When was the last time you had an “experience” at an event? Where an exhibit – its brand and it’s personality, resonated with you beyond normalcy and tradition. We tend to force the experience around an existing environment. We should be designing the experience first, leaving the architecture as complimentary. What’s the visitor experience and what’s being done to reinforce and extend it beyond the close of an event?Nothing in this business excites me more than the challenge of solving this question.
So when I say design is more than exhibits – panel counts, counters, kiosks, etc, I mean It’s about creating an experience that aligns your brand proposition to a specific event. It homes in on your key business objectives and differentiates your brand from the competition. It could be a promise of innovation, superior service or value.
In every case there is a challenge or questions that can only be answered by your product or service. First we have to figure out what that it is and then develop a story that your targeted audience can relate to in a way that ultimately plants the seeds that can sprout into a or purchasing decision, media exposure or reference. Then we need to figure out ways we can reinforce your brand throughout the event and extend the experience beyond its set duration.
What does experience marketing look like?
I was in Barcelona a couple of weeks ago attending Mobile World Congress, the annual event that this year drew a record 60,300 attendees from over 200 countries, with 51% C-level representation. As for exhibitors, Google’s Android exhibit gets an A-plus from me on creativity and experiential design. It was the busiest most exciting booth in all 8 halls of the congress. Android created an entirely unique story about their mobile platform with a themed exhibit featuring green android critters surrounded by demos for various apps supported by their system and self guided touch screen kiosks positioned in front of a conveyor belt that carried all new devices running on Android. The message was clear. You have plenty of options with this system. For fun, visitors could climb a set of stairs going up a green deck and then slide down a slide to the first floor of the exhibit where a photographer was set up to snap their photo at the exact moment they emerged from the tunnel. Visitors were given a branded photo inside of an Android frame for taking the ride. It sounds kind of silly when you say it out loud, am I wrong?
But when it’s done the right way little things like the slide and photo are fun and extend the experience for guests that goes home with them that will forever be a reminder of the time the spent in the Android booth.
It’s all about the experience. What’s the story and what’s being done to extend and reinforce it after the show is over.