What’s your dream? Jumping from a plane, driving a race car at full speed, swimming with sharks, or going on a trip? Would you rather have a cup?
“The best present to start 2021 is receiving the gift of a great experience sometime soon,” says Gastón Parisier, founder of BigBox, a company dedicated to making fantastic experiences possible.
A big box of magic
It all started with a little magic. Gastón began as a one-man entrepreneur, working magic at birthdays, parties, and family gatherings. For one of his birthdays, he received a gift arrived that couldn’t be wrapped: a parachute jump.
“It was a long time ago, but to this day I still remember it as one of the best gifts I’ve ever gotten in my life. That’s when I had a brainwave and thought I could create a company which helped people to give those kinds of experience gifts” says the BigBox CEO.
Gastón no longer does magic shows. Now, there’s magic all the time coming out of his enormous box: BigBox. The entrepreneur states that “the experiences the company makes include gifts to fit any need”.
At the heart of the company are experiences that last forever. “We look for those people who want a life full of experiences and not material objects”, says the Argentine entrepreneur.
“Which gifts go beyond just being objects? For example, how much time do we spend preparing for Christmas dinner? We usually spend about six hours preparing dinner, but we should use this same time to prepare a good dynamic experience at the table,” said Oliver Sahlmann, an expert in positive leadership during Wellbeing360, an event organized by the Institute of Happiness Sciences.
A decade on with BigBox
Ten years have passed since Parisier started the platform that gives away experiences in Argentina, which is now available in five countries. Over the years, they’ve opened new markets and new sales channels such as outlets in plazas and online sales.
Gastón’s team selects and curates a large array of the best experiences. You only need to worry about enjoying the experience.
There are several ways to get a BigBox experience. You can receive it as a gift, or you can buy it yourself, but the most important part of the business is corporate sales.
“During this pandemic, corporate customers use our gifts to retain employees or build customer loyalty. It’s a way to feel somehow more connected to a corporation at a time when many can’t have social gatherings,” he adds.
Gifts that aren’t exchanged
Navigating the page is simple. Select your country or countries, and you can explore categories such as gastronomy, extreme sports, relaxation, stays, adventures, a mix of everything, and now also experiences from home. The platform also organizes experiences by elements: experiences on land, water, air, and snow.
“Our bestselling area of all experiences is gastronomy, which is one of my favorite experiences. The range is very complete, including experiences for two people, new places, and Latin American countries that are gastronomic leaders such as Mexico.
New experiences are always being added to the box. “We want to surprise our customers. We’ve acquired luxury or racing vehicles to offer to our customers so they can drive them at full speed,” says the entrepreneur.
Gastón recommends buying based on who you want to give a present to. If you’re not very close, choose Mix boxes, where they choose the gift. When it’s someone close, go by category. You know the person.
Mexico, an endless number of experiences
During the Covid-19 health emergency, many businesses have closed, but BigBox hasn’t. “Three months earlier, in November 2019, we launched our company in Mexico. It’s been such an atypical year, and luckily the reception has been very good, extremely good with corporate customers,” says Gastón.
The range in Mexico is one of the most sophisticated on the platform. Experiences include Los Cabos, the Riviera Maya, Mexico City, and magical towns. One of Gastón’s plans was to open physical outlets, but the pandemic prevented that. However, Mexico’s corporate sales have been the largest in all of BigBox.
Has the pandemic put an end to experiences?
Big Box continues to work because the experiences are individual. What’s more, “We’ll be able to have experiences again very soon. We started selling trips six months ago, valid for up to a year. That way, people can hope it won’t be long before we can start doing fun things again,” Gastón says.
It’s been a decade since Parisier quit doing shows, but he’s found a new way to do magic: experiences.
“Magic is not the art of the impossible. Magic is the art of surprise, and really all we want is to surprise people with our gifts,” he concludes.