As Saudi Arabia diversifies its economy, businesses must prioritise customers to constantly innovate and continue to attract a broader audience. The most recent KPMG Banking Pulse Quarterly report indicates that the top drivers for investment in Saudi Arabia have shifted into the digital realm to transform the customer experience. 

As investments continue to pour into emerging, profitable sectors, this will lead to a more competitive market. The quality of customer experience will be key to maintaining an advantage over competitors. 

Saudi Arabia growing into the entertainment leader 

According to a YouGov survey that was launched at the GITEX Technology Week in 2019, the customer experience was expected to have been a priority for 96% of Saudi businesses. Immersive experiences that are held for entertainment purposes are more important than ever as people come back together. 

Saudi Arabia’s entertainment industry and its tourism sector are at the forefront of the Saudi Vision 2030 programme, with the government pledging to make the country a “global leader in entertainment”.  

These sectors are poised to attract more investment, and the use of cutting-edge technology will play a crucial part in major projects planned in the Kingdom. The entertainment business has recently expanded to incorporate new, unique experiences oriented toward the country’s youth.

The market is forecast to be worth $1.17 billion by the end of 2030 in Saudi Arabia, according to the US-based Research and Markets study, the world’s largest market research store. This will mean an annual growth rate of 47.65% for the entertainment industry in the Kingdom.  

Understanding the audience in the wider cultural context 

an image showing augmented reality applied in a museum.

With the increased demand for impactful events in the entertainment and tourism sectors in Saudi Arabia, customer experience is becoming a critical part of designing events. In order to drive engagement with a younger audience and create memorable experiences, it is crucial to pay attention to what people are looking for

According to Salesforce, around 76% of customers expect companies to understand their needs. An event is a great opportunity to connect with both existing and potential customers.  

When thinking about customer thoughts and expectations, it is important to collect and analyse data as well as information on how the audience engages with different events. It is currently an exciting time in Saudi Arabia as many ground-breaking cultural events are taking place and increasingly attracting younger audiences. Understanding youth culture in Saudi is key to staying relevant and ensuring you consistently innovate your business model. 

Inviting AI and cutting edge technology into the world of events  

Leveraging emotional journey mapping along with artificial intelligence (AI) and immersive technologies will be key to pioneering the way the audience engages with different events. At Midwam, we believe that there are three types of user experience in the industry that will drive engagement and interaction. 

  1. Permanent exhibitions & experiences – transforming permanent spaces, such as engagement centers or museums, into immersive experiences that take guests on an out-of-this-world adventure. Including VR and RFID as a part of art exhibitions is an example of giving the audience a multi-sensory experience. 
  1. Pop-up events & experiences – combining artistic flare, storytelling, and production expertise to transport guests to leading-edge events such as festivals, shows, and exhibitions. 
  1. Virtual experiences – immersing audiences in a hyper-realistic, fully interactive environment via virtual platforms.  

Using immersive technologies are instrumental in the transformation of permanent, pop-up, and virtual spaces, taking visitors on an out-of-this-world adventure.  

Customers are now looking at more engaging, impactful experiences to make up for lost physical moments due to the pandemic. This will open new opportunities for hosting and launching creative events, drawing visitors who are keen to see Saudi Arabia’s diverse territory and beauty. 

Individual habits have evolved significantly post-pandemic as online experiences are now commonplace, so any physical realities must be truly extraordinary. The pandemic has afforded us the opportunity to reimagine both digital and physical customer experience. 

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