Event Management

Trend Alert: Why the Anti-Booth is Creating a Buzz

Trend Alert: Why the Anti-Booth is Creating a Buzz


If you've ever attended an industry trade show—regardless of which industry you find yourself in—there's a good chance you've played at least some part in designing, setting up, or manning a "traditional" trade show display/booth. You know the types of booths we're referring to; you rent out a 10x10 space and set up a display to attract attendees. The specifics of the display may vary a bit, but probably include a large sign displaying the company logo, a "greeting center" that's staffed by a bubbly employee, and perhaps even some lounging areas or live demonstration areas throughout.

Not that these displays can't be super effective if they're designed and executed properly, but maybe now is the time to think outside the booth.

Thinking Outside the Booth

The "anti-booth" trend is creating quite the buzz in trade shows and events as of late—and if you've been looking for a way to make a unique statement and stand out among a sea of 10x10 booths at your next event appearance, it's something you might want to consider trying for yourself.

A perfect example of these emerging trend can be seen in RAB Lighting's beautiful "anti-booth" display at this past Lightfair (a huge trade show for businesses in the lighting industry). Rather than set up a "typical" booth or generic display, the company filled their space with 1,500 pots of grass, along with a serene walkway that passed through the display itself. Each of the pots of grass was mounted on a small pendulum, which was set up to gently sway back and forth (thanks to a series of hidden sensors) when attendees walked by.

As people walked through the display, they were delighted by the ability to set each tiny pot of grass in motion, demonstrating the concept that nature and mankind are in constant interaction with each other in beautiful ways.

Of course, this is just one of many examples of companies that have chosen to think outside the typical concept of a booth at their industry trade shows and events. It's worth noting that RAB Lighting's display subsequently won an award for Best in Show at the event. Of course, not only did they receive this award, but their display generated an insane amount of buzz and likely led to a number of new leads or conversions for the company itself.

How to Make a Statement

So, you're starting to see the appeal of these anti-booth concepts, and you're wanting to incorporate this kind of design strategy into your next industry event. How can you go about making your display stand out? The possibilities are endless, but no matter what you do, you should begin by considering the ultimate message you want to convey with your design. Only from there should you begin brainstorming unique ideas to catch the eye of your target audience without being "just another booth."

Looking for some inspiration? Cramer has some great examples of anti-booth ideas that have been successful in the past, so you might consider building on one of these. Working with an experienced display designer and builder might also help you generate new and unique ideas, as well as ensure they can come to fruition both in terms of logistics and budget.

When it comes to standing out and making a true statement, you can't go wrong with anti-booth. And if you're still looking for a great location at which to host your next industry trade show or other event, check out  Soho Studios for an incredible event space that's suitable for any industry.

5 Event Marketing Tools You Need to Use Now

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5 Event Marketing Tools You Need to Use Now


You can put plenty of effort and strategies into planning your next event but it won't be a success unless you have strong attendance. Marketing is important for helping the right people discover your event. Within your promotional plan, make sure you try these five event marketing tools. 

An Event Management Tool

Consider using a platform designed for event management to help you with your marketing. These platforms can help you market through email and other online means. They often support registration, tracking of attendees, surveys and other aspects of marketing and managing the event planning process. You have many options to choose from, such as Bizzabo, Attendease, Eventbrite and etouches. Choose the one that fits your company size and event marketing needs.

An Event App

This tool allows you to keep definite and potential attendees up-to-date about your event before it happens. Current audiences expect this capability, plus it will keep people informed and interested. They can learn new details about the event, such as added speakers or accommodations, as they become available, which keeps the event in your audience’s mind, builds excitement and helps attendees with their planning. And you can continue to use the app to share information during the event. Some event management tools provide the ability to create an app or you could use a service like DoubleDutch that is dedicated to event apps.

Communities

Try starting an event community dedicated to your specific event on Facebook or another platform that supports this approach. This type of tool helps to engage your audience and keep them in-the-know about event details. Within the community, you can share new information and give teaser information on what will be included, from meals to activities. You can also share practical information that helps with planning. Plus, this is a great space to engage potential attendees with conversation and to help them connect with one another. When you capture people’s interest and help them feel included through an event community, you’ll encourage them to register and potentially spread the word about the event.

An Event Directory

Make sure your event is listed where people are looking for events. You may have an untapped market of people who would attend your event but simply don’t know about it, and getting it listed on directories can help it get seen by the right crowd. You could put it on Meetup, which is particularly effective for events that want to draw a local crowd. This option also lets you continue to reach out to the same group of people over time. Another option is Lanyrd, which is a social conference directory. A great feature of this directory is that it helps you figure out the target audience that went to similar events around the world so you can better tailor your own marketing. Also, many of the event management platforms provide directories included in the service.  

Analytics Tools

While marketing events might sometimes feel like guesswork, you can also find strategies and formulas backed by data. Using an analytics tool can help you weed through data and use it to get better at event promotion. For example, Brandscopic is an event marketing analytics tool that helps you figure out demographics, target your audience better and collect media about the event. 

Using these tools along with your tried-and-true event promotion methods can help you streamline your marketing process and make it more effective. With these tools, you'll become an event marketing pro -- or elevate your professional game to the next level.

Emerging Trends in Experiential Marketing Events

Emerging Trends in Experiential Marketing Events

Trends are everything in advertising and marketing. Campaigns across several industries often share certain themes at any specific time. This is true not just for things like logos and packaging, but also for big meeting events and experiential marketing extravaganzas.

Despite this, it's important to do more than just copy what the other marketers are doing. In order to make your brand stand out from theirs, you need to put your own twist on any trend. With that in mind, here are some of the emerging trends and some tips on how to personalize your versions:

Allowing the Audience to Partake in Making the Event Happen

This is becoming more popular thanks to improvements in technological capabilities. If you hop on this trend, your event should be done in a way that ties into your guests' interests and skills. One good example is an event that used the Slido audience participation app. It let the audience write a third of the code needed for the event's computerized features – in real time. Participants got to see exactly how the code developed and how Slido works, all in a way that drew their full attention.

Most companies don't have audiences that can jump into something as complex as coding right on the spot, but all can find something that their expected guests can do. Choose an activity that fits both your company and your audience for great results.

Make Your Event Emotionally Driven

Studies show that human decision-making is influenced far more by emotion than hard reasoning. Keep this in mind when designing the experience and atmosphere of your event. Avoid dry, facts-only presentations and go for the gusto. Otherwise, people will find them boring and tune out.

The Elimination of Psychological Barriers in Learning Environments

Typical conference tables – or even worse, school-style desks – put psychological barriers between attendees, presenters, and the audience. The new trend is to get rid of all of those things and replace them with interactive displays or pods. This puts your audience right into the midst of the learning and makes your messages much more memorable. It's an especially good replacement for traditional seminars, which are normally boring precisely because of their school-like formats.

Is Silence Golden?

For some presenters, it most certainly is. More and more often, events are being broken up with quiet or even silent activities like yoga, meditation, and similar things. These breaks give participants a chance to unwind, and more importantly, regain their ability to concentrate on your messages.

Despite the benefits, silence breaks aren't fitting for all events. If your company's image is that of excitement and endless vigor, you'll be better off finding another way to recharge your audience. On the other hand, if you focus on subjects like how to become a more effective businessperson, this type of diversion should go over great.

Choose the Right Venue for Your Event

One thing that will never become obsolete is the need to choose the right venue. This will be the scene of your show and can make or break the event.

For a versatile venue in Miami that can be customized to meet the needs of nearly any event, come to Soho Studios. We have up to 70,000 square feet of indoor space available as well as two outdoor pavilions.

Coachella 2017: When Brands Create Experiential Marketing Trends

 

Who doesn’t like sun, drinks, music and fashion? Coachella, the much-loved CA-based music festival, is packed with fashion brand representation. This year, a slew of brands flocked to the desert, capitalizing on Coachella’s rad fashion collection. It wasn’t all about the brands, but they certainly made a splash. Whether it was shop-able runways, hip bars, social media activations or entire branded festival lines, Coachella was the place to be. Here’s our coverage of the hottest Coachella marketing events.

Levi’s Creates Neon Carnival

Posted up in an Airstream, Levi’s gave eventgoers a power-packed experience via Tequila Don Julio. We know, it’s an odd partnership. It worked, though, and Levi’s-lovers reveled in the specialty drinks from dusk til’ dawn.

Jeremy Scott’s Moschino Party

Produced by XA, Jeremy Scott’s Moschino party featured a kitschy, Candy Crush theme. It was larger-than-life, giving guests the chance to slide into a massive ball pit. The balls were made of lucite, ignited by the pool’s neon glow.

As if that wasn’t enough, the party also featured an oversized Absolut Lite-Brite installation. Guests could place different pieces into different slots, crafting their own art, patterns and long-lasting displays. The display took on Absolut’s lime flavor color, casting a memorable light.

Victoria’s Secret Angel Escape

The Angel Escape was an islandic tent, offering comfortable seating, shade and pillows for guests. While it covered a large amount of land, it was surprisingly low-key—in a good way. Customers looking for a reprieve from Coachella’s frequently rowdy atmosphere need only step into the tent’s intimate enclosure, taking a load off the feet.

The Katy Perry Footwear Easter Sunday Recovery Brunch

For the afterparty-goers, Katy Perry Footwear featured a Sunday Recovery Brunch powered by the H.Wood Group. Sure, it might’ve been a graphic, neo-art doughnut wall, but it certainly ignited holiday cheer with an awesome nod to pastel.

The Ciroc Summer Take Over

Ironically—or, perhaps unironically—alcohol brands promoted, well, themselves at Coachella. Ciroc, in particular, hosted memorable experiential events for patrons’ eyes. The Ciroc Summer Take Over, hosted by the Hard Rock Hotel, presented the brand in a new light—a vintage one, to be exact. Ciroc bottles were displayed alongside vintage objects, florals and vinyl records, giving event goers a taste of all things classy.

Coachella is a wonderful opportunity for brands. Featuring some of today’s leading brands, the event was a powerhouse of experiential displays. We’ve kept our eye on Coachella for a while, as it always highlights emergent experiential marketing trends. We'll likely see more great displays next year. For now, however, we'll make due with this year's awesome brand contributions—powered by today's leading providers.

Why Hitting the Pavement Still Works

Cross-country road trips are still excellent marketing approaches, even when they’re taken on by leading online retailers. The “Friends with Benefits” tour, powered by live music, pet adoptions and food, reached half a dozen United States cities. It took off in Texas, starting the new year with a slew of footwear and apparel presentations.

The Backyard Party Activation

Technically, the party setup took place in midtown parking lots. The location wasn’t difficult to capitalize on, however, as brands were given numerous opportunities to meet, interact and connect with their customers. Zappos brought its brand to life, rewarding its most loyal customers. Focusing on the Zappos pillars of excellence—charity, retail, community and culture—the brand gave attendees something to remember.

Guests were given iPads to engage digital spaces in physical pop-up storefronts. Zappos.com, of course, was the landing page transmitted via Bluetooth beacons to every device. Guests could read reviews, make purchases, take home items or engage eCommerce deals right on the spot.

Charity and Soles4Souls

The tour wasn’t all about product promotion. Guests were invited to donate their shoes, clothing and accessories to Zappos—which shipped them to Soles4Souls. Soles4Souls, a nonprofit, helps individuals in need around the world. The Zappos approach extended beyond customer service, promoting an atmosphere of interconnectivity on the global stage.

This approach was smart, as the road trip’s existence served to connect nationwide fans and bring Internet-based business into the streets. Zappos celebrated culture in its host cities, hanging out with brand partners, local vendors and fans alike. Free food, beverages, local musicians and entertainment were plentiful. At every stop, Zappos took charge with picnic tables, games, inflatables and artificial turf.

eCommerce Marketing in the Physical World

Zappos is expected to continue its tour, visiting three more cities in upcoming months. It’ll eventually visit Las Vegas, paying homage to its hometown. Zappos’s approach to real-world marketing might be clear-cut, but it’s certainly unique. By using shipping crates as pop-up shopping venues, the brand was able to present a research-heavy environment which was conducive to purchasing.

It also hosted a pet adoption event. Over 150 pets were adopted in Austin, TX, alone, and Zappos intends to keep the strategy alive as it travels to Nashville. Its backyard party activations are constantly adapted to meet new adventures head-on. Where intuitive branding, promotion and experiences are considered, Zappos may very well be an industry leader.

SXSW 2017: Experiential Marketing of the Future

If there’s any marketing extravaganza industry leaders get hyped for, it’s South by Southwest. This year, SXSW rolled out a slew of hot experiential trends. The world’s leading conference in high-tech business, digital innovation and—of course—business promotion is back. Now, we’re here to bring you the highlights.

Neuroscience in Marketing

Yeah, it sounds ambitious. It’s surprisingly capable, however, and it was showcased as a live marketing art display. The brain-friendly experiential displays highlighted SXSW’s collection of high-tech displays, showcasing AI-powered neuroscience bots. Dubbed ‘pre-suasion,’ the event mashed up digital complexity and the average consumer’s daily wants and needs.

Sony’s Wow Factory

Above all brands, Sony’s tech display probably won. Its knock-out collection of ‘techsperiments’ revealed its global Wow brand campaign. Packed with sonic motion music entertainment, projection-mapped VR experiences and an encompassing ‘Wow Factory,’ Sony thrived in SXSW.

Amazon’s Delivery Drones

While Amazon’s high-tech delivery drone program might be old news, its live demos have been heavily anticipated. SXSW became Amazon’s platform for presentation, proving the delivery program’s existence. Until now, many have rightfully scoffed at the feasibility of such a program. Tested across the UK and Germany, Amazon’s drone fleet hasn’t seen many audiences—until now.

Xperia Touch

Consumers are knowledgeable about touchscreens, but Sony—again—surpassed all expectations. It presented the Android projector, the Xperia Touch, and let visitors test out its flat-surface projections. Useable on the wall, the floor or even on a table, the Xperia Touch promises to be one of today’s leading augmented display technologies.

Levi’s Commuter Trucker Jacket

The clothing brand, Levi’s, got its presentation as well. The brand has partnered with Google to make ‘smart clothes’ capable of integrating SMS, Google maps and more. Levi’s presented a live tech demo, letting users try out its Commuter Trucker Jacket. Capable of reading swipes, taps and a slew of other inputs, the Trucker Jacket was one of SXSW’s most hands-on displays.

The Fortis Exoskeleton

It’s about to get weird. While the rest of SXSW went crazy over self-driving cars, projectors and jackets, Lockheed Martin presented its Fortis exoskeleton. Strapped to the body, the exoskeleton adds skeletal support. It helps the frail walk, helps construction workers lift heavy objects and—well—exists as one of the event’s coolest pieces of technology.

The Event Trends That Aren't Trending Anymore

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Not all event trends are made equal. Sometimes, things don’t work out. In 2017, several event décor elements have been shelved. Today’s planners are yesterday’s industry enactors, and they’re retracing their steps to fortify 2017’s best options. Below, we’re sharing the played-out décor options a lot of marketers have left behind.  

Ice Bars

Ice bars were big in 2016. In fact, a small tidal wave of experiential ice-based events popped up. They’re cool, but they were overdone. Ice bars and sculptures can be truly artistic, but a fully ice-themed display network is need. Event managers are shelving the ice trend, as it’s simply too hard to secure. Often, thousands of dollars, alone, are needed to secure a viable location.

Paper Flowers

Event leaders like Brian Worley of YourBash! are doing away with paper flowers. Tossing away paper flower displays may be petty, but there’s a method to the materialistic madness. Paper flowers are eye-catching, when installed correctly. That said, they’re difficult to navigate. Event marketers, now, are realizing the legwork needed to create a substantial, laser-cut paper flower display. Modern art only goes so far, apparently.

Gif Booths

What gives? In 2016, digital gif display booths were all the rage. In 2017, however, they’re being left by the wayside. As it turns out, shared photos are losing out to all-new VR experiences. 360-cam features, live-action displays and three-dimensional sets are taking over. Already, well-curated Instagram feeds are focusing on the modern guest’s attention to immersion. Gifs, simply put, are becoming outdated. They won’t necessarily disappear in 2017, but they’ve certainly fallen from good graces.

Anything Shiny

Strictly décor-speaking, we feel shiny surfaces deserve a mention. We enjoy sparkling tables, backdrops and sequin table linens, but we’ve noticed a reduction in overall shine-play. Leaders like André Wells of Events by André Wells have spoken out, and their message is clear: Stone, marble and other organic materials are on the rise. Unfortunately, there just isn’t enough room for anything shiny.

Don’t fret, however, because you’re still “in the game” if you’re using the above-mentioned décor and technology options. For every experiential cultural shift, there’s a counterculture. You won’t need to stick with the flow if you’re banking on classic attributions. Tread lightly, however, because several décor options are certainly being stripped away. Whether you’re an event planner, a business marketer or simply researching new ideas, it’s a good idea to stay updated. Listen to today’s creative directors, because they’ve seen it all. Sometimes, critical eyes are needed to keep the events pruned and looking good.

New Edible Event Trends for 2017

Today’s marketing events have gone taste-centric, and modern marketers are taking advantage of several trends. Edible signage, sensory booths and even virtual reality have changed the game. Whether you’re a food-based brand or not, your customer’s experience matters. Your attendees remember tastes, and you’re not far from getting involved with this year’s latest,

providers below have taken charge with the consumer’s taste buds, delivering unforgettable experiences to their brand’s favorite fans.

Loliware’s Edible Signage

First up, we’d like to highlight the company Loliware for their edible signage pitch during ABC’s “Shark Tank.” The signage, responsible for producing the first edible, biodegradable cups, was originally created to reduce event waste. By transforming the sampling process, Loliware essentially redrafted what it means to make edible products. Signage which can be repurposed, eaten and even marketed to specific events is highly unique, and it’s capable of transforming entire marketing campaigns.

Volkswagen’s “Eat the Road”

The “edible everything” campaigns have gone far. Volkswagen, too, has extended itself in the edible direction, creating its “Eat the Road” campaign. The campaign, crafted from direct mail, let readers tear out and eat magazine pages. Created from propylene glycol, these pages were redesigned to taste like sugar. Jet Blue had a short follow-up, creating a New York Post edible ad which tasted like a potato chip.

Volkswagen’s start-up didn’t stop the roll-outs, either. Soon after Jet Blue’s creation, Videri Chocolate Factory celebrated its 5th anniversary by creating two-pound edible posters. Established in stores, local restaurants, art galleries and breweries, the signs certainly made an impact.

Everything Skin-Based

While edible ads might’ve stirred up the most attention, conductive ink has become one of the more flexible edible marketing resources. Creations like MIT Media Lab’s DuoSkin prototype made stylish, gold leaf tattoos which were eatable. As if that wasn’t enough, following creations capitalized on the trend.

Consumable marketing resources, in the past, have been incredibly unique. Now, they’re promising a new horizon of interactive business resources. If you haven’t yet, check out the latest, greatest edible thrills in circulation. Edible marketing is a niche subject, but it definitely has its kicks. Regardless of the trend, several truths still stand. Consumers like food—even if it’s presented in an unorthodox way. Additionally, the pure strangeness of edible anything will often grab a buyer’s attention. Edible designs aren’t going anywhere. In fact, they may be on the rise.

Miami Music Week 2017

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Let's get this party started Miami!  Picking up from where it left off in 2016, Miami Music Week 2017 promises to be the place to be this March 21st through the 26th.  In 2016, there were more than 1,180 artists performing at over 260 events that were hosted at 78 plus venues and the event planners hope to top that during Miami Music Week 2017. For the past 7 years, Miami has transformed itself during the MMW into a dance music paradise.  This is a week-long marathon of non-stop parties and concerts featuring all the major artists in the electronic dance music scene.

Soho aka "The Miami Music Week Hotel" is the place to be during this year's MMW.  Located right in the heart of Delano, the prestigious urban resort, in South Beach.  This will be the epicenter of the parties throughout the week and the gathering place, both day and night, for music fans from all over the world.  These promise to be the best parties Miami has to offer the dance music enthusiast.

During the grand finale, also known as the world's premier electronic music festival or "Ultra Music Festival" which is held over the course of the final 3 days of Miami Music Week expect to join more than 165,000 fans from over 90 countries during the culmination of this amazing week.

Miami Music Week's 2017 highlights:

At Soho check out:

Marshmello and Friends. 10 p.m. Wednesday, March 22, at Soho Studios, 2138 NW First Ave., Miami; 305-600-4785; sohostudiosmiami.com. Tickets cost $40 via ticketfly.com.

or  Mosaic. With Maceo Plex, Marcel Dettmann, Stephan Bodzin, Mike Servito, North Lake, and Danyelino. 9 p.m. Saturday, March 25, at Soho Studios, 2138 NW First Ave., Miami; 305-600-4785; sohostudiosmiami.com. Tickets cost $20 to $40 via residentadvisor.net.

Some other hot spots that week include:

Party all night on March 21, 2017with Firebeatz & Friends and Special Guests from 11:00 PM til 5:00 AM at FDR at the Delano

M.A.N.D.Y. will be at Do Not Sit on the Furniture on the 21st from 10 PM till 5:00 AM. Ticket prices are $20 and up.

Axtone's throwing a major Miami Pool Party on Wednesday, March 22nd from 2:00 PM till 11:00 PM.  Hosted by Delano Beach Club, the Tickets start at $48.

For those looking for free fun, there is a night with S E R A F I N and Friends happening on Wednesday, March 22nd.  Check them out at the Foxhole located at 1218 14th Court, Miami Beach.

Ultra Music Festival begins on Thursday, March 23rd  and runs through Saturday, 25th.  This show will feature headliners such as: Cypress Hill, Ice Cube, and Underworld.

You do not want to miss year's Miami Music Week.  Check out the whole schedule online at www.miamimusicweek.com.  We at Soho can't wait to see you in the house.

Once Again, SOBEWFF Delights its Guests

The South Beach Wine & Food Festival, more commonly known to its fans as the SOBEWFF, celebrated its 16th anniversary in Miami this past weekend. Even though the event just ended, we can still look to it to see this year's top trends and adapt them for our own events in the upcoming months. Here are some of the things that took the spotlight:

Tastings and Demonstrations

This year's tastings didn't stop with serving up food to curious attendees. The Grand Tastings were all accompanied by demonstrations by KitchenAid so people could see how to make the dishes at home. Of course, doing so would presumably involve buying some KitchenAid products. These were integral to the demonstrations, and many people who view such demos come to the feeling that they have to have the items shown within them. Needless to say, that's the plan.

Intimate Dinners Hosted by Well-Known People

While the big A-listers of Hollywood weren't hosting dinners, SOBEWFF did get some notable personalities to do the honors. Each dinner featured a different person or group who, for the most part, are known for their food or wine expertise. This type of dinner has been trending for a few years now, and many people are fans. Importantly, the term "intimate" doesn't refer to the sort of dinner that caters to lovebirds. Instead, it's a chance to talk to the hosts in a setting that is far more personable, or intimate, than the typical stage-to-audience speech setup.

Fitness Events

Companies have tried to make fitness into a trend for years, but it is now finally catching on. Two "Buddhas and Bellinis" events happened over the course of SOBEWFF and drew plenty of people to the yoga-themed mass classes. Other fitness-related events were geared toward families, and some included healthy cooking. It's clear that people are still interested in fitness and healthy food, and that the longstanding association between these things and deprivation dieting is continuing to fade.

Celebrity Chef Talks and Signings

A couple of decades ago, the very idea of a celebrity chef was all but unheard-of. Now, there are several making the rounds. People always love to get closer to celebrities, so it was a hit for SOBEWFF to bring in well-known chefs and home experts. The topics were highly varied, with one on the future of restaurant operations on all sizes and another that claimed that political discussion outright belongs at the dinner table.

While it's hard to match the scale of a festival like SOBEWFF, you can make your event a big hit by using it for inspiration. The other thing you need is a great venue. Try our flexible 70,000 square foot space here at Soho Studio for your own Miami extravaganza.