Meet Dan Strang, Head of Xi: Championing Interactive Experiences in Retail, Attractions and Events

Xi, or Experience Interactivity, is the result of the merging of two previous businesses, technology brand We Are Interact and technology platform Events Tag.

These brands were acquired by inurface Group in early 2021 and now offer a specialist service within the group creating long term digital activations within retail spaces, attractions and large-scale events, including premium photo experiences and interactive games.
 
 
EventsTag & We Are Interact merge with backing from inurface to become Xi,  championing interactive experiences in retail, attractions & events | Event  Industry News
 

How did you come up with the idea for the company?

 
The idea was actually at a wedding back in 2013. We saw that guests were still using disposable cameras to capture content taken by the guests. We built an app that aggregated all the content people were taking on their mobile phones into a live display and photo album for the bride and groom.

We’ve grown a lot since since then, and now work with event organisers, attractions and retailers to create interactive experiences that help them drive deeper connections to their customers and fans.

The aim of the business has always been to enable brands and businesses to connect best with their audiences. Since our foundation in 2013 we have worked with companies to ensure their visions come to life and deliver the most innovative and exciting digital experiences on the market.
 

 

How has the company evolved during the pandemic?

 
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in early 2020 most of our business stopped overnight with the suspension of events and large-scale attractions. We worked hard to create some cool virtual event experiences such as a virtual slot machine for Forzilla esports team and a virtual Graduations platform equipped with a class photo merging images of all the students together.

Unfortunately, without the calendar of events we were used to working with we were unable to keep operating independently but by joining the inurface group we have been able to pivot and add our expertise into their existing melting pot of AV and digital expertise.

Working with inurface we recognised that there was a gap within the retail sector for the sort of consumer engagement we were offering and used the time where businesses were largely closed to explore this further. Thanks to this, by the time retailers started to consider re-opening we were ready to support them in ensuring their stores were doing all they could to attract and entice customers, safely, inside.
 

What can we hope to see from Xi in the future?

 
We are now in a position where some of our original business is returning as COVID-19 restrictions ease and we are working to strike an exciting balance between our more classic projects and our effort to conquer the retail market offering too.

We look forward to bringing new technology, not used before, into play and pushing the barriers in terms of experiential delivery. We are focussed on creating new ways to simply register users details and attach content to their profiles at events and attractions. Developing new, high end video, personalised and shareable, experiences that use augmented and mixed reality alongside high quality visual effects and installing unique gaming experiences that inspire loyalty and repeat visits for users.

With projects already under our belt including a £10 million refit of Sports Directs flagship London store, FriendsFest and the newly opened ChaosKarts in Shoreditch we are going from strength to strength and building a reputation for ourselves in the industry which we hope will continue to open doors to projects we would be proud to work on.