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NEW YORK CITY—Members of the Broadway Industry convened at the Whitby Hotel in Manhattan November 27th for a roundtable discussion, hosted by AKA NYC, on the importance of brand experience and experiential marketing. Founding editor-in-chief of Event Marketer and author Dan Hanover (Experiential Marketing: Secrets, Strategies, and Success Stories from the World's Greatest Brands) headlined the event. He was joined by experiential marketers Jeffrey Swierk, North American Sponsorship at Mastercard; and Zach Overton, Vice President of Customer Experience and General Manager, 837, Samsung Electronics America, in a lively discussion, moderated by Amanda Blackman, AKA NYC SVP, Creative Strategy and Experiential Design. Experiential marketing is the fastest-growing form of marketing today, and AKA NYC has pioneered its use in entertainment marketing. “Today’s consumers don’t want to be advertised to, they want to be engaged with. Brand experience is therefore essential.” said Blackman. “It is especially critical for theater and entertainment as we engage with potential audiences in ways that are both authentic and effective.” At the event, Hanover described the philosophy and principles behind experiential marketing, citing examples from top brands, and offered suggestions for how entertainment entities can develop their own experiential strategies. “Modern day marketing is changing and relationship has become the key driver of that bond between who you’re selling to and who they want to buy from,” he said. “When done really well you can get somebody to fly from ‘don’t know it’ to ‘want to buy it’ all in one shot.” Overton noted that with 837 Samsung shifted from “the store model to the experience model,” making “a transition from transaction to interaction.” “We said, ‘Let’s create a meaningful dialogue with people, an authentic interaction, then you have a credible relationship,’” he observed. “We saw a dynamic shift in the way people interact with the space, with our products, with our staff and with the brand by removing the pretense of retail.” Swierk said that, with Mastercard’s groundbreaking “Priceless” campaign entering its 20th year, the company “decided to make the transition from it just being an ad campaign to literally an experience led platform.” “At Mastercard we consider ourselves a human centered technology company,” he explained. “It’s because we care more about everything about the person than just what their purchases are.” AKA NYC is the world’s only theater and arts agency focused on brand experience. The global agency creates award-winning, consumer-led campaigns that incite action and sell tickets. Led by Elizabeth Furze & Scott Moore, AKA NYC works channel-agnostically, building experiences online, offline, and everywhere in between. Current and recent NYC clients include: Anastasia, The Band’s Visit, Big Apple Circus, A Bronx Tale, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Come From Away, Empire Outlets, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, John Leguizamo’s Latin History for Morons, M. Butterfly, Miss Saigon, Manhattan Theatre Club, New York Botanical Gardens, New York Wheel and Once on this Island. For more information, visit aka.nyc. Mastercard (NYSE: MA), www.mastercard.com, is a technology company in the global payments industry. Mastercard operates the world’s fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. Mastercard products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone. Follow us on Twitter @MastercardNews, join the discussion on the Beyond the Transaction Blog and subscribe for the latest news on the Engagement Bureau. About Samsung 837 Located at 837 Washington Street in New York City’s Meatpacking District, Samsung 837 is the first of its kind technology and cultural destination for consumers, creators, tech enthusiasts and community members. A physical manifestation of the Samsung Brand, 837 is a flagship experience center at the convergence of humanity and technology that underscores how Samsung’s full portfolio of signature services and technology – ranging from mobile devices to home appliances – can make your life better.