3 Tips for Creating Immersive and Engaging Events

Dustin Sparks SVP, Creative Level5 Events

Senior Vice President of Creative, Dustin Sparks, has over 30 years of experience building events that inspire audiences, with stunning and innovative design, educational and impact-rich programming, and immersive and interactive environments. So, what’s the one thing Dustin says makes creative flourish? Sound strategy. You read that right. Even the best, most resonant creative, without an underpinning of strategic insights, can miss the mark.

This is why Level5 employs a comprehensive Strategic Design Phase to kick off each project and uniquely pinpoint the purpose and goals behind each experience, while also identifying the motivations of your target audience segments. It’s this unique combination of strategy and discovery that sets Level5, and its events, apart.

So, what’s in our secret sauce? Here are some ways to make sure strategy is at the heart of any experience you design.




Despite intricate preparations and forethought, many events still fall short of delivering an experience that feels customized. Dustin recommends a deep dive into your top audiences to uncover the journey this experience will take them on.

What perceptions are they showing up with that we may want to augment or shift? What do we want them to think, know, and feel during this experience? And ultimately, what do we want them to do as a result of attending?





When developing lists of discovery participants, we’re advocates of including multiple people from each of your key audience segments, as well as board members, administrators, students, and faculty. People are multifaceted; sharing certain characteristics (ENG’86, for example) doesn’t mean they’ll also share perspectives. Multiple discovery sessions help uncover the nuances of the audience and connect their insights and desires to the institution’s or its campaign’s mission.



Look at everything possible with fresh eyes. You walk campus. You see dozens of communications and collateral pieces all at once. But your audience doesn’t have the same level of exposure you do. Take the admissions tour, read campaign collateral, and immerse yourself in the institution’s brand with the goal of seeing it through the lens of a student, donor, or alum.


“Traditionally Boston University has been very stringent in who we invited to presidential or leadership events. With the help of Level5, and their analysis of our lists, it opened our eyes to think more broadly about the process by which we decide who receives an invitation, ultimately making our invitation lists for this series more inclusive, more representative of the demographics of our alumni community, and more aligned with our event strategy and engagement goals. We are excited to continue to leverage this thinking at future BU events.”

Erika N. Jordan
Vice President, Alumni Engagement
Boston University


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