How we provide fun STEM learning opportunities through Retailtainment

As online shopping continues to grow and the competition between shopping centres increases, retailtainment (retail + entertainment) has developed from a trend to a crucial shopping centre planning objective.

The shopping centre environment can play an important role in creating unexpected places and delivering memorable experiences that cannot be replicated online or at home. Retailtainment is not only for creating fun moments, and it can also benefit the consumer in other ways. For example, some forms of retailtainment can also be educational.

CreativiTek believes in the power of creativity, technology and people to inspire children and adults, boost brands and engage communities. From the early days of our business, we were keen to use emerging technologies for retailtainment, and to support the creation of a science and technology literate society. We knew one of the major outcomes of using emerging technologies in education is that learning can be seen as fun and as entertainment. We were also aware that informal settings can be the key to unlocking interests in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) learning. Therefore, we emphasized the fun of learning.

We started with virtual reality (VR). We partnered with shopping centres to provide virtual reality-themed events using educational activities and experiences, serious games and even non-serious games. One of the main advantages of virtual reality is that you can bring any topic or activity to any controlled environment like a shopping centre. We have worked with many VR content developers to get commercial licenses or for them to customise activities for our clients. This has provided us with access to a wide variety of quality content ranging from space and nature to history and food. In fact, we have been able to cover any subject that interests people of all ages. Visitors were happy that shopping centres were giving them the opportunity to try the latest VR technologies and to learn about things in a different way (in a virtual world) at unexpected times (during shopping), and in unlikely places (shopping centres). Even with “non-serious” games, parents were pleased that their kids enjoyed their time while using high-end VR technologies, were immersed in a responsive virtual world, and were able to challenge the level of their balance, concentration, hand-eye coordination and even teamwork skills in multi-player game scenarios.

After the success we had with virtual reality, we started to use other emerging technologies. The next and closest one to VR was augmented reality (AR). We used AR to tell stories and educate kids about various topics. Then it was time for robots, artificial intelligence, drones and 3D printing. The possibilities are endless and we have the expertise and creative ideas to produce memorable brand moments that are meaningful and impactful. To make a long story short, we are on a journey to academise retailtainment and de-academise learning.

We believe this has been a win-win-win situation for shopping centres, shoppers and us as an innovative company. Shopping centres have the opportunity to enhance their brand image and encourage visitors to stay longer and return more often; shoppers have playful experiences while learning about emerging technologies and various topics; and we are part of creating a better and happier society and move our business forward.

We would like to thank all the brands we have partnered with to date; Vicinity Centres, RetailFirst, Centre Group, JLL, Lendlease, AMP Capital, Colliers International and our technology partners who have helped us deliver emerging technologies to anyone and anywhere across Australia.