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A New Perspective on Experiential

Talk Nerdy To Me is an initiative set up for Thinkingbox clients and other industry professionals to learn from our in house experts and to start thoughtful and informed conversations.

Our Talk Nerdy To Me webinar series continues to educate and enlighten, most recently surrounding the topic of Experiential Marketing and the trends that our team predicts for 2021.

Thinkingbox managing directors Christine Clark and Rania Hattar joined senior creative technologist Hugh Elliott and interactive developer Patrick Daggitt in hosting this webinar.

Read on for a summary of the insightful session.

Defining Experiential Marketing

“If you learned to sail by spending every summer on the water with your boat, then you have an experiential understanding of sailing. If something is experiential, it’s real, rather than conceptual.” — Rania Hattar.

Experiential Marketing offers exciting capabilities for brands and presents audiences with tangible experiences that they can see, touch, verify, and that ultimately help cement long-lasting brand/user relationships in more ways than digital alone.

Thinkingbox uses Experiential Marketing to connect brands to their audience by providing them agency, personalization, and a collaborative activity. The work we do in Experiential includes pop-ups, stunts, events, trade shows, retail, and Interactive.

Overcoming Challenges

“We want people to feel safe but we want to start thinking about how can we engage with people in this new normal” — Christine Clark

COVID-19 provides a challenging landscape for Experiential Marketing. Experiences that have previously relied on touch, large crowds, and interaction, now have to be rethought and reimagined as safety becomes our primary concern. This does not mean the end to Experiential, merely new parameters to work within.

While of course safety is a primary concern during a pandemic, there are creative ways to utilize those safety measures in Experiential campaigns, including the ways to incorporate COVID safety measures like temperature checks, floor decals, and sanitation stations into storytelling.

The goal, just like restaurants and retailers, is to make sure people feel safe, but it is also to inject this new normal into the user journey in ways that feel natural, authentic, and, above all, memorable.

Touchless Experiential

“There are not many people doing anything right now so we have an opportunity to really stand out. So make it noticeable- be loud” — Christine Clark

You can still make an impact with Touchless Experiential and, with the right attention to COVID safety precautions and measures, create a lasting user experience that might just make someone’s day.

Taking over a space with beautiful set pieces, digital elements, projections, screens, and architecture can tell an engaging story and delight those who walk through it, and enables you to create an experience that does not require touch or big crowds.

Passive interactivity can be achieved using motions of the body, hands, and pressure sensors. These techniques combined with visual feedback via screens, projections, or physical elements are COVID safe and can be unforgettable.

The Fun Stuff

“There’s a nostalgia for the physicality of these types of experiences, to remind people what life was like before we had to deal with COVID-19” — Hugh Elliott

As thought leaders in this field, we must think about the ways to implement tech to become the new frontier for Experiential. Where first the COVID landscape may feel like an inhibitor when it comes to Experiential, it simultaneously offers brands an opportunity to think outside the box and elevate tired experiences and create something new.

Thinkingbox senior creative technologist Hugh Elliott, and interactive developer Patrick Daggitt used the webinar to talk through the amazing technologies they are already developing to allow Experiential to, not just survive this pandemic, but elevate it far beyond where it was in 2019.

The ubiquity of smartphones is something Elliott and Daggitt focused on in the webinar as an easy and safe access point for interactions without touch. In addition to the device having a camera, it also has an internet connection and a private touch surface for the participant meaning it can become a COVID safe way to implement interactivity.

Their discussion also focused on touchless sensors such as The Kinect (Azure) developed by Microsoft, the Leap Motion Sensor, and the Ultra-Leap. All of which offer exciting possibilities to create experiences that are not only COVID safe but state of the art.

Creating this discussion was a great opportunity for us to show our clients and other industry professionals how we are implementing new and exciting technologies that make Experiential Marketing safe for this year and will elevate it far beyond the pandemic. The full webinar below.

Thinkingbox is a global creative collective shaping the future of brands through craft and curiosity.