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Newletter: Issue 1 [English]

What's Happening

Welcome to the launch of The Happening, an international events agency, creating curated, branded multi-sensory experiences. 

Founded by Andrej Isler, The Happening is rooted in the world of arts, culture, and design — bringing encounters between people, brands, and creative visions to life. 

The pandemic has only underscored the importance of shared moments, storytelling experiences that can't be captured in a digital medium. Understanding how to create moments is what The Happening is all about. 

This newsletter will serve as a monthly exploration of the trends defining the current experiential landscape and spotlight creators and storytellers making waves in Zurich, Berlin, and beyond. 

Who's Happening

Our first interview subject is founder Andrej Isler, The Happening founder and one of Switzerland's leading creative directors. 

Why the name "The Happening"?

The name "Happening" comes from the American performance artist Allan Kaprow (1927 - 2006). Kaprow saw art as life and urged others to always strive to create something new, to surrender to the moment—which always remains unique. We approach this as a call to action for brands. The Happening creates spaces of tension between stakeholders and artists across culturally thematic fields. The resulting interaction creates a unique field of action for the brands. 

With so many different platforms and offerings, how can brands cut through the noise? 

People always remember moments, especially unique moments that are emotional for them. The art of creating these kinds of moments is our passion; we make use of the entire multisensory spectrum.

In particular, it is the affective fields of perception that lead to emotional, resonant brand experiences. The technology available to us today also creates additional dimensions in the presentation of this content.

Looking to the future, how do you think experiential storytelling and events will change after the pandemic? 

People and their needs will become even more important in the design of experiential spaces. Interactive elements in particular will play an even more dominant role. Stakeholders don’t want to be spectators, but actors. Only with dialogue-oriented experiences can a relationship develop between brand and stakeholders. The integration of digital channels into brand experiences is a great advantage in terms of reach and interaction, but people's need for real, physical encounters is enormous. Following the pandemic, this need has never been more apparent.   

What has given you hope during this challenging past year?

Knowing that everything has an end, including this pandemic. It was also great to see who was taking action during  this time and looking for new, alternative avenues of expression. There are so many exciting new digital platforms, which continue to operate successfully even after the pandemic. In short—creativity and action are inevitable parameters for a successful tomorrow. 

What We're Reading

"As people spend less time on screens and more time out in the world, successful brands will be connecting with their customers through experiential marketing and through immersive activations as consumers rediscover their old (and new) passions."  Leanne Sheraton, senior vice president of marketing at PayPal is quoted in AdWeek discussing post-pandemic experiential marketing.

"Like many people this past year, artist Carmina Escobar found herself reevaluating and reflecting on her practice. Over email, she said that it gave her “the chance to explore a different model for creation.” Elisa Wouk Almino writes about site-specific performances for Hyperallergic.

"Buzzbar is one of the first to make “in-person” fundamental to the business model, with plans to expand beyond the Shoreditch bar. Conversations are already underway for “Buzzbar on tour”: pop-ups in coworking spaces and elsewhere." Carly Minsky reviews BuzzBar, a London-based drop-in marketing agency

What We're Looking Forward To

This section will spotlight important upcoming dates, with a focus on Europe.

  • September 1, 2021 / The Happening Launch

  • September 1 - September 11, 2021 / Biennale Cinema 2021, Venezia

  • September 6 - September 12, 2021 / Berlin Fashion Week

  • September 15 - September 19, 2021 / HAUTE Photographie Rotterdam

  • September 15 - September 19, 2021 / Berlin Art Week

  • September 16 - September 19, 2021 / HAUTE Photographie Rotterdam

  • September 17 - September 19, 2021 / mi art Milano

  • September 21 - September 26, 2021 / Design Miami Basel

  • September 24 - September 26, 2021 / Art Basel

  • September 23 - October 3, 2021/ 17th Zurich Film Festival


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