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The Evolution of the Wow Moment


As someone who takes an interest in both words and marketing, I’ve always been somewhat fascinated by eponyms.  After all, there’s probably no greater marketing feat than a company that’s able to turn its brand name into a common language verb or noun.   Before anyone could ever xerox a document, The Haloid Photographic Company first had to create its own word.   I wonder about the first time someone decided ‘You know, I’m not going to photocopy this document — I’m going to xerox it!’ and how unusual that must have sounded at the time.  Or if Leo Gerstenzang never changed the name of his company, would cotton swabs still be universally known as ‘Baby Gays’? I bring all of this up because the events industry is on the verge of its very own eponym, and by all accounts it’s here to stay.

We produced an event a few months ago, and the client had two objectives.  The first objective was to create an experience that would be fun, interactive and enjoyable (it was an employee engagement event; a ’thank you’ to the team).  The second objective was to create a singular experience or visual impact that would get their guests to say ‘wow!’.  If you produce creative or buzz-worthy events for a living you’re most likely familiar with the ‘Wow Moment’.  The idea of getting guests talking — or leaving them impressed — is not a new concept.  But when our client laid out this objective she didn’t ask us to create a Wow Moment. She asked to us to create an ‘Instragrammable Moment’.  We knew exactly what she meant of course, because it’s a request — and a term — that we’re hearing more and more frequently by event stakeholders. The term ‘Instagrammable’ isn’t so much a predilection for Instagram as it is a catchy way to convey the objective of visual impact with social integration.  It’s not good enough anymore for events to leave guests saying ‘wow’.  These days they need to first say ‘wow’ and then click ‘share’.

Five years from now clients may very well be asking us to create Snappable Moments, but there’s also a reason they’re not currently insisting on Polaroid Moments or still TiVo’ing their favorite shows.  Eponyms are only as powerful as their brand success.   The evolution of event engagement is here to stay, and Instagrammable runs the show.  At least for now.