Over recent years there has a been a significant shift in the way in which customers experience products, services, and brands. It’s no longer enough to simply tell people what you offer, you need to show them, surround them with, and engage them with your brand. That’s why exhibitions and events are more important than ever as a tool for directly engaging with customers. At Envisage, we deliver brand experiences on a weekly basis at exhibitions all over the world. Here are our top tips for creating engaging exhibition experiences.
Pre-Event build up
Even before your customers or clients arrive at your exhibition you should be engaging with them. People like the familiar, and if they have already interacted with your brand in some way prior to the event they will be more likely to engage with you once they get there. It is also always positive to create a conversation or buzz around an event and get people engaging with each other.
At Envisage we use various tools to create a pre-event buzz. Pre-event E-invites can give a personal touch, ensuring that the right people know about your exhibition and stand location. Interactive apps are a great way to seamlessly integrate all the important information your event attendees may need. They can include: ticketing, registration, games, surveys, maps and directions and anything else you can think of that attendees might want at their fingertips. Social media engagement is another way of reaching your audience pre-event. Start discussions, ask questions, share useful information and shareable content.
Create Your Story
Who are you and what is your story? The art of storytelling is key in the marketing of any product or service. An authentic, honest, brand story, can help you to stand out from the crowd and build trust. We often use video, animation and projection technology to create visual displays to tell our client’s story. Primarily you need to ensure that it reflects your core values and helps people understand what your brand is all about, where it came from and what it stands for.
Know your audience
As with all marketing tactics, understanding and segmenting your audience is key to the success of engaging experiences. At a basic level, you need to know who your audience are to ensure the experiences you are providing is appropriate. This can be based on age, location, behaviors or lifestyle or a combination of all. The next step is to really get to know your audience on an individual basis. That is where things like social media and personalized apps can be very useful. Find out information about those attending your event. Their likes, dislikes and interests and create a personal experience for them based on this.
Consider all 5 senses
Event planners, marketers and exhibitors are often very good at creating visual displays. But what about the other 4 senses? To truly immerse your customers in your brand and create memorable experiences, why not add taste, touch, sound and smell. Firstly, consider the theme, venue and attendees, ensure what you choose compliments or reflects the environment. Providing music and entertainment is a key part of the event process. At Envisage we work with all of our clients to create playlists and embed sound systems in their stands. Additionally, we have a hospitality and catering team for events to ensure there are a range of delicious drinks, snacks or canapes. Our interior design team create comfortable seating areas and use a range of textures. We are also able to create a scent that represents your brand, just be careful that it’s not too powerful as this can put some people off.
Embrace Current Trends
A few years ago, it was flash mobs, more recently it was the mannequin challenge. What’s hot today? Gamification is big in the exhibition industry at the moment. At Envisage we regularly create custom product games for clients to use on stands. These create a talking point, much like the now common touchscreen tablets used to do. People like to feel current and involved in the latest trends so give them that opportunity! They will remember you, and thank you for it.
Element of Surprise
Do something that the attendees don’t expect. Do something unusual. We have done some really “out there” things for clients in the past using video or virtual reality and have always had great feedback. Another way to surprise people is with a personalized gift for a special client, do your research and get something they will love. It creates a buzz at the event and gets everyone talking. Just make sure its audience appropriate!
Author: Chanel Serena Morales: Marketing Coordinator