Mark Stutzman, chief technology officer of AREA15 in Las Vegas, will speak on ‘Leveraging Data to Improve the Customer Experience and Journey’ at the Interactive Customer Experience Summit on Sept. 12, 2023 in Charlotte. Stutzman explains the technique and power of crafting experiences for AREA15 visitors.

It’s no surprise that the entertainment industry has taken a lead role introducing customer experience technology. Hence, in the interest of educating customer experience professionals, the Interactive Customer Experience Summit, Sept. 11-13, will host Mark Stutzman, chief technology officer of AREA15 in Las Vegas, a pioneer in experiential entertainment, as a keynote speaker.

Stutzman will deliver the Tuesday morning keynote address at The Westin Charlotte, “Leveraging Data to Improve the Customer Experience and Journey.”

Stutzman will describe how AREA15 leverages data analysis, insights and real time integration between systems to enhance every stage of the guest journey, from initial brand awareness to post-purchase follow-up.

During a recent interview, Stutzman offered a preview of his presentation with this website. Following are excerpts from that interview.

Q. How do you describe Area15 to people who have not yet visited?
A. AREA15 is an immersive entertainment district located a few minutes from the Las Vegas Strip. It’s a curation of best-in-class experiential entertainment that combines art, technology, events, attractions and unique food and beverage offerings.

Q. What is AREA15’s mission?
A. AREA15’s mission is to create an authentic, dynamic and engaging experience for everyone who enters. We strive to blur the lines between art, technology and entertainment, pushing the boundaries and challenging our guests to explore their imagination. AREA15 is committed to innovation, creativity and storytelling to provide experiences that inspire curiosity, wonder and exploration.

Q. The experiential attractions at AREA15 are extensive. How did the planners select the attractions; what process did they follow and how long did the planning take?
A. Prior to opening in September 2020 there was an extensive leasing campaign to find the right partners to be part of AREA15. The 200,000-square-foot complex is a curation of best-in-class experiences in the immersive entertainment industry. There isn’t a specific formula to finding the right partner, however, they need to be highly creative, authentic and demonstrate a solid business plan for success.

Q. Given the sensory intensity of many of the attractions, how does the physical space create a welcoming vibe for visitors?
A. The physical space is designed to create a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere for all visitors. The entry point for all guest is intentionally designed to be visually striking and awe inspiring. And the use of bright colors and black lights offer a sense of being transported to another world. Guests can choose from a myriad of different offerings to explore and experience, which can alleviate any sensory overload.

Q. What have the major challenges been for AREA15?
A. Opening a 200,000-square-foot immersive entertainment complex in September 2020 at the height of a global pandemic certainly presented a few challenges. Las Vegas is the entertainment capital of the world, enticing people to leave the gravitational pull of The Strip to spend their time and money on immersive entertainment is challenging. However, AREA15 was named “The Most Visited Attraction in 2022” with over 3.2 million visitors.

Q. What have been the most popular attractions?
A. AREA15 offers a diverse range of attractions, experiences, events and programming to cater to various interests and age groups. Our tenant partner experiences help drive awareness and visitors. Meow Wolf’s Omega Mart, an immersive art exhibition, is a top-rated attraction at AREA15, along with the ever-changing events and programming calendar offering music performances.

Q. What has been the visitor return rate?
A. AREA15 has a 30% visitor return rate, which is well above the industry standard for an entertainment destination in Las Vegas. This speaks to the ongoing events and programming offering and the variety of experience and attractions offerings.

Q. How does AREA15 continue to engage guests following their visit?
A. AREA15 uses several strategies for engaging with guests before and after their visit to the District to encourage repeat visits and build a strong community that wants to continue engaging with the AREA15 brand. We engage our guests after their visit through social media, email newsletters, SMS text messages and through community partnerships.

Q. Are there reach out initiatives to sectors of the community that may not have had the opportunity to visit AREA15?
A. AREA15 is committed to community building. There are many programs and initiatives in Las Vegas that encourage the local community to visit and experience AREA15.

Q. Can you say what new attractions will be coming in the next several months?
A. Yes, along with the ever-changing events and programming calendar, new attractions will be coming, and the AREA15 District will be expanding with over 20 acres of new experiences.

Q. Will the Orlando AREA15 be the same as the one in Las Vegas?
A. You’ll have to wait and see!

To register for the ICX Summit, click here.

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