a lasting impression.


Talking about the event market, what is the scenery in your country like, nowadays?

The scenery in Germany is diverse and exciting. Next to tried and tested event concepts, which still have their rightful place, all kinds of new ideas are popping up and more and more clients seem to be ready to embrace innovations. It’s an interesting environment for anyone working in events right now.


Where do you think is the world of events going to? What about new trends?

People, whether in a B2B or B2C context, demand experiences. More and more brands, companies and organizations have come to realize this. Presently, it’s becoming crucial for companies embracing an experiential strategy to make their event experience interactive. In my opinion, the interactive visitor experience is the event element most likely to grow, technologically as well as in versatility. For example, ideas that the industry has started to toy with in the last few years – from fresh approaches to remote participation and experience customization to the embedding of more VR and other experience-enhancing technologies – will become staples.


What is the most challenging part of working on events and why? And the difficulties?

That’s an easy one: expecting the unexpected. When working on events, anything can happen. Reacting to unforeseen circumstances without losing sight of the experience, that’s where the challenge comes in. But it’s also really exhilarating!

029 during the EuBea award ceremony 2015

What do your clients ask for their events? What do they want the most?

As an agency, we are passionate about that unforgettable experience that facilitates connections between a brand or company and its recipients. Creating these moments is our strong suit and the main reason why our clients choose to work with us. They are looking for that magical thing that turns an event into an immersive and interactive journey for the participants. And that’s really what we do best. So the answer is definitely ‘experience’ with our clients.


In your opinion, what are the most interesting countries where to develop events, nowadays?

I think this is largely dependent on the type and objective of the events you are developing. Germany, as well as the rest of Europe, is interesting for us at the moment as the type of experiences we are passionate about are becoming more relevant as a part of a diverse marketing strategy.


What were your biggest challenges of the year? Do you have any long-term goals, targets and strategies for your agency?

Each of our projects comes with its very own challenges and we wouldn’t want it any other way. But to rank one before the other, I don’t think that’s possible with the way we approach our work. As far as our long-term goal is concerned, we will remain dedicated to putting the experience first and innovating our approach when this is called for.


What tips would you give to people starting out in the industry?

Have fun with it. You are in a unique position. You get to create magical moments in which two entities – brand and recipient – connect. It’s a beautiful thing. So stay curious, be imaginative, and listen to your instinct.


What do you think is required to deliver a successful event?

I could give you a long list, from a strong event concept to exceptional execution quality. But I think those are elements we in the industry are more than aware of. For us, the delivery of a truly successful event has a lot to do with two things: fulfilling client objectives on the one hand and creating an unforgettable experience for the participant on the other.


Last question: could you tell us the plus of your event at European Best Event Awards? Why was it so successful?

I think our event was so successful because it delivered to the points I just mentioned. A strategically sound basis, a truly customized event concept and exceptional execution helped us to fulfill client objectives. Our passion for interaction and experience – the enabling of those magical WOW moments – that’s what made it work for the participants. When all things fell in place, we made the step from event to truly immersive experience. And this, in our opinion, is always a plus.