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.
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?
We are so excited to launch our 2015 IVC Company Demo Reel!
Our reel demonstrates our ability and passion for creating engaging corporate event experiences that inspire lasting results. We’re driven to provide our clients with flawless production execution and outstanding creative and service that deliver on-target messaging.
Want to learn more? Visit our website: www.iv.com.
Location: Hyatt Regency, Huntington Beach, CA
This biopharmaceutical company’s 2014 National Sales Meeting (NSM) represented several notable “firsts.” On our side, it was InVision’s first project with them. On theirs, the meeting was an inaugural address to the sales team on the heels of a recent acquisition. In the course of several months, we all learned a lot about what’s at the heart of the company’s culture, no matter what changes they face – and even more about the wide horizon of opportunity ahead of them.
Know Your Audience and Objectives
Their organization is different. It’s widely admired for its products, people and unique culture. So the acquisition by a larger company brought about a lot of questions for both employees and our project team – especially since it was announced midway through our planning process. To establish clear, collective objectives, we organized a half-day work session for all key stakeholders, locking ourselves in a room to map out the core messages for the event. Together we arrived at a singular, critical takeaway: that while there’s change ahead, the culture and values are still essential, and that the days to come will be filled with incredible possibility.
Design with Purpose
We handled everything from signage and logistics up through messaging and presentation development, integrating the theme throughout the event from top to bottom. That theme, “Our Journey Forward,” didn’t end with guest speaker Allison Massari’s personal path from a near-death experience to life as an artist. It also came to life in the opening media module, the highly visual presentations by execs from both franchises, the awards night, the many concurrent breakouts (18, at one point!) and the in-between messages delivered through InVision’s proprietary E3 mobile app. That customized app – which had a phenomenal 90% of attendees as active users – offered pre-communications, onsite surveys, in-session polling and a competitive Scavenger Hunt that kept attendees engaged and kept “Our Journey Forward” top of mind throughout the experience. The meeting culminated in a live performance by Train, including a special VIP backstage experience for the E3 mobile app competition winners.
Measure for Success
Because our direct clients were the top execs, we were very hands-on throughout the entire process and quickly became an extension of their internal team. They expressed gratitude at every stage of the planning process through onsite execution. With the audience, the verbatim speak for themselves. Our attendee survey came back with quotes like, “One of my favorite meetings of all time,” and “Motivating, interactive and inspirational – a great way to start the year.” And, since we developed the presentations, messages and content, we were absolutely thrilled to hear this: “Excellent meeting, with tight, to-the-point presentations.”
Remember what it’s like to be an attendee of an event? You’re a spectator, watching and listening, hoping to walk away with some sort of call-to-action. Maybe it’s putting the information you learned into use or feeling more motivated to continue to do what you do every day, even better. Whatever the case, you attend these events hoping to gain something new and to be inspired.
So how do we as event marketers, ensure that most (if not all) of our attendees feel more connected to our brand; prepared for the future ahead; recognized for their achievements; or feel re-energized for a brand new year?
It’s simple. We build an Attendee Journey. An Attendee Journey is our holistic approach where we immerse ourselves into the mindset of the audience while also keeping in mind the objectives and messaging that we want to communicate. It’s the perfect blend of designing a campaign that delivers measurable results and potentially new behaviors. It goes beyond a simple production of an event by transforming a traditional ballroom into an environment immersed with your brand and messaging, staging that stirs excitement, stunning graphics that convey visual stories and compelling speakers whose energy radiates into the attendees.
Below are just a few key insights that will help you develop an Attendee Journey that delivers engaging experiences that inspire lasting results.
Know Your Audience
Who are they and what are their mindsets?
Set Objectives and Envision Success
What kind of campaign?
What does success look like and how will it be measured?
Are your objectives measurable? (ROI, ROO, ROE)
Design with Purpose
How will attendees be engaged?
Are there any compelling industry trends that you can integrate into the program?
Is the message woven through the entire event?
How will you extend the message beyond the event?
For most of us, we experience our life visually. What we see is one of the primary ways we gather information. But what we might not be consciously aware of is that our brain ultimately decides what we choose to look at. This is one of the reasons why eye-tracking has become a valuable tool for marketers. Marketers can use this technology to discover what intrigues and attracts a consumer’s (or in our realm, an attendee) attention when faced with a variety of products or actions. Even further, eye-tracking can give indications about the person’s presence, attention, focus, drowsiness, consciousness or other mental states (Citing Source: http://www.tobii.com/en/about-tobii/what-is-eye-tracking/). This information gives us deep insights into people’s behavior and actions.
In the B2B event space, eye-tracking opens the door for marketers and leadership to understand an attendees’ engagement level. While social media gives attendees the voice to express or communicate online, eye-tracking reveals a new kind of “voice” by exposing behaviors that we might not otherwise notice. For example, a learning station at an event can capture what attendees are specifically looking at onscreen and even determine if they are engaged or not. Through collective research, marketers can narrow down what exactly worked and didn’t work on their learning tool. Maybe it was color or choice of words…or maybe the material was too wordy so attendees lost interest…or maybe something was too distracting. No matter the challenge, eye-tracking has the ability to help marketers re-examine, adjust and try again until there is success.
One of the most obvious benefits of eye-tracking is helping companies understand their consumer. Among a choice of five kids’ cereals that are similar, why does one sell more than the other? What grabs and holds your attention longest? Fortunately, there is a science and eye-tracking helps cut down hours and hours of focus groups and surveys.
Be on the lookout for more eye-tracking developments in 2015. In the meantime, we leave you with *three takeaways on what eye-tracking can tell you in your marketing efforts courtesy of Perception Research Services (PRS).
Do people even see and notice a package on a cluttered shelf, a display in an enormous store – or a link of a cluttered web screen?
Do these marketing efforts hold their attention – or are they quickly bypassed?
Viewing Patterns/Communication Hierarchy
Which specific elements or messages draw attention and are consistently seen/read (and which are frequently overlooked)?
*Citing Source: Perception Research Services (PRS): http://www.prsresearch.com/prs-insights/article/getting-the-most-from-eye-tracking/).
Location: Long Beach Convention Center, CA
Our client is passionate about their business – and Shaklee Live is their chance to build on that enthusiasm and motivate their sales force for the year ahead. The annual, global conference brings together distributors for four days of celebration, recognition, training and networking. InVision was chosen to elevate the experience to a whole new level.
Know Your Audience and Objectives
In early 2014, we competed with several alternative vendors and ultimately earned the business, replacing a 10-year incumbent. While we have deep institutional knowledge of the direct selling world from a number of our senior executives, it was important we understood clearly Shaklee’s unique direct selling business and their distributor audience. Our diligence was fast and thorough with our Account Manager actually becoming a Shaklee representative to experience life as a distributor.
While Shaklee is a new client and direct selling is a new market for InVision, it was even newer for key members of their senior management team. The President had come from outside the industry and had been there just a year. The CMO also came from outside the industry and had only arrived a few months before the event. And, our primary VP contact, while experienced in the industry, was new to the company as well. All of us locked arms and thoroughly embraced the challenge – teaching, supporting, advising, guiding and executing the strategy, content, creative and production processes.
Many distributors had attended Shaklee Live for decades, but with the company starting to attract newer, younger yet equally passionate distributors, it was our job to create an event that resonated with every Shaklee Live attendee regardless of age or tenure.
Design with Purpose
2014 was an exciting, building year for our client. During the event they introduced four new products and were committed to WOWing their distributors; it was the tenth anniversary of their change in ownership and both sales and spirits were soaring. To support their ambitions we introduced a number of new elements, which included transforming the enormous convention center arena into a compelling, interactive environment. The 100-foot-wide screen featured larger-than-life graphics and used iMag to enhance speaker presentations and create a powerful attendee experience.
As CEO Roger Barnett entered, we introduced him with his go-to song, “Start Me Up” by the Rolling Stones…with a twist. His son Spencer performed the iconic, opening strains live on-stage, which set an electric ambiance that carried throughout the event. The entertainment was also a big hit, with performances (and a sing-a-long) from recording artist, Jewel and an uplifting appearance by journalist and former State of California First Lady, Maria Shriver.
Measure for Success
We’ve had a great relationship with our clients from day one, and the success of this year’s Shaklee Live solidified our bond. The sign up rate for our proprietary, Shaklee-customized mobile app was tremendous, and higher than expected – nearly 3,000 of the 4,000 attendees signed up to participate and gave us 31,000 “likes” during the four-day event.
Anecdotally, our clients were thrilled with the outcome and our management of a very tight budget. CEO Roger Barnett even thanked us from the stage, and the follow-up feedback summed it up nicely: “Many thanks for your team’s efforts to deliver with excellence. We appreciate the expertise and all of your support in delivering our best possible ‘Live’ experience!”
Photo Credit: http://blog.grabcad.com/blog/2011/06/14/festo-smartbird/
Drones “flew” off the shelves during the 2014 holidays as more and more technology enthusiasts opened their wallets to purchase some of the most talked-about models.
It won’t be long until we start to see more and more of these flying drones with integrated video camera technology in the B2B events space to capture a different point of view of the audience experience. Using a birds-eye view, drones deliver a valuable perspective for marketers to see where their attendees are and what they are doing. It’s certainly a different kind of data gathering, but undoubtedly a priceless one because you can capture attendee emotions and reactions to your tradeshow floor or general session, as well as note which areas or booths have the most traffic.
Not a fan of insect-looking creatures flying around your venue? What if it looked and flew just like an actual bird? The SmartBird (an autonomous ornithopter utilizing bionic technology, if you want to impress your friends) was first introduced in 2011 and caused quite a stir in its beauty and agility. How incredible will your walk-in be with these beautiful herring gull-inspired birds flying around your ballroom ceilings?
Flying drones are not only attractive to watch but can get your attendees involved with some added fun. At CES 2015, Nixie was introduced as a wearable bracelet drone that flew away from your wrist to snap a picture of you from a further and higher distance. Essentially, it’s a huge upgrade from your selfie stick. Instead of capturing your face and maybe a little bit of background, Nixie provides a wider view of you and the surrounding environment.
These drones are approaching fast. I, for one, am excited to see where they land.
It’s no secret that the attention span of the average B2B attendee is shrinking. And why shouldn’t it? With increasing access of mobile phones and Internet, we have access to massive amounts of data and information flowing through our fingertips with every tap of our mobile devices. Additionally, the audience demographics are shifting as more millennials take their seats in general sessions. The millennial generation is significantly more connected to technology than any before them, so the way they consume information will be unlike generations past. And don’t always assume that “millennial” is based on age; the definition also includes habits and lifestyle. A 56-year-old can very well have adopted millennial behaviors.
So how can we engage this rapidly growing audience of millennials? It’s likely you already know some of these tips. It’s more important to start doing them.
Rise Above the Noise
With so much going on (technology, social media, etc.) you’re going to have to do something that grabs their attention. As a tech-savvy group, an easy way to engage a millennial is to bring a digital solution to your event. Millennials love to connect with people and interact on the cloud. Take advantage of the device they are already carrying and use it to communicate your messages and connect them to your brand. Whether it’s adding a mobile app or introducing gamification based on your brand, make sure it’s relevant and serves a clear purpose… and more importantly, that it has some sort of action. Millennials don’t just want to be handed information. They want to interact and be involved. This could include be live polling, games, check-ins, networking and discussion boards.
Short and Sweet
The average millennial stops listening at the 30-minute mark so keep presentations short and avoid busy-looking PowerPoint slides. A great lesson comes from TED Talks: not only are the presentations a mere 18 minutes, the speakers are generally engaging and humanize their content. And let them talk. Millennials are active participants so they want to be heard. Before a presentation, ask them what they want to hear about. Allowing them the opportunity to voice their interests gives you the ability to craft a keynote that is important to them.
Network, Network, Network
Allow ample time for networking. If there’s one thing millennials are really good at, it’s networking. They do it all the time on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. They crave the chance to meet people.
Experience of a Lifetime
Millennials want to be more than spectators; they want to be a part of experiences. In other words, don’t talk at them about your brand. Instead, infuse them into your brand. You’ll be pleased to know that by practicing this, millennials will carry out marketing and promotions of your brand for you. How? There are a number of ways to do this…let them take photos of themselves with your brand and post it on Instagram. Or let them play with your brand physically. Live demonstrations are also more interesting than diagrams and charts.
How have you engaged your millennial audience?