In Conversation: Jeff Jang Of Immersive Tech

The In Conversation series is an opportunity for us to talk to the people who make up the Victory Square Technologies subsidiary family and give you a look inside who they are and what it is they do.

Our latest chat is with Jeff Jang, CEO of Immersive Tech. With an appearance at the 2019 Experiential Marketing Summit in Las Vegas coming up, VST’s James Graham caught up with Jeff to learn more about Immersive’s vision and how they build some of the most unique experiences in North America.

James: What’s your elevator pitch for Immersive these days? How do you explain what Immersive Tech does?

Jeff: When we introduce Immersive Tech to someone new, we tell them that we live and breathe a philosophy that experiences need to be high impact, engaging and authentic to leave impressions worth sharing. Our creative team is a powerhouse of gameplay, technology, and interaction designers leveraging a unique blend of video game methodologies, amusement park engineering, and cinema-quality production design. We go beyond surface-level engagement to bring you and your friends from the conference hall, board room, or music festival to a bespoke adventure where you just might be the hero to save the world. From product launches, brand awareness, to team building across the world, we’ve perfected the use of play to drive real engagement.

In simple terms, we use technology, a bespoke design process and quality theming to create immersive, real-world experiences for a variety of purposes.

James: What should people expect from Immersive at the Experiential Marketing Summit in Las Vegas?

Jeff: At the Experiential Marketing Summit we have a thought leadership speaking slot, where for 30 minutes we’ll be talking about: Game Design for Engagement: From Pop-ups to Escape Rooms. 

We believe we’ve dug far deeper into what’s real engagement, beyond the #hashtag, so to speak, and plan on sharing that in a very loud way with our talk. It’ll be engaging, impactful and hopefully something different for the audience.

James: Why is experiential marketing important in 2019?

Jeff: Experiential marketing in 2019 and onward is more important than ever as we’re beginning to see across the board a decline in engagement with a lot of the more ‘traditional’ marketing channels such as Facebook, Twitter and Youtube. This is especially the case with millennials, with a lot of it feeling very disingenuous and clearly a marketing piece. Engagement through experiences and compelling narrative is more impactful and the only way for brands to leave a lasting impression unique enough to stand out. Working together with your friends to solve a challenge is far more authentic, memorable and impactful than posing with a passive installation, for example. Brands are catching on to this slowly but we want to accelerate that shift even faster.

James: Tell us about some of the projects that the Immersive team has worked on recently and how they came about.

Jeff: Earlier this year we deployed an activation for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration which was pretty cool. We crafted a narrative around a campaign they had going on already about how of 4 teens that start smoking, only 1 ever is able to stop. It was deployed at the X Games in Aspen where it saw thousands of guests and even some former Olympians..

For the multi-national medical manufacturer Smith & Nephew, we took their training materials and turned them into a narrative-driven adventure for their staff at their national sales conference. It was a great success with both senior and junior staff engaging each other far more than they had in the past, and we’re now in talks to create additional training curriculum with them.

James: What is your favourite response from someone who participated in one of Immersive’s experiences?

Jeff: We’ve received a lot of great feedback from past participants as our core focus is for the experience to be fun above all else. If we can’t satisfy that nothing else matters, so we always ensure that people have a great time.

For some specifics, our clients have said:

“After going to this escape room conference- seeing escape rooms and playing the “number one escape room in Washington DC” I am so thankful we found you guys and our room has turned out the way it has! It is so much more AWESOME compared to everything I have seen this past week!!! And no I am not being biased because I love the room we made. I cannot express how grateful I am that I found you guys and went with you! Thank you so much for all of your guys wonderful brain power!”

“Jeff and Adrian. Great job! I heard such good feedback from people who went through the experience. They really enjoyed the game, puzzles and the spirit of competition. You guys have been great to work with from the very beginning. Thanks so much for your partnership with this and helping us realize the vision. A+++!”

James: What was your Aha! moment? What was the moment where you recognized that there was a pain point that your team’s skills could fill?

Jeff: Immersive Tech really got started back in 2014 when we opened our own escape room right in downtown Vancouver. Escape rooms were new to the area and this was the same for many parts of the world—it was very much a wild west. We realized really quick after the positive reviews came in that we had created some really special experiences that, for the 3 years it was open, weren’t found anywhere else. At the same time, we realized that operating a brick & mortar business wasn’t something we were passionate about and took that validated expertise in creating amazing experiences and started doing it for clients all over the world
 
James: What differentiates what Immersive does from the competition?

Jeff: Far as we can tell, we’re the only studio out there that offers a full beginning to end service in crafting unique narrative experiences that utilize technology, game design and quality theming. Much of our team has proven experience in the video game industry and we take full advantage in our design and content creation.

James: Where do you see Immersive five years from now?

Jeff: In 5 years from now we hope to be doing bigger and better immersive experiences, all the while using the latest and greatest technologies available. We’d like to have a bigger presence in Europe and Asia as we’ve only done small projects to date with the bulk of our clients coming from the United States. Right now we’re based in Vancouver but by then we’d like to have at least one or two locations in the United States as well.

James: What does the future hold for Immersive? At least the stuff we can talk about.

Jeff: We have plans to explore other verticals which we can’t go into too much detail yet but they all leverage our expertise in using play as a tool for engagement. Artificial intelligence and machine learning are areas we’re actively exploring but I’m afraid that’s all I can say about that!

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You can learn more about Immersive Tech at www.immersivetech.co

Jeff Jang is the CEO of Immersive Tech. Jeff is a designer and entrepreneur with a track record of working on high profile brands such as the television series Continuum by Showcase, CBC’s Heartland, V Tele’s La Franchise, Spy Kids 4 the movie, and Bandai Namco’s Pac-Man.

James Graham wants you to know about all the cool things happening at Victory Square Technologies. He also has a great radio voice.