A Winning Strategy: InVision Expands Capabilities with Key New Hires

(Download PDF)

WALNUT CREEK, CA—InVision is pleased to announce the latest additions to its growing Strategic Services Group (SSG), Senior Engagement Strategist Heather McCormick and Learning Expert Karen Baldauff. “We are excited to have Heather and Karen on board. Together, they bring a tremendous breadth of expertise to our strategy practice, allowing us to deepen the kinds of programs we’re able to offer our clients,” said Nicole Bojic, Group Executive, SSG.

Heather McCormick, Senior Engagement Strategist

With 25 years of experience in the strategy world, Heather will focus on internal management and communication dynamics across InVision’s client roster, enhancing the company’s ability to drive audience acquisition, brand value and revenue growth for its valued clients. Prior to joining InVision, Heather developed strategic audience engagement programs for AAA, and served as a database strategist and marketer for leading publications including Harvard Business Review, Inc. Magazine and Autoweek.

Karen Baldauff, Learning Expert

With more than a decade focused on developing adult learning programs, Karen will bolster InVision’s ability to accelerate customer success through instructional design and applied adult learning theory, working directly with clients on the design, development and execution of learning programs. Karen honed her skills supporting marketing and global sales enablement for Wells Fargo and HP, and producing an educational series for the Stanford University Executive Education program.

Rod Mickels, InVision’s co-founder and CEO elaborated, “We’re continuing to add amazing talent to our team and expand our capabilities to offer more holistic, strategically grounded solutions to our clients. We’re delighted to welcome Heather and Karen on board.”

About InVision
Founded in 1991 by Rod Mickels and Drew Hagen, InVision is a leading full-service engagement agency providing best-in-class business communications solutions via a dynamic blend of strategy, technology, analytics, creative and production excellence. We are proud to partner with some of the world’s most respected companies as we bring their brands to life through product launches, global sales conferences, employee training programs, change management initiatives and much more. For more information, contact us at info@iv.com.

Nice Bot!

Written by, Jason Irwin, Manager, Digital Experience Director

Photo Source: http://www.neatorama.com/

(Download PDF Version: Nice Bot!)

The bots are taking over and if that concerns you, well, there’s a chatbot to help with that—and just about everything else.

Customized, timely and relevant information at your fingertips and at your command is becoming the norm, while waiting in line at an information kiosk is becoming increasingly archaic.

What can chatbots do for us in the brand engagement space? Take a look at this quick video on the basics of a bot from Gizmodo to get your bot knowledge up to speed, then continue reading to learn about how bots can take your event to the next level in technology and strategy.

Attendees overwhelmingly use their mobile device for event information, and we are entering a time where the event app is starting to be replaced by a chatbot. Chatbots in all their forms (textual, visual and auditory) are flooding into the event/experiential space. Brands that have harnessed some of the power of these digital tools are clearly seeing the benefits of bot engagement and data collection, and how that data can be used to refine the attendee experience.

Chatbot Communication Channels


“By 2021, more than 50% of enterprises will spend more per annum on bots and chatbot creation than traditional mobile app development.”

Contributor, Kasey Panetta. “Gartner Top Strategic Predictions for 2018 and Beyond.” Smarter With Gartner, October 3, 2017

What Bots Offer in Brand Engagement

Personalized Real-Time Conversations

  • Always on
  • Multilingual
  • Build pre-event and early engagement
  • Update event information on the fly
  • Subsets of communications for attendees based on role, skills, interests, etc.
  • Unique brand/event voice
  • Increase post-event engagement with information resources and customized follow-up
  • Seamlessly switch to human assistance

Analytics and Learning

  • View real-time insights and act on them––”read the crowd”
  • Get live accurate/current attendee data
  • Build on the knowledge of each event/brand experience

Budget-Friendly

  • Bots don’t need to have any physical or digital identity
  • They can be audio or just text
  • They are infinitely scalable
  • They limit the need for expensive human assistance

Continued Engagement

  • Encourages agency/vendor loyalty through continuous data collection event to event and year over year
  • Extend and amplify the engagement and content post-event

Event Bot Platforms

Chatbird: https//chatbirds.io/
Concierge Eventbot: https://conciergeeventbot.com/

The New Wave of Visual Bots (The Future of Bots)

Brands are going to want to bring their brand bots and event themes to life  through avatars, brand characters and virtual humans in the event/experiential space. Augmented Reality/Extended Reality (AR/XR) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) will play important roles in bot development.

93% of face-to-face communication is nonverbal (visual and vocal), so it’s logical for bots to follow this progression. We are seeing advancements from companies in the following spaces:

Virtual
AR Humans (and Standees): http://www.prsonas.com/
V
irtual Human: https://www.soulmachines.com/

Physical
Hybrid Media Robots: https://www.event-bots.com/
Humanoid Robot: http://www.hansonrobotics.com/robot/sophia/

Bot Interaction and Engagement


Summary
Chatbots are useful technology that anyone can easily embrace. They’ve been around for ages and, as AI and mobile converge, and NPL (Nature Language Processing) gets better, they will become a seamless part of our lives. They will provide a familiar chronological user experience that keeps a simple swipe-able history at your fingertips. When developed properly, brand/event engagement will be made stronger with each brand/product/experience. These bots will become brand and event ambassadors, and remember you from event to event—and all the time in between.

Bots will fill a prominent spot in an AI-enabled, post-app era and continue to rapidly grow across markets, complementing the increased use of XR through voice, gesture and gaze input that will start to rival texting in the 2020s.

For more information on how we can help integrate chatbot technology into your communication strategies, please email info@iv.com.

Preview the Future

Enhance Your Experience Design with Previsualization Tools

Written by, Tim Smart, Manager, Technology Innovation Group

(Download PDF Version: Preview the Future

Anticipation builds as you move through the branded registration area and  vast expo space. You look around, impressed by what you see, but you’re excited to get to the general session and take your seat. As you go through the doors, you’re swept up by energetic music and pulsing lights moving around the room. You take your seat and the lights dim, revealing a beautifully designed stage and dazzling opening media piece on the screen. The excitement is palpable, but you’re not really there—you’re in your office, thousands of miles away. You’re experiencing your event virtually through previsualization tools.

The Power of Previsualization

InVision believes in using the power of previsualization (previs) to create smarter, more impactful events. Imagine being able to experience your event long before it even begins—getting a 360-degree preview, complete with environments, lighting, music and motion—without having to travel to the venue or build expensive sets.

When applied correctly to a production design workflow, previs enhances collaborative design thinking and accelerates decision-making during the pre-production process. With previs, you can test different concepts, experiment with effects and make changes before you execute them in the real event space. You can sit in the audience or stand on the stage. You can evaluate the impact of your music, media pieces and stage designs. And, best of all, you can share this experience with key members of your team during the development process—no matter where they are in the world.

So, What is Previsualization Anyway?

Popular with game developers and film directors, previsualization uses 3D computer renderings and virtual reality to create a realistic visualization of how something will look when complete. By simply putting on a pair of VR goggles, you can be instantly transported into a virtual environment.

Advantages for Event Marketers

InVision’s Technology Innovation Group was inspired by how previs technology was being used in other industries. We thought this same technology could offer tremendous advantages to event marketers, including:

  1. As an organizer, you have the ability to visually experience an environment in a form very close to reality. You can view sightlines and first-person perspectives from the best and worst seats of the house, on stage and everywhere in between.
  2. Executive speakers can experience what they’ll see from the stage, including locations of confidence monitors and other visual aids.
  3. Dynamic lighting schemes can be integrated into the virtual space and video media files can play on the virtual screens, bringing you closer to the actual experience.
  4. Programmatic and visual decisions can be made earlier in the process, cutting the cost and time spent developing environments because key decision-makers can experience the exact same space at the same time in advance of it physically being built.
  5. Designers can design within the virtual environment, reducing costs associated with any redesigns on site.

Previsualizing Success

Since 2015, InVision has utilized previsualization to help our clients develop more impactful programs, work more collaboratively and streamline development costs. We’re currently working on the next generation of previs, incorporating both augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality into our previsualization tools. Let us demonstrate how to bring your event to life before it even begins.

If you’re interested in learning more about how previs can enhance your planning process or if you’d like a live demo (which we highly recommend), let’s talk. Contact us at info@iv.com.

5 Tips for How to Create Powerful Media

Written by, David Rathod, Creative Director, InVision Communications

(Download PDF Version: 5 Tips for How to Create Powerful Media)

InVision believes in creating captivating, transformative experiences that connect with audiences on a deeply emotional level. There’s no better way to engage an audience and convert them into brand enthusiasts than with imaginative storytelling told through beautifully executed media. For us, media constitutes a variety of elements, including video, motion graphics, theatrical effects (i.e. lighting and sound), and interactive components and technology (i.e., augmented reality and virtual reality).

Here Are 5 Tips for How to Create More Powerful Media Experiences for Your Brand:

1. Define the Takeaway.
Before starting any media project, establish what you’re trying to achieve. When the experience is over, what do you want people to do? What do you want them to feel? Craft your messaging so the audience reacts in a certain way and develop the style of your piece to generate the feeling you want to establish. Think about style in the context of movie genres—is this a comedy, drama, thriller or historical story? Knowing what you want the audience to do and feel will inform how to tell your story.

2. Treat Media Like a Journey, Not a Destination.
Effective storytelling takes audiences to a place they might not have otherwise gone. Though there is a beginning, middle and an end, the point of the story is the power of the experience itself. Use honesty and imagination as a way of getting the audience to let down their guard and get caught up in the moment. Put yourself in the mindset of the attendee, think about how you will excite and inspire them; and guide them along a path of discovery that ultimately connects them to your brand. If you’ve taken them on a compelling journey, you will have earned their trust along the way. And with brands, trust is critical to success.

3. Craft a Unique Message.
Instead of creating a safe, generic message, take a stand! To win over the audience, distinguish your brand by developing a smart, creative, unexpected story—something that supports your brand story, yet separates you from competitors. Tell your brand story with heart and conviction, not marketing lingo. If you feel a personal connection with the story you’re telling, others will too. Be bold with your media design to maximize impact—when done well, it always pays off. You can be bombastic and loud, minimal and elegant, or funny and irreverent. A succinct, bold idea that reinforces your brand, yet resonates with people catapults your brand to be top-of-mind.

4. Flatter Your Audience—With Intelligence.
Today’s audience is more sophisticated than ever. As this link from eMarketer shows, people absorb media all day, every day—online, offline and on their phones—which means they’ve seen it all. Audiences want to be moved and impressed, so give them original, exciting work. Whether you leverage elegance, humor or emotion, be smart about it. Don’t dumb it down. Create experiences for intelligent, observant audiences and they’ll respect your brand for it.

5. Put the Venue to Work.
Where and how will the audience be experiencing the media? It’s important to understand the venue space itself. If it is expansive and spacious, use the whole room. Lighting effects, projection mapping and interactive elements, such as PixMob, can help fill out a space, making it feel more intimate. It’s also important to pay attention to running time and tempo. For example, if you’re creating an opening experience, the audience will give you their full attention; use it wisely and don’t overstay your welcome. Always leave the audience wanting more.

Engage and Inspire Your Audience with InVision
Immersive, engaging media experiences can transform the way you connect with your audience. People love being taken on a journey, and a well-crafted story told through film/video, interactive elements, live performances or a combination thereof can boost the emotional engagement they have with your brand, your products and your people.

If you’re interested in creating more powerful media experiences, let’s talk. At InVision, we’re always excited to tell brand stories in new, thought-provoking ways. Contact us at info@iv.com. 

 

Brand Storytelling Through Film

(Download PDF Version: Brand Storytelling Through Film)

Event attendees look for experiences that deepen trust and appreciation of the brand. Successful creative has to generate honest communication or we risk turning off audiences. So to sustain competitive advantage, businesses must become masters of brand storytelling.

The guidelines of effective storytelling are pretty simple:
1. Tell honest stories with style and quality.
2. Don’t take yourself too seriously.
3. Create a story that you personally would want to experience.

With those in mind, the marriage of emotion and film technique will enhance your brand story in a way that creates an authentic message and deepen connections.

4 TRENDING FILM TECHNIQUES FOR EMOTIONAL FILMMAKING

Humanize the Brand
Google played with film storytelling styles in a fun and clever way by using various documentary filmmaking techniques to connect audiences with their brand in ways that traditional third person POV filmmaking cannot always do. This includes up close and personal interviews, wide shots so we can see the environment and the use of graphics to augment a rich, multilayered and authentic story.

Humor
Done right, this remains a fantastic way to enchant the audience and create an atmosphere of trust and confidence. If your brand has a good sense of humor like HP, the viewer’s more likely to believe in you, knowing that you’re not merely spinning a marketing yarn. But if comedy isn’t appropriate, a light, friendly approach helps make the right emotional connection. Occasionally it’s the most serious message that’s best communicated with humor.

Virtual Reality
VR immerses the viewer in ways 2D or 3D can’t do. Since it requires headsets, the experiences are individual instead of communal, but the depth of involvement is impressive. Some VR now combines virtual reality, augmented reality and live video which opens doors to amazing possibilities. There’s a lot of smart experimentation being done: brands like Mini, Lufthansa and Facebook have produced interesting content and the New York Times, music performances and film festivals are featuring it.

Hybrid Filmmaking
The iPhone, GoPro and DSLRs are making it possible for everyone to become filmmakers. Tangerine, a feature film shot entirely on the iPhone 5, told a story in locations that traditional films would have to spend significant money to secure. The relaxed filmmaking style is unintimidating and feels more like they’re making a home movie or selfie. Inexpensive filming technology in the hands of skilled and creative filmmakers can lead to quiet, unexpected and powerful stories.

Interested in learning more about brand storytelling through film? Contact us at info@iv.com

Written by, David Rathod, Creative Director, InVision Communications

Sweatworking: A Healthy Way to Network

Sweatworking is the New Networking Article

Five B2B Engagement Tactics

5 Conference Trends B2B 2016

Millennials: Same Goals, New Methods

0600  Millennial Handout Final High Res

National Sales Meeting Motivates Sales Force

NSM_2015_000643_IWP_8330-2[1]

 

NSM is a chance for our biopharmaceutical client to celebrate its sale representatives and their accomplishments as well as introduce companywide goals for the year. We knew just where to start – the patient.

To create a memorable and uplifting experience, we pulled our event theme from the company’s tagline – as a hashtag. For the first time in the event’s history, the theme became a conduit to audience interaction during the meeting, as representatives were encouraged to share their thoughts and actions onscreen in a comments feed. Most importantly, the theme allowed us to introduce patient stories to show how the company impacts real patients. Our opening speaker, a 15-year-old heart transplant patient sharing her incredible story, was the clear highlight of the event. She was charm, confidence and charisma personified, and her message touched every person in the room. She also served as the emcee for the other patient presenters to tell their emotional stories of recovery and wellness. It was an emotional high point, from the opening session through departure, and reinforced the core mission of the business.

Location Tracking Brings Event Planners Real-Time Data

psfk loopd

Photo Credit from psfk

As experiential marketers, we are constantly looking for new ways to gather data at our events that will help us measure the success and engagement level of our attendees. One effective solution marketers are adopting are location-tracking devices and tools.

Tracking attendees’ movements and interactions brings a wealth of information to planners because it gives us real-time information on traffic flow, data retention, dwell time and connections.

Loopd is one example of a location-tracking tool that uses Bluetooth low-energy beacons around the event that communicate with chips the attendees wear around their neck. The real-time data collected captures tangible analytics that can determine how much time attendees spent at your event or booth. It also allows you to watch attendees with heat maps so that you can see where the most popular areas are at your event. Loopd also benefits attendees. Attendees can share their contact information with another attendee by simply tapping their badges together. They can also see a history of their interactions and download marketing materials from exhibitors they visited.

Have you used location-tracking solutions at your events?