Harvard Business Review once explained the 'experience economy' with the analogy of a birthday cake. First, it noted, came the agrarian economy where we milled our own flour and made a cake for a few pence. Then we moved into the manufacturing economy where we bought ready-mix — and it cost us £1 to make a cake. Then we moved into a service economy where we bought a cake from a shop for £10. Currently we're in the 'experience economy' where we book a party in a venue and get a cake for nothing. Why? Because now it's the experience we have in that venue that's important — not the cake.

To put it another way, great marketing used to be about what you say to people. Now it's about what you do for people. Giving your customers a great event experience with compelling, entertaining and informative content acts as a product differentiator and shows that you understand your audience, are keen to build an emotional relationship with them and add value to their lives. The connection between 'brand' and 'consumer' is becoming stronger. It's also why the experience economy is growing.

"Great marketing used to be about what you say to people. Now it's about what you do for people.."

Every day we see events created that can play host to thousands of people, but through social media, live streaming and technological connections can reach and influence millions of people. That's the power of live, curated experiences.

Companies used to stage live events and, afterwards, think: 'That was good. We should do more of that.' But they didn't know why. Now they do — and why they continue to demonstrate powerful and previously unheard of standards of returns on investment.