So far, stories had the power of drawing flows of tourists who wanted to know where the story they had read or seen in a film took place, and re-imagine the story in the real place, as a matter of curiosity. These types of stories may continue to work out, as they are actually the easiest to create in conceptual terms.

However, in the upcoming future, the innovation challenge will be to make the tourist take a more active and creative role, taking the previous stories just as a source of inspiration for creating their own. Destinations that really want to set themselves apart from others should seriously consider this innovative approach.

So long as new media technologies are developed empowering users to interact and take this active role in the media experience, new story experiences may be envisioned. In that respect, Latitude carried out an extensive survey in America, Europe and Asia-Pacific to research on the needs and desires of “story consumers” for the future.

According to this survey, there are six story trends that may shape the future of storytelling:

  • Real world integrated stories. Written stories accessible by different media that empower their followers to participate in story related events in their city, so as to have first-hand experience of the story, also generating new revenue streams. The story integration in the real world could entail incorporating networked real objects, augmented reality, 3D projected environments, and other technologies bridging the digital fiction with the reality.
  • Multi-platform supporting content. Adding depth to the story with complementary content through other platforms, by leveraging some devices’ strengths, such as the interactivity in tablets or smart-phone based content was demanded by 82% of the participants, whereas 68% demanded to access the main story content through mobile apps. The supporting content could be about the context in which the story takes place.
  • Actively influencing the story plot. Around 80% of the survey participants envisioned some ways of influencing the plot, like community based voting on the next step of the plot, crowd sourcing ideas to build and support the story, or even help in funding stories they are especially interested in. This point showcases the strong not only taking an active role but also contributing in bringing in their ideas and opinions, a key driver of marketing 3.0.
  • Interactive experience. Audiences are willing to increase their interactivity in their story experiences and also decide their level of interactivity at the outset, and eventually being able to interact as if they were a story character. Apart from the aforementioned ideas, there is a vast potential for innovation in introducing gaming features in the interactive experience, merging the story with the world of video games and roleplaying games.
  • Personal relationship with characters. In accordance with the desire for interactivity, many participants envision the possibility of establishing personal relationships with characters. As long as characters are those who build the emotional connection between the audience and the story, the story followers wish to know better those characters they feel identified with and admire. Followers need to test the integrity of the characters.
  • Characters for good. Audiences are willing to know characters that teach them how to overcome problems, live healthier life-styles, grow personally, support worthy causes, etc. Characters promoting good changes either in the personal sphere or the social scope are more welcome than ever before. According to the survey results, 88% of the participants want stories to help them to learn about and support worthy causes.

Do you envision other desires or aspirations with regard to story related experiences?

Posted by Jordi Pera

Jordi Pera is an economist passionate about tourism, strategy, marketing, sustainability, business modelling and open innovation. He has international experience in marketing, intelligence research, strategy planning, business model innovation and lecturing, having developed most of his career in the tourism industry. Jordi is keen on tackling innovation and strategy challenges that require imagination, entail thoughtful analysis and are to be solved with creative solutions.

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