Category Archives: Events

Immersive experiences are the future of branded experiences and brand events

Once upon a time, brand experience meant little more than handing out some branded lollies, using models dressed up in branded tees, or talking to customers about the brand by telling a quick story.

However, with increasingly demanding consumers in an increasingly crowded marketplace, that’s simply not enough any more. Consumers are demanding more from their favourite brands – they’re happy to let brands into their lives but want to be rewarded with unique and special experiences.

With technology helping brands take their consumers on a more interactive and engaging journey, the marketing process has ramped up a notch. And, as the global augmented reality market is expected to grow to a whopping US$117.40 billion by 2022, as per estimates released by MarketResearch.com, immersive experiences are expected to become increasingly powerful.

So we have what marketers and experiential agencies are calling ‘the immersive experience’. It’s next level experiential and greys the lines between reality and fantasy. For years, marketers have been delivering compelling customer experiences, but now they add technology and the internet to deliver Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality experiences where the brand takes over the entire customer environment. Print media, television and the internet provide a two-dimensional experience. An immersive experience gives the audience a sense of actual presence, which completely transforms the experience. Consumers become a part of the environment with the ability to react to events they encounter.

Virtual Reality Experience

Much of this new focus is fueled by Millennials, who give preference to experiences over products, according to an article in Business.com. They spend money on experience-related purchases. This has driven the experience economy, and brands are increasingly focused on turning ordinary products into experiences so they remain interesting and relevant to a new set of consumers.

Being bombarded with advertisements used to be a way to cut through but people have learned the art of avoiding them. We seem to have developed a ’built-in Adblock’, says an article by ScribbleLive. Immersive storytelling offers something novel and lets one develop unique stories and environments to attract and engage prospective customers.

Let’s take a look at some recent examples to demonstrate how an immersive experience can be different. 

Mamma Mia! The Party

The world of Mamma Mia! delighted yet another set of viewers over the summer with the release of Here We Go Again. Now, that world has been recreated in none other than London’s vast O2 arena. Adapted by Sandy Toksvig, Mamma Mia! The Party invites participants to step into an island paradise, eat top-notch Mediterranean food and listen to live performances of all the best ABBA numbers. It brings the films to life and allows people to actually spend an evening within the movie itself, almost.

Source: Mamma Mia – Immersive Experience

Refinery29: 29Rooms

For about three years now, lifestyle brand Refinery29 has hosted the 29Rooms event: what it calls ‘an interactive funhouse of style, culture, & technology’. As the name suggests, it consists of 29 individually branded and curated rooms – and attendees can experience something different in each one. The rooms are designed and created with brand partners, who range from personalities like artists and musicians to consumer-facing companies like Dunkin’ Donuts, Dyson, and Cadillac.

Source: 29 Rooms – Immersive Experience

Each year, 29Rooms has a different theme, with this year’s being Turn It Into Art. Attendees, it seems, are encouraged to enter each room and use the surroundings to create something – one room, for instance, invites participants to put on punching gloves and hit punching bags that each produce a different sound when contacted to create a symphony of sorts. Take a look at the video HERE

Converse One Star Hotel

The Converse ‘One Star Hotel’, executed with high production value, saw Converse create a two day pop up in Shoreditch, London. The hotel focused on presenting an engaging line up of fashion, music, sneaker and skate experiences for Converse’s audience and influencers. The activation was an ‘Instagram playground’ and brought the Converse story alive for the highly engaged Gen Z target audience, increasing the brand’s overall reach and effectiveness through UGC (user-generated content).

Every touchpoint of the experience was highly considered and played up to their rebellious personality. But importantly, their products sat at the heart of the activation, with sneakers influencing rooms with their style, usage and colour.

Source: Pinterest – Converse One Star Hotel

If you are looking to create a consumer experience and need some help with display and event production, we would love to hear from you. Please give us a call on 1300 240 250 or contact us HERE.

What does the future hold for event spaces?

Exhibitions and trade shows continue to be a great way to showcase your brand and products, and their popularity continues to grow. Why? Because having all the right companies and services in one place is still a fantastic way to explore, network and discover. But what will our exhibition venues look like in the future and what are customers demanding? 

The one certainty is change

Even with so much uncertainty in the economy one thing is clear; the evolution of exhibition and trade show venues is changing. Especially as the quest for variety, better engagement and more unique experiences grows.

Improvements and advancements in technology and construction are creating new opportunities for both exhibitors and venues. As a result, venues are investing in expanding their capacity, broadening their offering and working towards digital integration with both exhibitors and consumers. To see these advancements, simply take a look at the ICC in Sydney.

ICC Sydney

National Exhibition Centre, England

Exhibition venues all over the world are evolving into multi-faceted destinations blending conferences, exhibitions and live events in one space. Take the NEC in England, a venue that sees over 7 million people walk through its doors each year. This year they have embarked on an $8 million investment in digital displays and signage to improve the end to end customer experience. The displays inform attendees about their visit,enabling them to keep their focus on the event and get the most out of it. It’s a crucial part of the experience and one that will only improve as technology becomes more advanced.

NEC England Display and Signage

Corporate events and boutique exhibitions are increasing in popularity.

Although purpose-built conference centres still represent the bulk of exhibition venues in Australia, there are some event organisers that are hedging their bets and turning to smaller venues such as racecourses, zoos, universities and even vineyards, in the never-ending search to be different. These venues are being used in particular for corporate events and boutique exhibitions. The ease of the mobile event infrastructure has made this a viable option and we think this is something that may well catch on in Australia.

Portability is key

No longer are exhibition stands and displays cumbersome and heavy. Most displays now are made from fabric and aluminium, making them compact, lightweight and easy to assemble. This means that attending an event doesn’t have to be a logistical nightmare. It can be as simple as turning up to the venue with the stand in the back of your car! That’s why we believe that, with this portability in mind, the smaller boutique venues could really make an impact on our shores.

Displays 2 Go - Mall display

We think that the future belongs to those that plan for it and, although the economy is uncertain, the future of venues and events is accelerating around the world and Australia is no exception! Be it all encompassing venues or boutique exhibitions one thing’s clear, the exhibition industry is changing faster than ever.

If you would like to talk to us about your next event or exhibition then please get in touch with our sales team here at Displays 2 Go, or come and visit our showroom to see the stands for yourself.

What’s trending right now..?

Everyone talks about things that are ‘trending’ but what does the term actually mean?

A trend is a general direction in which something is developing or changing. It is something that people are attracted to, they resonate with and are drawn to because they find it attractive or useful.

Often the current trends in the furnishing and interior design industry are reflected in our exhibition stands, pop up shops or sampling tables. Companies will ask us to encompass these trends into our designs as a way to connect with consumers.

Here are a few highlights from one of the latest trends…

Scandinavian Look

The whole Scandi look and feel is something that we are seeing a lot of at the moment. The light-coloured timbers and wood grains, the exposed beams and the hessian mats. This look makes for a fresh, modern, stylish feel with clean lines.

Scandanavian_trends

A great example of the Scandi look and feel

The colour scheme follows some simple rules. It has to look natural – hence the use of wood – and the main colour is usually black or white. The timber used in the stand gives the display height, and the black of the furnishings draw the consumer’s eye to the products on show. The look is usually quite minimalistic so whatever product is being exhibited should be a real showcase on the stand.

Exhibition_trends

Lighting is also a fundamental part of this trend with lots of lights hanging from the beams. These tend to be made out of natural elements such as brass, wood, or simple metallic fittings. The lighting is not bright but adds a warm, cosy feel to the stand and can be used to highlight certain products on show.

The final important element in this trend is the use of greenery and plants. This not only adds some colour to the stand but continues the ‘natural’ theming and brings life to the display. You will often see plants presented in ceramic or glass pots, or used as hanging foliage to complete the natural look and feel.

Scandinavian_exhibition_trends

If you would like to know more about incorporating this trend into your next display activity, give us a call on 1300 240 250.

ROI VS ROO: Which Should You Measure?

Marketers have been throwing around the words return on investment (ROI) for centuries as a yardstick of effectiveness for every post-event report. It’s been a common term for so long that it’s often an assumed goal for almost any business project or activity.

ROI, at its root, measures the effect of an event based on financial value. But what about when event success isn’t directly attributed to revenue value? Does it have to be? Many an accountant would say that everything reverts back to a monetary return. But we believe that it’s possible in some cases to measure ‘return’ in different ways.

Enter: return on objective or ROO!

ROO recalibrates the marketing focus and allows marketers to look at post-event reports with a richer perspective, rather than just looking at the revenue alone. So whilst ROI focuses on ice cold sales, ROO focuses on defining metrics like increased awareness, brand impact, and purchase intent. It creates a set of metrics to build on, driving towards purchase of course, but not fundamentally built on this one measure.

ROO takes into account that events are instrumental for increasing brand awareness, accelerating anticipated timeframes for purchase, and strengthening customer loyalty to increase likelihood of recommending the brand. These metrics may not be directly tied to sales and may not have an immediate value but are most certainly crucial for creating movements in the sales funnel for future value. Is it not better to nurture a loyal customer than one who makes one purchase and then never buys again? Some campaigns can and should focus on loyalty rather than instant sales.

Exhibition standWhen it comes to events, it pays to understand that audiences don’t go to events wanting to be viewed as potential revenue. People come to events to be part of some amazing interactions and have a great experience. When analysing event success, it’s also worth noting that it takes some time after the event is over to really make a true and realistic evaluation of an event’s impact. So instead of just talking about event ROI, it’s also important to understand ROO and let its data drive marketing objectives beyond the numeric value.

The bottomline? ROI is all about the long game, but ROO helps check progress and goals throughout. Taken together, ROI and ROO provide a complete picture of the business value an event can create.

At Displays 2 Go, we are a strong believer of understanding data metrics and analysing results that come from organising an event. This includes not only sales, but also the importance of customer relationships and brand building as a whole. When we look at a brief, we always want to understand the objectives the client is searching to tick off. And interestingly, they’re not always about sales!

Global trends to watch out for in 2018

The events and exhibition industry is a rapidly growing and competitive market. Every year we see new technology being developed and new display solutions being created, all designed to appeal to attendees.

We’ve taken a look at the exhibition and events industry and highlighted four global trends that we think you should look out for:

  1. Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality (VR) has definitely enhanced the experience perspective – and will continue to do so in the upcoming year.

Boursin Virtual Reality

According to the 2018 Global Meetings and Events Forecast published by American Express Meetings and Events, the use of VR will continue to create a level of advancement in the way attendees interact at exhibitions and events. The incorporation of this immersive technology may come as no surprise, but still draws major excitement and will continue to change the way attendees interact at events. In Australia we are seeing more and more articles published on VR, so it is clear that it is THE tech talking-point of the moment.

  1. Hybrid Events

You’ve probably heard it already – hybrid events succeed on virtually every level.

In 2018, hybrid events are predicted to make an impact on the end-to-end delivery of event communication.

Furthermore, the “live” in-person event with a “virtual” component has become extremely valuable in deriving greater reach and participation, valuable data collection, and cost effectiveness at events. The big tech companies do it very well, but now the technology is available to other companies, combining several communication channels into one event.

  1. Engaging the Apps

Mobile apps may have emerged years ago but their usage at meetings and events continues to evolve.

Along with other technology innovations, mobile app usage is extremely effective in transforming the way event owners and attendees communicate, inform and engage with each other. In 2018 mobile apps will go from a nice-to-have to a must-have. They have proven themselves in improving attendee engagement, sharing agenda details and facilitating networking among attendees.

  1. Wellness

Enhancing attendee experience is not limited to having fun activities on your exhibition display. A 2018 Global Meetings and Events Report also forecast Wellness as an emerging trend to watch out for throughout 2018.

An increasing number of companies are now looking to appeal to attendee well being throughout meetings and events. This trend is predicted to be seen more in hotels around food and beverage offerings. Meeting and event owners also take this emerging trend as an opportunity to differentiate themselves and focus on healthy lifestyle and work with purpose.

Wherever you are in your planning for events in the upcoming year, these global trends indicate how much advances in technology impact the whole industry. It’s always important to create a meaningful engagement with your attendees, to stand out on the show floor and get noticed.

At Display 2 Go we are always updating our display solutions to accommodate these changes and to keep our products fresh and new. We offer a broad range of interactive digital solutions that help to give attendees a more immersive experience. Our range of inflatable products deliver a portable display solution that gets noticed – it’s fresh thinking combined with design flair.

 

Importance of Photographs at Events

Events offer a great opportunity to promote products or brands to a large crowd. There’s a tremendous amount of effort that goes along with organising an exhibition or event but, with its temporary nature, some may ask the question: what happens after the event is completed?

This is where photography comes into the picture. Photographs narrate your events in the form of images and help spread the word about your event even after it is done – in contrast to what could simply be two to three days of onsite marketing.

pop-up Kiosk

Example of a pop up display in a shopping mall

We live in a visual world where society loves to digest information using images whether it be through social media, websites, magazines or brochures. This makes photography all the more essential not only to remember your events but to effectively market it.

How to seize the moment at your event through photography:

  1. Think about what you want to communicate

Set out your expectations early on and decide what kind of photographs you want to achieve at your event. Do you want to capture a professional vibe? Or perhaps images of your exhibition stand with bustling people or guests in conversations? Do you need different shots of your display stand with varying angles? Or pictures of guests trying out your products? For visual fanatics like ourselves, this is an important part that cannot be overlooked as this helps communicate your brand image – just the way you want it to be – in your marketing communications.

  1. Coordinate with the photographer ahead of time

Don’t underestimate the power of a clear brief! Be sure to prepare this for your photographer ahead of time so they know exactly what you want to achieve with the photography. Let the photographer know the activity running order for your event. Make sure he/she has all the necessary details to capture every important moment, like ribbon cutting or a special presentation. Include the details of who is involved, and when and where each activity will happen. Onsite, things can change right up to the wire so be sure to inform the photographer of any last minute changes!

  1. Consider the image format

Brief your photographer with information on the kind of image formats you wish to have – layout wise. Make clear instructions on whether you need more portrait photos rather than landscape photos or if you’d like a good mix of both. Portrait images work best on magazines whilst landscapes are perfect for online. How about the file format? Do you need a jpeg or tiff?

Event photography

  1. Check the lighting

This may seem like the last thing to check on your list but it’s important to inspect the lighting at your event. Indoor venues can be challenging for photographers especially if the event isn’t well-lit. The best thing to do is to inform the photographer ahead of time so he/she can bring the right camera tools or equipment necessary to capture every moment. Or if possible, have the photographer view the location in advance.

  1. Create Buzz through Social Media

Bring your exhibit to a larger audience! Posting photos about your event on social media is a priceless form of publicity and can even go a long way to encouraging brand followers to keep tabs on your next event!

Most photographers can supply photos on the day of the event but be sure to communicate this in advance.

Fab brows mall activation event photographs

  1. Post-Event Analysis

Post event analysis is essential to study and improve your events! Create a post-event learnings checklist for your event and have a think on what went wrong, what could be improved, and what could be adopted for upcoming events. Did you get the images you need? Write notes about your learnings to ensure you get better results for the next event!

Our team here at Displays 2 Go can offer advice on how you could get the most out of your events. Contact us today to find out more about what we can do to create an impact for your business.

ICC Sydney proves its worth

Premier exhibition venue

The ICC Sydney has been open to the public for nearly a year now and it has already seen great success. This leading exhibition, convention and entertainment venue is delivering some very positive business outcomes and is fast becoming one of the world’s most desirable event destinations.

Exhibition_and_Conference_Centre

Source: Google – ICC – Boat Show

The 50th anniversary of the Sydney International Boat Show was recently hosted over five days and took over the facilities offered by the ICC. It fully activated all 32,600sqm of exhibition space, along with the 5,000sqm event deck and Cockle Bay wharf, which housed 900 boats.

Most successful event yet!

More than 63,000 visitors attended the show and it is believed that the show facilitated $250m worth of business on site, which equates to an amazing $3m of business transacted each hour the event was open! And a further $200m in trade is expected to take place after the event. Howard Glenn, CEO of the Boating Industry of Australia, said it was the most successful show since the GFC, and with those stats you can see why!

The ICC has hosted more than 400 events in its first year and there are plenty more in the pipeline. The success of the ICC is attracting business travelers to the area and this means benefits for many businesses, especially those in the hotel and travel industry. Local businesses are also reaping the rewards and we hope this will continue as the ICC attracts major events and exhibitions.

All your exhibition requirements

Displays 2 Go has its own production team working out of a production facility and warehouse in Sydney. Together, the team have many years of experience in producing display, exhibition and event solutions.

Whether you are looking for an exhibition stand for your next show or display products to make you stand out, we have the ability to design, manage, build, deliver and install your exhibition stand.

To discuss your requirements, call us on 1300 240 250.

Follow up on leads – it’s worth it!

Never been easier

Data capture and following up on leads from an exhibition or trade show has never been easier. No longer do you need reams of paper to collect names, phone numbers and email addresses as it’s all captured on a tablet and sent straight to your database, ready for you or your sales team to follow up on. Or is it??

Lead Generation and Data Capture

Research has long suggested that the vast majority of leads generated by trade shows never receive any follow-up by company representatives. A recent study estimated that less than 70% of exhibitors have a plan in place to follow up leads after the show.

 This is crazy!

With the likes of MailChimp, Asana and other database marketing tools that can be automated to contact leads after the show, this really should be a simple task and one that can be set up weeks before the show. But so often this part of the sales process gets forgotten in the ‘whole trade show plan’ and the leads that you do generate become worthless. 

So here are a few ways you can make sure this does not happen to you:

Create a Trade Show Plan

A trade show plan does what it says on the tin. It is created for a specific show and covers everything from the layout of the exhibition stand, lighting, connectivity, devices, staffing and promotions. However, one of the most important things it should include is ROI and lead generation. Without a plan in place for what happens after the show these leads are in danger of being forgotten.

Create a Data Capture Page

A data capture page will create a new database where you can keep all your leads from the show. You could encourage visitors to leave their details by offering a reward, whether in the form of a competition or further information. If possible have a dropdown list on the data capture page that can categorise the leads into specific targeted groups. This way when you send them info after the show it will be relevant and targeted to their industry.

data Capture at an exhibition

Have a Post-Show Plan

Have a plan in place for after the show covering how and when you are going to contact these leads and who is going to do it. Ensure your follow-up plan offers a range of options for further engagement, like a free download or a demo request (don’t limit this to one option, give them a few to capture everyone’s interest). And make sure that you remind prospects of any announcements or special offers that you made at the show. Basically, make your email count, make it drive some action.

Make it Someone’s Job

If after-show contact is not a job for you then find someone who can own it and run with it. Ensure that person understands the plan and then has all the tools to make it happen. Include conversion analysis in your plan so that you can understand how many leads converted into sales and their value – sometimes this kind of info helps you negotiate with event organisers the following year.

We love warm leads

Any lead created at a show or exhibition is considered a warm lead. These are people that have visited your stand, have given you their email address and have shown an interest in your product. Contact them and make the investment you made at the exhibition give you something in return.

Make every lead count.

 

If you need help with your next exhibition stand or want to design some collateral around data capture give us a call on 1300 240 250.

 

Has the ICC been a success?

Convention and Exhibition Centre

It took 3 years to build, over 15,000 tonnes of steel and enough concrete to fill 40 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

When the $1.5 billion ICC Sydney opened its doors to the public in December 2016, it boasted an impressive array of features including three tiered theatres, 70 meeting rooms, Australia’s largest ballroom, the country’s largest exhibition space, and the biggest kitchen in the southern hemisphere.

At full capacity it can host three conventions simultaneously and comfortably hold 30,000 people across the three venues.

The convention centre is expected to not only attract more events, concerts and conventions to Sydney, but also inject billions of dollars into the NSW economy. Infrastructure Minister Andrew Constance states that “It will generate at least $5 billion in economic benefits for NSW over the next 25 years, and will employ up to 1800 people”.

With more than 400 events booked in at the time of opening, from rock concerts to international conferences, summits to sporting events, the future is looking bright for Sydney. The 2018 Sibos international banking conference, for example, is expected to attract 6000 people and generate $37.8 million for the NSW economy.

Many businesses around Sydney are already reaping the benefits from the centre. The redevelopment of Darling Harbour, which will encompass a new Sofitel hotel, retail and dining establishments and apartment complexes, is certainly putting Sydney back on the map and that can only be good for a wide range of businesses.

 

How to ruin your exhibition

We’ve been creating exhibition stands for clients for over 15 years and in that time we’ve seen some sights! Here’s five things we suggest you never do at your next exhibition.

Rush
Never leave the organisation of your stand till the last minute. It takes time to design, print and set up a good stand. It’s a decent investment, so invest in the planning to get it right. Create something you’re proud of and that represents your business appropriately.

Exhibition stand not finished

Always leave enough time to get your stand show ready.

Design it yourself
Unless you’re a graphic designer, know your strengths and leave design to the professionals. It will never look as good in reality as it did in your mind’s eye, if you ‘have a go’ yourself. Believe us!

Invest in a TV screen but have no content
It’s awesome to have a screen on your stand, but it’s only effective if its:
 a) Working
 b) You have content to show on it. Leave it to the professionals to set up and get running, and make sure what you’re displaying is good quality and representative of your company.

Sign up unmotivated staff
Many exhibitions and events are on the weekend. Don’t assume your staff want to be there working your stand for 8 hours a day. Sometimes it’s better to pay an agency to supply motivated, educated individuals that are committed to getting a good result for you.

Exhibition staff

Ensure your staff are engaging like this Shell Rep.

5. Assume everyone shares your ideal
Be sure to clearly communicate a set of behaviour protocols as to how you expect staff on your stand to behave. Don’t assume everyone shares the same objectives as you and the same sense of what is OK. Tell people what to wear. Tell them to turn off their phone. Tell them not to eat on the stand and tell them to comb their hair and wear deodorant, even if you feel you shouldn’t have to!