Technology - time to stop and think
In the excitement of delivering a truly memorable event, are we just a little too eager to use the latest technology, even where it doesn’t strictly fit the brief?
Without a doubt, technology can enhance the consumer experience in the experiential environment. There is a never-ending selection of new, exciting kit, from the latest in AV to innovative social media uses. It’s tempting to use the whizz-bang stuff because you know it will dazzle, but just stop and think for a moment. Will the technology truly benefit the overall experience, or are you rushing to apply it just so you can claim that you did it first?
The skill lies in applying technology in the best way. Understand what to use and when. Rule number one – as in every area of marketing – is first, learn how consumers engage with your brand. Then choose and use the technology accordingly, making sure that it doesn't overwhelm and distract them from your overall message and objectives.
When Fox wanted to reach customers with their new range of Blu-ray videos before Christmas last year, they used green screen technology that made people the stars of their own movie trailer.
In return for data capture, Fox rewarded customers by delivering the mini-movie to their inbox, and the Blu-ray message went effortlessly global when they shared it via social media. A great example of appropriate technology applied for maximum ROI.
It seems that every project we see or touch at the moment calls for an iPad. Yes, it looks cool on your stand but what are you going to show and how are you going to use it to capture data and deliver new leads? It has got to be about improving the length and quality of the consumer engagement.
Just as importantly, technology has to work in the physical environment. Companies like tech brand Ciena frequently need to transport large, complex, expensive bits of kit that would be almost impossible to display anywhere other than in a customised trailer. This year, Ciena commissioned a specially designed fully air-conditioned server rack to demonstrate and store its range of networking equipment and software safely in a roadshow that travelled thousands of miles to visit 10 European countries in all temperatures.
The right technology delivers a memorable event by impressing, not dazzling customers.