Interview: The rise of Location-Based Entertainment
Stacy Moscatelli, CEO, Original X Productions, talks about the rise and rise of location based entertainment
Why do you think location-based entertainment is seeing such growth?
The experience economy has been growing for years but coming out of the pandemic only accelerated the growth as we all were craving shared experiences in a newfound way. Experiences create lasting memories with friends and family and will always have audiences who understand that and favor experiences over things. You’ll continue to see growth across the industry but also a refinement and expansion.
And which brands do you work with/have you worked with?
We collaborate with Warner Bros. Discovery Global Themed Entertainment team to produce The FRIENDS™ Experience and Harry Potter™: Magic at Play. And, with NBCUniversal on The Office Experience. We are also in development on a few new projects with new partners.
Do you believe IP-driven entertainment brings a whole new level of interaction to fans?
Yes, I do. I believe that an experience allows fans to deepen their level of interaction with an IP that typically for entertainment brands, they’ve only watched on a screen. The FRIENDS™ Experience, for example, invites fans to step inside the world of FRIENDS, to feel like they are on the set of the show, revisit favorite scenes and episodes and have a unique and memorable experience. We’ve been the home to over 200 wedding proposals which is a whole new and very special level of interaction.
How do you ensure that the LBEs you work on retain authenticity?
First and foremost, it’s important for our team to immerse themselves into the IP and to truly understand the emotional connection that fans have and to foster that. We are always considering the details and the brands, but our true north star is always our guest.
What do you see as bringing the next trends in LBE?
I think you’ll see a lot of tech, sometimes for the sake of it and sometimes because it truly enhances the experience. Hopefully, more of the latter.
And if you can say, what has been the favorite that you yourself have worked on?
They are all my favorites, for different reasons as they are so unique –
The FRIENDS™ Experience celebrates a beloved show soon to celebrate its 30-year anniversary. It is a show I’ve watched so many times, know so well and love. We’ve had the opportunity to bring the experience to 8 countries and 27 locations with more to come. The FRIENDS™ Experience is currently open in Dublin and attendance has been very strong.
The Office Experience allows for a next level of interaction, allowing fans to experience “Dunder Mifflin Paper Company” and all its mundanity. Guests can go through drawers and files and really experience what it would be like to work there.
And last but not least, Harry Potter™: Magic at Play is a way for adult fans to introduce their children to the franchise in an accessible, fun and playful and also inspired way.
I’m also excited for the projects currently in development as I think we are stretching our imaginations in new and unexpected ways.