Business development · 4 October 2016

it’s a secret experience why it can be good to keep your customers in the dark

Secret Cinema is an immersive film experience held in an unknown location
Secret Cinema is an immersive film experience held in an unknown location
I recently attended a ‘secret theatre? show, where information was deliberately left wanting in the run up to the event to create a secret experience and make for a greater surprise on the night. I won’t tell you anything about it (that’s the agreement you enter into when you sign up to one of these events) but suffice to say there were some unexpected twists and turns on the night.

There have been loads of these events popping up lately, especially in London. There’s the Gingerline Groupwhere you buy a dinner ticket and the only thing you can be assured of is that the event will take place somewhere on the Overground line. Then you’ve got?Secret Cinema, where you purchase a cinema ticket and are not told what the film will be until the night itself. Another player in the space is the?Disappearing Dining Club, where you purchase a ticket and eventually take part in a feast at a secret location anywhere in the city.

However, it’s not just about mystery events either. There are also so-called ‘secret? bars, where you knock on a half-concealed door and require a password to get in. There are even ‘secret? menus in restaurants and coffee houses.

Big brands in on the secret experience too

This type of event is becoming increasingly popular, and it made me wonder why surely buying something without knowing what it is should put buyers off? It seems counter-intuitive.

According to a blog for market researcher Mintel, the reason such speakeasies and secret events have become so popular is that we are part of a culture driven by chalking up distinctive experiences and nurturing individuality, consumers are increasingly seeking the feelings of mystery, exclusivity and uniqueness”.



Letitia Booty is a special projects journalist for Business Advice. She has a BA in English Literature from the University of East Anglia, and since graduating she has written for a variety of trade titles. Most recently, she was a reporter at SME magazine.

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