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The importance of partnerships in event marketing

Event marketing is a constantly evolving ecosystem and no one knows this better than event planners and the design agencies they work with. In such a competitive market, either on-stand at a tradeshow or wrapped up in a conference, brands are striving to stand out with their event marketing in order to make a mark on the minds of their customers.

The battle to be different has just one common denominator: the importance of working with reliable cross-channel partners. From audio visual suppliers, through to digital agencies, caterers, staffing and the event venues and organisers themselves, the partners a brand chooses can often have a huge impact on success.

 

The pressures

With events becoming an omni-channel experience, catering to event attendees across digital, offline and face-to-face as well as through multi-devices and channels can be difficult. Event marketing has grown and evolved inline with other marketing practices and in an ‘always on’ world, event planners are under more pressure than ever to deliver. Events need to have an integrated online and offline experience, often taking into consideration platforms such as social media, email and blogging. Attendees also expect to be able to access event content through video, imagery, podcasts, written posts or whichever channel suits their personal preference. Learning each discipline in enough detail to be able to execute it successfully in the lead up to an event as well as within a live environment is a job for more than one person. But finding the right suppliers and ensuring that they can work together when the lines between digital and social media, design and content are so thin, can be an arduous task.

 

Integrated budgets

Integrated budgets is one of the approaches that event planners, and the wider industry, are now using in order to smooth the workload and make cross-channel partners work together more seamlessly. Event marketing now encompasses more than just email or registration software. Instead, it is a living, breathing organism which needs to retain fluidity so that it can adapt to insights and data that help it to evolve in line with its visitor’s needs. Having a single budget for content, another for communication and yet another for staffing can cause problems. Finding a content partner who can produce video, which then needs to be shared by a social media partner and broadcasted by an audio visual supplier, creates budget crossover in every area. Defining an ‘event marketing’ budget which can then be broken down into tens, or even hundreds, of supplier areas is often the way to ensure that the pragmatics don’t hold back success.

 

Collaboration, collaboration, collaboration

As well as sharing budgets across disciplines, collaboration is essential to the success of cross-channel partnerships. With brands and event planners often employing more than one event supplier within the same area to contribute towards their event, smooth relationships and open communication is key to success. This is aided by a trend within events, where many suppliers are now becoming experts in one area rather than master of all. This doesn’t mean that they cannot branch out, after all an audio visual supplier will always be able to offer iPads and laptops alongside their more advanced visual screens and videowalls, but it does mean that some suppliers will highlight their expertise in a single area, over everything else. This type of approach will allow for more successful relationships between agencies, brands and suppliers as well as clearer expectations on the roles and responsibilities of each supplier contributing to overall event success.

 

Multi-event partnerships

As many agencies and brands will know, tendering to work on a brand’s event marketing can be longwinded and time consuming for all those involved. More importantly, by the time the tendering process is complete and an agency selected, the brand may have pivoted or changed direction completely, therefore rendering plans redundant. To avoid this, some brands are now working towards a multi-event partnership, where the same suppliers and agencies are employed for a rolling contract. The benefit of this is that the event marketing legacy lives on far beyond the event itself. Agencies and suppliers incentivised by a single year contract will often be working to fulfill that event’s aims and to make it the best possible experience. Those who are contracted to work on the event campaign for two, or even five, years are in a better position to look at the long-term strategy of a brand’s event marketing and ensure that every event is a cog in a long term plan for success.

 

The events world has always been an exciting place to be, but in the foreseeable future, event marketing is about to become even more poignant. Events which are more complex and more integrated require advanced skillsets and multiple suppliers, all willing to work towards a single goal. As long as suppliers and agencies can adapt accordingly and future-proof both skillsets and a flexible approach to multi-partner working, the impact on the event industry as a whole will be unparalleled.

Event predictions for 2016

The start of a new year is a great time to look at what trends, features and new technologies will shape the year ahead. After all, if you’d said at the end of 2014 that we’d be reading messages on our iWatches and creating brand messaging in emojis while listening to Justin Bieber we may not have believed you.

So in the true spirit of a fresh new year, here are some of the event trends we expect to see being seeded through the world of pop-ups, events, exhibitions and conferences during the year ahead.

 

Enhanced event experiences

Events and exhibitions in particular, have always been an incredible feat, where large and often intricate structures are put together for the sole purpose of a day or two. This makes their message often more impactful than a permanent structure can hope to be, but this year we see the two merging. Events and exhibitions, which so often take their cues from the fast-moving world of retail and pop-up displays have become more innovative and more dynamic, whereas temporary structures have begun to invest more heavily in experience over design. Temporary events and exhibitions are doing more to embrace digital and social aspects, spending more on experience and making the environment feel intuitive, in order to mimic the attendee’s everyday life. Advanced technology such as high-resolution 2.5mm LED displays were once only suitable for permanent structures where they could be kept away from customers and built into more durable casings. Now, these types of solutions are available within event and exhibition environments creating a new option for designers and brands wishing to showcase content. In return, pop-ups and permanent structures are bringing in more aspects that draw the customer and the brand together, encouraging social sharing for discounts, mobile payment devices that can be taken onto the shop floor and interactive screen technology displays.

 

Purpose driven events

The big focus on the consumer cohort, ‘the Millennials’ which seemed to take over in 2015 will be set to continue in 2016 and as this group enters the industry and positions of buying power, we’ll see this affect the entire conception of events. As industry professionals, they’ll bring in new advancements, an enhanced knowledge of event technology and a heavy focus on purpose-driven events. What do we mean by this? Events that were once solely focused to sell, sell, sell will now swing back to more ‘people’ focused experiences. This means creating positive legacies from events, where the brand is able to ‘give back’ or create repercussions from their activity on the show floor. This may be as simple as partnering with a Not For Profit or worthwhile cause or giving up an event presence in order to spend on an experience or social project.

 

True engagement

Gone are the days where an event can be quantified by the number of attendees who sign up for a ticket. The progression in technology and big data means that brands and consumers now demand a higher level of data to prove return on interest. In 2016, when eyeballs and attention will be even more stretched across the on and offline worlds, creating true engagement and a way to measure it will be more important than ever. For audio visual suppliers, this means enhancing the technology that is able to provide data capture as well as monitoring number of views or time that the audience is engaged. For designers and partners, this means measuring everything from the number of tweets, through to conversations held on the stand, touchpoint check-ins and data viewed post-event. For brands, it means finding comprehensive ways to take the data captured, digest this and use it to improve the offering event-by-event.

 

Back to basics

In 2015 events seemed to be a platform for brands to show that they were bigger, better and more expressive than those next to them. In 2016, we predict a return to basics, where events simplify the connection between audience and brand in order to really communicate their most innate of brand values. Stripped back design, more intuitive technology and simple ways to communicate and create real face-to-face value will all help brands to embrace the event platform in the year ahead and make it their own.

 

The rise of event technology

If there’s one trend we have noticed over the past 12 months it’s the rise of event technology as a real contender to ensuring event success. Event planners are becoming more tech-savvy than ever and audio visual suppliers are going all out to provide event technology masterclasses and other learning opportunities, designed to enable planners to make the most of what’s on offer. The benefit of sophisticated event technology becoming more mainstream, is that the solutions become more affordable and better developed by the manufacturers who provide them. Over the years this has led to solutions such as bespoke content, which once stacked up into the tens of thousands, now becoming available for only a few hundred pounds. Not only does this rise in technology give the brands a continual vehicle through which to innovate their offering, but it also allows the customers using them to touch, test and takeaway the true message the brand is offering.

 

What event trends do you see becoming more important throughout the year ahead? Tweet us at @incredible_pg to let us know

An event marketer’s guide to Virtual Reality

The events world is exploring the virtual and as a result, mixed reality technology has become a highly requested tool both within events and the wider world, to bring a virtual experience into a physical space. So what do you need to know about virtual reality in order to successfully embrace it at your next event?

What is ‘virtual reality’?

Virtual reality is the manifestation of a computer-generated simulation by specialist electronic equipment. For example, a visitor at a travel event may adopt a headset on a stand, in order to take them to a hotel room in Dubai to have a look around. Alternatively, they might put on a headset, or pair of googles and take a ‘train ride’ through a City. The difference between this and older methods of visualisation is that with VR, the visitor is fully immersed in an environment through the sense of sight. Remember those visual stimulator rides where you would get in to a big black box and watch a screen as if you were on a speedboat? While they were effective up to a point, virtual reality takes this to another level, where the only scene you can see is the one being portrayed to you, with no other visual to detract from the illusion.

The history of VR

The term ‘virtual reality’ first began to spike interest around the 1990s, when there were books and films that depicted signs of VR, as well as virtual reality games in arcades and shopping centers. Shoot forward to the early 2010s, when Oculus Rift began their Kickstarter campaign and it was clear that this was a technology that wasn’t going to go away. Further proved by Mark Zuckerburg’s announcement of a $2bn investment in Oculus Rift, which putvirtual reality firmly on the list for emerging technologies that others, such as Samsung and Apple, must soon explore.

Virtual reality and events

VR is certainly a big buzzword in events, but one that is yet to reach full potential. The difficultly in the past has been creating content that is able to show-off the technology in the best possible way. The VR experience needs to be high quality, or risk being rendered useless. The entire concept revolves around making a person feel that they are in a specific environment and more importantly, for the brain to register the scene as a reality. If there is a time-lag when you turn your head, or a stuck scene, the reality is broken. This means that without enough budget to create a properly tried, tested and well-designed piece of software, you might as well not bother. In live event environments especially, nothing is forgiven. Saying that, it is now much more affordable to create a VR experience – with most bespoke pieces of content creation starting at around £4K or £5K and moving upwards depending on length, complexity and resolution.

Modern headsets are becoming more sophisticated than original versions, with many able to react to human movement at lightening speed, adapting the view accordingly. The screens themselves also offer a high-quality image that could be mistaken for a real-life scene

When choosing which form of technology to employ it’s important to think about it’s use within your event environment – rather than a testing one. For example, VR devices such as the Samsung Gear are powered by a phone which in an event environment may be difficult to keep charged.

Lastly, virtual reality should always be considered in light of your wider strategy and brand aims. Technology for technologies sake will not enhance your visitor’s experience, but a well-thought out piece of technology that creates a memorable experience will. Focus on the brief and message and employ the technology to facilitate that. And if VR is the right vehicle, then well your visitors are in for a treat.

How brands are using dynamic content to connect with their audience

Dynamic content goes against every aspect that an exhibition stand once represented. Whereas exhibition stands were once static spaces where visitors were drawn in and given a single piece of content or concept to engage with, dynamic content now ensures that exhibition stands are personalised hubs, where every experience can be different.

This is key in an environment where visitors are often shouted at, rather than engaged and where a personalised piece of content can often cut through the noise of stands that contain blanket marketing messaging.

This caters fully to a millennial audience who studies have shown overwhelmingly believe that businesses both need a reset, as well as a re-focus on people, rather than profit. Dynamic content allows brands to put themselves on the same level as visitors during an event, exhibition or conference with a carefully crafted message or presentation that shows that they are listening.

Four examples of dynamic content being used by brands on an event floor

Traditional content needs testing and preloading, to ensure it can be shown across a screen videowall or LED during a live event environment but with the rise of certain high-level media servers content can now be updated and adapted in realtime. In an environment such as an award ceremony this creates huge scope for what is broadcast around the world, or even within the event itself. On an exhibition stand, it allows for content that can be much more fluid and adapted depending on events occurring on the showfloor, the time of day or even the weather conditions outside.

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  1. Dynamic broadcast platforms

Smart Digital, the broadcast arm of IPG, creates digital media solutions for events and exhibitions. The Smart Digital Event TV platform allows organisers and exhibitors to broadcast key messaging, videos and showreels across the showfloor, YouTube channels and surrounding hotels, billboards and outdoor screens. In this type of environment, static pre-recorded content is often obsolete. Visitors who have often paid to attend an exhibition want to see content that is relevant to their experience while there. Dynamic Event TV broadcasts ensure that the messaging they see across a network of screens relates directly to the hall they are in, the day of the show and any news and updates that have been released in that moment.

Live dynamic broadcasts also allow exhibitors to have their key messages heard and provide them with a platform for releasing show news and products – something which exhibitions are renowned for. Furthermore, dynamic content allows those not attending to get a taste of what the show is really like – as it happens.

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  1. Personalised presentations

Using a high-quality LED or seamless videowall display screen undoubtedly attracts eyeballs during a show. But once those eyes are looking over, a second step is needed to capture and retain attention. This is where personalised presentations, led by dynamic content processors, are a great way to keep visitors on the stand and interested for longer periods of time. Dynamic content changes can often be managed by the stand staff themselves; using iPads, tablets or other handheld-devices in order to flip content and make it more relevant to the audience who are there in that moment.

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  1. Unique interactive experiences

Sometimes it is the smallest details which can cause the biggest ripple. For example, an interactive kiosk which welcomes a visitor by name, to a show. Or perhaps a uniquely branded coffee cup which when placed on a table, creates a display of content which has been created specifically for that visitor, based on their interests and previous purchasing history. Interactive event technology facilitates an experience which is personal and more rewarding for the visitor. Rather than bombarding them with every piece of company information, it allows the visitor to choose their own experience and to craft it out of the content they are interested in. According to studies, leads that are nurtured with personalised content produce a 20% increase in sales opportunities.

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Exhibitions are no longer static spaces and environments must be built which put the interest of the visitor at the forefront. Personalised, dynamic content which changes visitor-to-visitor, by interest, age or any other demographic you can imagine, will help you to create a longer-lasting more meaningful connection with your audience. For help using event technology to create dynamic content at your event, speak to our audio visual specialist Smart AV at info@smart-av.com

4 Types of Event Technology Perfect for Pop Ups

Over the past few years, empty spaces have become unusual. Abandoned warehouses, unused carparks and even the inside of the Tube have become the latest event spaces for some of the biggest corporates in the world.

Pop-up events have been ‘popping up’ all over London and beyond, with the brands who design them, utilising some of the most innovative event technology to bring them to life. Our audio visual solutions have been utilised at pop ups throughout retail, automotive events and even for our own event technology pop up. Here, we reveal some of the types of event technology that are perfect for pop ups:

Augmented reality

The space of a pop-up is already fairly immersive but when you use augmented reality this creates a second layer. Augmented reality provides a bespoke view of a physical environment, which the visitor can experience through computer-generated sensory input, creating a visual, sound or touch experience. When paired with a large-scale display screen or high-resolution LED wall, as shown above, this creates a sense of theatre that will draw in not just those with the headset on.

Projection mapping

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Projection Mapping uses video projection and choreographed displays, to transform a pop up space, building or object into a fluid canvas that helps to tell a brand story through 3D and 4D content. The reason Project Mapping is more suited to pop-up events than open events and exhibitions, is because it performs best when in a darkened environment, to allow all eyes to be drawn to the display. It also screams ‘share me’ and the traction that our project mapping displays have gained in the past over social media, helps to carry the pop up event far outside of the venue walls.

View in in action here at our recent technology pop-up.

 

Custom-branded touch tablets

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At every event, it’s crucial to provide a return on the investment and at a pop-up, where visitors are often more fluid than say, at a conference, the technology that you use to log attendance needs to be fluid too. Custom-branded touch tablets are one solution that provides an informal platform to log details, select visitor preferences and have a fully personalised conversation live while during the experience – that can be followed up on and tracked post-event. Enquire now

 

Transparent showcase screens

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With retail as one of the pioneering industries to embrace the pop-up event revolution, transparent showcase screens merge the physical and digital to create a captivating experience. With its slick outer case, this solution holds a physical product and wraps it in a digital experience, where videos, presentations, showreels and ads can be overlaid onto the screen in an interactive display. Enquire now

For more information or to discuss your pop-up event requirements, speak to our technology specialists at info@smart-av.com – we’d love to help

The Next Generation of Interactive Event Technology

Each year, there is a new demand. A demand for interactive event technology solutions that are bigger, more immersive and more experiential than last year’s offerings.

This is particularly apparent when it comes to tradeshows – event visitors have long memories and the exact same solution as the year before just won’t do, when it comes to selling your brand and its progression over the past 12 or 24 months. So while we haven’t quite manifested a gestural interface as slick as those seen in Minority Report yet, or the hoverboards promised in Back to the Future, what we have got is the next generation of interactive event technology. Some of the most innovative, eye-opening solutions to ever be deployed across pop-ups, award ceremonies, exhibitions and events. Here are some of the interactive solutions you may be embracing over the course of the next year….

Multi-sensory event technology

Interactive event technology is all about experience. Event visitors are no longer passive visitors to an event or exhibition; instead they arrive ready to embrace, test, touch and feel all of the products on offer to them. A multi-sensory experience is essential, if a brand is to mimic the visitors’ experience in real-life and use the power of science to trigger powerful brain connections and emotions that will lodge the brand activation much more firmly in their memories. Technologies are emerging that allow brands to synthetically replicate any flavour or taste they like, from a soft drink through to a grassy meadow. Retail spaces such as Selfridges are creating ‘Silence rooms’ and ‘headspace pods’ to ensure that harassed buyers leave their stores with a sense of peace and calm, as an alternative to what is experienced in the ‘real’ shop floor amongst the hustle and bustle of other shoppers. Marriott hotels have designed their own ‘Teleporter’ technology using an Oculus Rift, to take guests to Hawaii, where they can use augmented reality to experience what it might be like to lay on the beach in that moment in time.

Exhibitions and events are already a manipulated environment and the multi-sensory trend takes that a step further until visitors are actually living the environment the brand wishes to create. According to studies, “73% of Millennials crave experiences that stimulate their senses” – so you can be sure that this is one trend only set to grow.

Augmented reality

The deployment of ‘augmented reality’ at events has been discussed for a while and there have been projects where this has been put to good use, but it still remains the exception rather than the norm and something used for novelty, rather than to create a deeper experience that communicates real value. The way we see this improving is when Augmented reality is fuelled by big data and insight into the preferences and experiences of that event visitor. Visitors need to have a more in-depth experience – but one relevant to them and their preferences. The increase in use of smartphone and tablet to deliver augmented reality experiences will help to make this a more mainstream option, where experiences can be created both within the event and outside, to provide a consistent and personalised brand experience.

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Content that connects

Providing great content has been the norm for many years at tradeshows and conferences, but the evolution of this process into a more interactive medium can now be seen through content that connects. This is the type of content that creates an experience – a personalised experience, where the content is tailored to that individual and gives them a flexible canvas on which to skim through, develop, add notes to and download just the information that they are interested in. For this to be a feasible option, the content needs to be underpinned with real data and led by sales teams who take the time to get to know the visitor, drawing attention to specific content, based on the conversation occurring during that time. One of the ways our audio visual supplier Smart AV has been developing this for clients, is by linking up tablets and large-scale LED videowall solutions, so that sales teams can change the content display on the screen from a handheld device such as an iPad or tablet, live while talking to the visitor. It is through this pairing, of interactive hardware and software, that connects content and creates a brand message that is remembered long after the event ends.

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Interactive LED and large-scale solutions

The new generation of interactive technology in the hardware of events is undoubtedly interactive LED walls. Using laser-touch technology, these offer a much larger solution than standard interactive screens, which are usually a maximum of 95 or 103” in size. LED walls are modular tiles that can be built into a formation of any size, which therefore offers a custom creation, which can be used to offer interactive experiences to multiple visitors – with no size limitation. For product-driven companies this is the ideal canvas on which to showcase a new product, to engage visitors not only on the stand but also those walking by who won’t be able to resist using a native format, at such a large scale.

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Interactive technology used at events and exhibitions is changing. To find out more about some of these latest solutions or book a free learning session for your team, get in touch with our interactive specialists today at info@smart-av.com

Three Event Technology Trends that Cater for Millennials

Millennials, or generation Y as they’re sometimes called, are often labelled the most educated, connected and evolving generation of our time. Many brands and companies are beginning to place the thoughts of Millennials at the forefront of their marketing strategy – a key result of their purchasing power and potential to become leaders of some of the biggest companies in the world. But how to engage them within the events arena? With one in four adults now part of this generation, our event audiences are changing and event organisers and brands will need to work out what they want, in order to continue engaging them in meetings and events.

Here are some of the ways you can adapt your event technology strategy in order to attract Millennials and grow interest in your business within a live event environment.

Interactive Technology

A 2015 study by Deloitte found that Millennials overwhelmingly believe (75 percent) that businesses are focused on their own agendas rather than helping to improve society. This poses a problem in an event environment especially, where brands have a limited amount of time and opportunities to communicate the right message. One of the ways to break down this barrier is to employ interactive technology that places the experience of the millennial, firmly in their hands. Approaching a millennial with a well-oiled sales pitch might evoke a negative response. Millennials crave authenticity, therefore a compelling story or emotional message, delivered on a interactive product – a format the ‘touch generation’ are already acquainted with – will deliver the right message and allow them to feel engaged without being coerced.

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A Millennial study by Bauer also found that 71% claimed they would “rather tell people about something they’ve done than something they’ve got”. Brands should begin to invest in ‘experience’ – something interactive technology is able to deliver very easily, rather than gimmicky throwaways and meaningless ad campaigns.

Video

Deloitte found that 40% of 16-24s watch more than 30 minutes of short form video over multiple sessions every day. It’s their format of choice and one that is easy to deliver within an event environment. What brands can begin to think about now, is the medium their video message is delivered on. A seamless videowall screen with headphone viewing, is an engaging way to bring in Millennials and capture their attention for a longer period of time. Q&A sessions have also proved popular with this age group, therefore an interactive presentation on a high-end LED wall, with voting systems or social media-led questioning could help them to really engage with what the brand has to say.

Social Media integration

Above all else, the Millennial generation is social. If social recommendations are the number one source why Millennials engage with brands and make purchasing decisions, then content is the key to this. A strong event Twitter campaign, imagery and integration with video streaming sites such as YouTube and Vimeo, will all help to extend your message beyond the event walls. If a Millennial decides to look you up after the event; you want them to be able to find you.

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Technology can also help to accentuate your social messaging during the live environment; the Social Hubb software that we offer is an interactive, live feed of flowing social media interactions that can pull in YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and more into one streamlined screen.

Personalised on-stand experiences can also be incorporated using our Multitaction, interactive table software which allows a personalised experience for thousands of event visitors, using just their name or Twitter handle. First impressions are everything and social media is often the canvas to engage Millennials in the first instance and make them want to find out more.

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For help utilising event technology to capture the attention of a Millennial audience speak to our team. Our technical specialists are happy to provide demos, lunch and learns and examples of systems that will help you to create a better event experience.

The IPG Pop Up on New Event Technology

Throughout July and August, we held a pop up event at our new 40,000 sq. ft HQ to enable those working in events, production and exhibitions to come down, experience, play and interact with some of the latest technology solutions to arrive in the events industry. Event technology has to be seen firsthand, to really connect with a visitor or designer and we knew that providing a comprehensive display of the latest solutions would help our clients to see what’s available for the events season ahead. Here’s a little look at what we had on show…

Personalised welcome experience

Visitors were welcomed with a personalised interactive experience involving a 55” Philips multitouch kiosk and an LED videowall. Once their name was entered onto the interactive screen, they were simultaneously welcomed on the adjacent LED videowall and by their Smart AV point of contract, who was notified of their arrival via an automated email.

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First stop was a drink and pastry (or glass or Pimms!) in the boardroom, where our latest Social Hubb software was being displaying on the new 95” Samsung ME large format screen, showing a flowing live feed of tweets, Instagram posts and Facebook updates surrounding the event, for visitors to get involved using the hashtag #IPGPopUp

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There was also a showcase of the IPG divisions playing on a custom-made Samsung 46” videowall to give an introduction to the four divisions.

Onto the LED…

First up out of our four new types of indoor and outdoor LED was the smart edge 3.9mm LED which has a corner block design, allowing it to be turned into a cubed or right-angled design…or as we had here a 3D rubix cube which was managed using a Watchout 6 server.

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The next room showed off projection mapping in an innovative display which used both projection and LED. This was led by a Watchout 6 server which allowed it to create a coordinated display across the two mediums.

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The interactive showcase

As one of the biggest suppliers of multitouch equipment in the UK and Europe, the next room was a hub of interactive and multitouch software. This included the 42” transparent showcase screen, which bought together a physical product with an interactive digital overlay that gave information about the product through video, touch content and 3D renders.

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Also included was the Multitaction 42” screen – a groundbreaking multitouch solution which has object recognition and reacts to movement, touch and shape using 32 cameras that allow it to distinguish between each. The multitaction table can react to 1000s of different coded objects, which make it a great product for creating a truly personalised event experience for individual visitors.

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Next up, was a 4×4 seamless wall – a Smart AV classic which is used in exhibition and event settings throughout the world. What was unique about this videowall solution was that it was powered by a VENTV2 software – allowing for live content drops with no loading time required.


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3.9mm LED with touch

The big one. And without a doubt the most popular feature at the IPG Pop Up event – a high-resolution 3.9mm LED wall – with touch capabilities. This allowed visitors to manipulate the car shown on screen, changing its colour, design and viewpoint, all with a touch.

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Smart Digital

Next stop was a studio setup from Smart Digital, showcasing their dynamic Event TV platform which allows event visitors to have their own content channel broadcast throughout an event or exhibition via a network of cutting-edge screens, mobile devices and event apps. This is where we recorded the below digital collateral from the event.

Curved LED

The latest LED to join our fleet. 100 sq. metres of curved 5.9mm high-resolution LED which can be used indoor and outdoor. This 3m x 7m design showed off the product’s curved capabilities in both convex and concave formation, up to 5 degrees on each.

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Outdoor LED

The high-resolution outdoor LED which was flown outside to show off its resistance to even the brightest light conditions, is a brand new solution to the events industry. With a pixel pitch of just 5.9mm, this is four times the resolution of traditional outdoor LED shown at outdoor events.

To enquire about any of the technology used in the IPG Pop Up event please get in touch with our team at info@smart-av.com or view our video showcase from the event

How to Lose an Event Attendee in 5 Ways

Exhibiting at an event is your chance to attract potential customers in a live event environment and allow them to see, hear, touch and experience your product or service first hand.

The problem? Attracting event attendees in a crowded space, when the 50 or so stands around you are looking to do the same thing. Visitors need to be engaged, interested and see a reason to investigate further. In our experience, here are some of the ways you could be missing out on attracting your audience:

1. Not starting early enough

Your pre-event activity is almost as important as the on-stand activity itself. Start at least a month prior to the show and let visitors know about your presence, finding a unique angle to tell them what you’ll be showcasing. Take advantage of any editorial opportunities offered by the organisers and make the most of free channels such as social media and your own email stream, to really ramp up the marketing. Also ensure that you make contact with your suppliers as early as possible – in AV at least, we know that the earlier we work with an exhibitor the more options and advice we can provide to ensure that they really make the most of the technology they employ and that it works hard for them, to fulfill bottom-line company aims at the show.

2. Not thinking about how you’ll engage attendees

Engagement. It’s a word that we hear often in the world of events but it’s also one that companies don’t think about enough, when it comes to planning their exhibition stand. In an environment where you have just moments to attract attention, it’s crucial to think about the journey your visitor will take and the moments where they’ll be engaged on your stand. This is where the technology solutions you employ should directly benefit you, by drawing delegates in and engaging them with what you do. An interactive screen, table or kiosk is a great tool you can position in just the right area, so that attendees are drawn onto the stand and begin interacting with your company content even if they are reluctant to directly approach a salesmember. The latest ultra-HD 4K screens, are another powerful-pull, as they have four times more detail than full HD and will therefore set your stand apart from the others surrounding it.

3. A Sales team without the tools or preparation to make an impact

Second only to the design and technology you employ, is the importance of the people you place on your stand. These are the faces of your company during the event and it’s vital that they put on a great show. Too many sales staff are reluctant to approach visitors or too busy talking to other colleagues or checking emails. Prepare your team well in advance, to ensure that they know what to expect and have them practice how they will approach stand visitors with a short ‘elevator pitch’ and two or three lead in questions. A custom-branded tablet or iPad is one solution that makes a huge difference to how a sales team interacts with visitors on a stand, as it gives them a low-key way to introduce the company content to the attendee, in a format that is familiar and easy to use. This works as a fantastic ice-breaker and is also key in capturing attendee data that can be followed up on at a later date.

4. Forgetting to organise incentives

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Incentives don’t have to be monetised ideas but you will need to consider how you’ll persuade an attendee to part with their data or tell you more about their aims at the show. Sometimes all this will take is a sit down area, where you can really get into what they’re looking to achieve and how your company might be able to help. Other times, you may need to create a relevant giveaway or an element of gamification to help the visitor journey flow. A tool such as Poken is a great incentive for attendees to share data, as the NFC element allows it to be transferred ‘at a touch’ – a fun and simple way to encourage networking at your stand.

5. Not creating a follow-up plan

Before the event has started, think about your plan of attack after it has finished. It will be much easier to keep the line of conversation open, if you already have a process to follow that will help create post-show engagement. This could be a simple follow-up email, with the next steps outlined or even a touchpoint process, where you thank the attendee on social media, followed by a general email mailshot and then a personalised follow-up a week later once the hype of the show has calmed down.

What are the worst offences you see on exhibition stands and how would you combat them? Let us know on Twitter @incredible_pg

Should You Choose an Industry-Accredited Supplier?

There are many accreditations and associations within the events industry – it’s one of the aspects that makes it such a community-driven vocation.

For audio visual suppliers like ourselves, it offers a chance to validate the service we provide, leading to further recommendation from a third-party source that the event organiser or agency can trust. For organisers, agencies and event professionals, it offers a rich database of suppliers in everything from catering, to event production, which can help them to make an informed decision about the partners they use for their event. Some accreditations, such as our recognition of sustainability; ISO 20121, is now a requirement for some large events and we are finding ourselves approached more and more, by exhibition organisers who need to work with suppliers who are conscious of their impact on the environment.

This led us to question; should you choose an industry-accredited supplier for your events?

Let’s take a look at the benefits:

  • Better service. Industry accreditations such as ESSA (Event Supplier and Services Association) only accept members who are recognised as providing a consistently high level of service to the organisers they work with. ESSA provides this recognition by seeking testimonials and references from organisers that the supplier has worked with in the past.
  • Worldwide reach. Smart AV is part of an association called GNET (Global Network of Association and Management) and the AV Alliance, creating a network of industry leaders and business professionals around the world that can be called on, in order to provide the same level of quality across the world, reduce costs or enable a last-minute event turnaround.
  • Improved relationships. In the words of ESSA “The development of a closer relationship and understanding between organisers and their suppliers and venues can only benefit the industry as a whole.” This is something we believe in and we always try to work with our clients as a partner, rather than as just an AV supplier.
  • Wider benefit to the event. Accreditations such as ISO 20121 is a management system standard that has been designed to help suppliers like ourselves and others within the events industry, improve the sustainability of our events. This is beneficial to the organiser and supplier, as it puts into place practices that ensure the company grows at a sustainable rate, gives back to the community and operates a more efficient and environmentally friendly business. In terms of direct benefits to the event, ISO 20121 ensures that any event-related organisation can continue to be financially successful and become more socially responsible, reducing the event’s environmental footprint and saving money in the long run.

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Some of the event industry associations Smart AV belongs to include:

ESSA

The Event Supplier and Services Association has 207 members and represents contractors and suppliers of good and services to the exhibition industry. Smart AV has been a member of ESSA for many years and it gives clients the opportunity to review the company’s work before they commit to a contract with them.

AV Alliance

As a member of the AV Alliance, Smart AV is able to utilise the offering of trusted partners to supply and support its clients throughout the world. Becoming a member also means that we have fulfilled every aspect of a certain set of criteria, including a specific level of technical expertise, installation, high-quality equipment and certificates of performance.

GNET

Smart AV’s directors are part of a global network where they can easily contact and confer with other association executives throughout the world. All members are similarly minded within matters of an international nature and this network allows them to share views with a multitude of global peers.

ISO20121

Smart AV are proud to have been the first audio visual supplier to become BS8901 approved back in 2011 (the British Standard of Sustainability) and are now recognised with the international standard; ISO 20121. This ensures that we are always working to minimise the environmental impacts associated with the events industry, which can often lead to extended benefits for our clients, including reduced costs and more tightly organised onsite deployment.

To learn more about our industry accreditations and find out how they could benefit your events, please get in touch at info@smart-av.com – we’d love to hear from you

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