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Art of Travel
How to design events that encapsulate the art of travel

November 2021

Travel isn’t over – but it has changed. Between restrictions and people’s shifting attitudes, the way we navigate the world could start to look very different. Tapping into that is more important than ever for brands.

It’s no secret that most of us love to travel. It’s a chance to escape. To reset, refresh, and get away from the daily grind. It’s something we look forward to. It opens the mind, gives us new enriching experiences, and opens us up to new cultures and new ways of living like nothing else.

In all honesty, it’s probably something a lot of us took for granted.

Then the pandemic hit. At times, depending on where you live, we’ve been unable to go past a 5km radius of our front doors. International travel – for most of us – halted. Even cross region, or cross-country travel was no longer an option. Our stimulation became restricted to what could be provided in our local areas. We saw the same things every day. The richness of travel could be experienced by diving into a good book, or a show on Netflix, but couldn’t be truly felt in the same way it had been.

With travel still restricted – and certainly more complicated – than it was pre-covid, how can brands use experiential design to continue to explore different parts of the world and reap all the benefits that brings?

Explore our domestic landscapes

According to WGSN, more young people than ever before are exploring domestic travel. Covid-19 and travel restrictions have played a big part in this – but so has a growing concern about the environmental impact that global travel has. And it’s not just Gen Z. Dubbed the ‘local luxurians’, affluent staycation enthusiasts are increasingly looking towards luxury domestic travel. 

Brands can tap into this consciousness by looking more closely at their surroundings and celebrating what’s on their doorsteps. Like Sydney-based fashion label Shona Joy. For the brand’s runway show at Afterpay Australian Fashion Week (AAFW) 2021, the team opted to stage it amongst nature on Green Island, Manyana, NSW – rather than the usual city venues – bringing the collection to life while shining a light on a stunning location that can be explored close to home.

Or Aje, who we worked with to launch its new Athletica collection. Through creating a holistic wellness event a couple of hours outside Sydney, we provided an escape filled with health and wellness-focused activities in an area that felt far from the city, without the damaging environmental impact.

Recreate international travel experiences for domestic audiences

Of course, there’s a lot to be said for international travel. During this time (and in future), brands that can bring international and domestic travel together through experiential design will satiate the need for new experiences and cultures for their audiences, even if there are physical barriers in place.

Chandon is a brand that does this well. To celebrate a brand refresh midway through 2021, we helped them create ‘Chandon on Prem’ experiences. All the best bits of a European summer were blended with Australian venues and event styling – complete with signposts to the Chandon vineyards around the world. Through this, Chandon showed that while we may not be able to travel right now, we’re never completely out of touch.

What’s next for travel in experiential design

There’s no doubt that the world will be in a state of flux for a while, as we continue to navigate the pandemic. For brands, being adaptable to this and changing consumer attitudes will be of paramount importance, to ensure they’re encapsulating the art of travel in a way that works for them and their audience. Not just now, but in the future too.

Brands can tap into this consciousness by looking more closely at their surroundings and celebrating what’s on their doorsteps.

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