Trade Show

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.

How Beautycon Grew in 2017

How Beautycon Grew in 2017

Makeup and politics can mix, if they’re stirred properly. This year’s Beautycon grew in size, and its focus on hot-button issues, Q&As and panel discussions is responsible.

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.

How to Make Your Corporate Event or Party Eco-Friendly

How to Make Your Corporate Event or Party Eco-Friendly

Every company can get extra goodwill by making their event or corporate party more eco-friendly. However, it can seem hard to do this when you have to serve or entertain large groups of people. How can you minimize the environmental footprint of 100 or even 1,000 event attendees? Fortunately, there are ways to set up your events so that even large ones have elements that are easier on the environment than their alternatives. Here are some ideas you can implement without much trouble:

Choose Reusable Tableware

Washing dishes requires soap and water, but the alternative – paper and plastic – is even worse for the environment. Paper production uses much more water than washing, and it typically results in large amounts of pollution thanks to the use of bleaches and dyes in the production process. Plastic, of course, is a petroleum product. Even worse, plastic doesn't degrade within a reasonable timeframe (some say it takes 500 years to disappear). Eliminating both paper and plastic is clearly the eco-friendly move.

Serve Vegetarian Meals

A good caterer can make vegetarian food taste great, and if your event calls for snacks and sandwiches instead of dinners, your guests may not even notice that meat isn't on the menu. The environmental benefit results from the efficiency of growing vegetables and grains compared to that of raising meat.

Why avoid meat? Raising meat animals produces pollution in the form of animal waste, contributes to greenhouse gas levels due to methane excretion, and requires more food since the feed has to go through another layer before it gets to you. Plants are much cleaner to grow, and they're more efficient because when you eat them directly, you essentially "cut out the middleman" of the food chain.

Hold Your Event in a Big City

When you have your event in a big city like Miami, your guests will be able to reach the venue via public transportation. This, of course, cuts down on the amount of gas used and air pollution produced. As a bonus, the area will have plenty of other things to do after your event ends, and your guests will love the extra entertainment possibilities.

Use Digital Signage

Many events are festooned with a wide variety of posters, pennants, and other printed materials. When the event ends, all of this paper is simply thrown away. Avoid all of that waste by using digital signs. Thanks to today's lightweight flat screens, these signs can be mounted in stands as well as hung on walls. Since they're digital, there's no need to throw them out when the current graphics become obsolete. Simply program them with new images for your next event. Alternatively, rent digital signs and simply hand them in to the rental company after your event ends.

Use Recycled Paper for Printed Materials

Digital signs eliminate the need for much paper, but you still may want to print out programs, brochures, or business cards for your event. In these cases, use paper that is totally or partially recycled to minimize your ecological footprint.

Avoid Plastic Water Bottles

Provide reusable bottles instead and have refill stations set up so guests can get more water as it is needed. If you just can't see going without the traditional plastic kind, set up recycle bins to collect them as they're emptied. Look for water brands that use recycled plastic for their bottles, too.

Rent Durable Materials

Venues such as our Soho Studios offer the chance to rent props, carpets, and other essentials for your event. Choose this option to avoid needlessly throwing away or endlessly storing items that could actually be used for years. If you do buy your own accessories, donate them to charities if you won't be reusing them.

Use Energy-Efficient Items

Many events require special gear. Make sure to choose the most efficient versions that will do the job. One suggestion is to make sure that you have LED lighting whenever possible. These lights are some of the most efficient readily-available ones on the market today.

Mention How Eco-Friendly Your Event Will Be

Helping the environment is great on its own, but the purpose of a corporate event is marketing. Be sure to let everyone know that your event is as green as possible and mention specific steps you've taken to make it that way. This will ensure that you get the expected bump in goodwill.

These are just some of the ways you can make your event more eco-friendly. Even if you can only implement some of them, you'll have a greener event than you would if you used the old-fashioned versions of everything.

For a highly flexible venue in Miami, choose Soho Studios. We have up to 70,000 square feet of configurable space and rental options for all major event elements.

How to Immerse Your Guests With the Ultimate Interactive Experience

Who doesn’t like being immersed? Successful event marketers understand the importance of attendee engagement. That said, too few impact consumers the way they want to be impacted. If you can immerse your audience, you can captivate them. In 2017, interactive technology is king.

The Future of Interactive Visuals

Technology has come a long way. Now, intuitive interfaces are being used alongside touch screen technology. Developers like MultiTaction have strategized the process, making touch display a king-of-the-hill tech avenue. Modern surfaces are using infrared cameras, “seeing” what device users are touching. When sensors can capture dynamic touch range, anything is possible.

So, where does this leave you? It’s a good idea to invest in tech which recognizes a limitless marker input range. Get big with coded event items—like Glenfiddich’s coded glasses. Interactive bars, tables and games, too, can spice up your event. Much can be said for information composition. By creating interactive displays, you can create enthralling technology.

The Modern Brand Experience Studio

If you’re gunning for a highly immersive experience, why settle for a single display? Companies like Ford are creating entire experience studios. Its FordHub, launched back in January, outfitted the Westfield World Trade Center with countless digital experiences. Ford’s innovations addressed today’s city-wide mobility challenges, creating memorable pop-ups worthy of continuous exposure.

Interactive LED displays, illuminated water patterns and innovation challenges are fantastic inclusions. By building alongside other tech providers, you can create an environment which encourages exploration. Provoke curiosity, and help your guests linger.

Downloadable Demos

Where out-of-event immersion is considered, downloadable demos go a long way. Ford’s digital record presentations are a great example, as they’ve let users download configured models in online spaces. Provoke the imagination, and create dialogue between your brand and the consumer. Anyone can install an Oculus Rift booth, and anyone can utilize the iPhone 7’s VR capabilities. In 2017, quality VR needs to be more than immersive. It needs to be memorable.

Pinpointing the Quality Consumer Experience

The goal of any event activation is to garner attention. If you can make your consumer’s feel, you can make them think. If you can make them think, you’ll make them talk. Build lasting impressions, and engage attendees at the ground level. A little immersion goes a long way, and you needn’t resort to straight-up VR displays to invoke excitement. Loyal audiences stick around, but they’re paying attention to brands maintaining a competitive edge.

Event Trend: Photo Booth Ideas for 2017

Few things bring guests together like a photo booth. Whether you’re presenting a new product line, getting creative with an expo or simply want to land a new brand perspective, installing a photo booth is a good idea. We’ve already seen a few photo booth trends in 2017 worth mentioning, and we’re sending them your way. Check out these awesome, tech-centric photo booths, and take charge with this year’s latest gadgets.

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One: The LEGO Photo Booth

LEGO’s UK flagship store installed the world’s first “Mosaic Maker,” which is a photo booth capable of transforming self-portraits into LEGOs. A lot of brand providers have taken advantage of the trend, coming up with inspiring, unique ways to change the visitor’s face. LEGO’s mosaic kit, available after the photo is snapped, lets customers shape their own pictures.

Two: Movie Photo Booths

Apple, among other big tech providers, has expounded upon the recent Face Place photo booth series. It’s honored as the nation’s “Manufacturer of the Year,” and it isn’t toning down its creative approach to everything customer-centric. The Movie Photo Booth utilizes marquee-style lighting, Apple’s own green screen technology and digital photo sets which harness fantasy film backgrounds. Spice up the typical photo booth experience, and give your guests something to remember, scene-wise.

Three: The TapSnap Photo Booth

Whether you’re putting together a small event, a corporate soiree or a lavish expo, a TapSnap photo booth can enhance your visitor experience. It focuses on the customer’s perspective, using today’s leading technology to offer customized digital photo options. It’s rentable, too. Powered by a well-trained staff, TapSnap is quickly becoming a leading photo booth rental option.

Four: Social Media Booths

Social media has become a popular photo booth tool, and brand are using Facebook and Twitter log-in prompts to capture online moments and build brand awareness. These photo booths still have in-depth photo options, and they still showcase a variety of digital snap options, but having social media accessibility has changed the game.

Five: Gif Booths

Gifs have been around for a while, but they’ve only just taken off in the photo booth world. Alongside slow-mo booths and g-force “wind booths,” gif booths are becoming a staple of mall-based marketing events. Once again, social media plays a part. Facebook’s introduction to short-looping video has only fueled the trend.

As technology becomes increasingly integrated into photo booth technology, customers will start expecting lavish displays. Online metrics, social media and even virtual reality have come a long way. Today, even small marketing campaigns benefit from unique photo booth ideas. Where do you stand?

How to Wow Your Event Guests Even During Breaks

Long meetings, conventions, and expos all have one thing in common: They include breaks. All too often, the potential of these breaks is wasted as participants are left to find their own entertainment. A better option is to spice up your event's break time by providing your own diversions from the main topics. Here are some of the ways other companies have been successful at keeping people's attention during these times:

Use an Area-Themed Snack Display

Every area has foods and other items that are unique to it. For example, Florida is known for its citrus fruits and beaches. A citrus-based display with beach imagery will be a sure hit for an area-specific snack bar. There's no need to exclude all other food options, either. Just be sure to have some orange things prominently present to get the effect.

Touch on an Area's Cultural Cuisine

While Florida may be known for oranges, the city of Miami is known for its people. As a Florida city, it is a mix of both domestic and overseas immigrants. Southerners, Northerners, Cubans, Mexicans, and Puerto Ricans all share the space and eat each other's foods on a regular basis. Simply serve some of each of these cultural foods for a great all-around "taste of Miami" effect. You can also aim for whichever foods your audience will find exotic in order to present a daring atmosphere of trying new things.

Hire a Professional Chef

If your event caters to an upscale crowd, you'll definitely make the right impression by having a professional chef make up the offerings. Even so, resist the urge to go for full-course meals or large desserts. Remember that this will be for a relatively short break instead of the dinner hour, and specify foods that can be picked up and carried by people who'll want to walk around and network as they enjoy the food.

Don't Forget Desserts and Drinks

Desserts are always a hit, and what better way to say "Florida" than at least one Key lime pie stand? Drinks also tend to be regional. Here, you'd be remiss to forget sweet tea – the quintessential Southern staple. Of course, Florida orange juice is obligatory as well. Don't forget to offer coffee, too. It may not be regional, but it is still one of the most popular non-alcoholic drinks on Earth and is very compelling for its fans.

These are just some of the ways you can set up food stands to make your event memorable even during the breaks. The other thing you need is a good venue. Check out Soho Studios in Miami for the perfect place to present your next Florida-based meeting, event, or expo.

How to Maximize Your Donations With an Amazing Fundraiser

Whether you’re a nonprofit or a small business, one universal truth shouldn’t be forgotten: Donations are tough to land. That said, 2017 has presented a slew of donation-centric solutions. If you’re creating a fundraising platform, you needn’t stick to age-old approaches. There’s a lot of fundraising ‘white noise’ out there, but you can still get donations by following the advice below:

Hold Raffles and Auctions

Auctions, raffles and games are excellent moneymakers. The best auctions and raffles, however, offer feature items, services and experiences which reflect your community’s interests. Tap into your local networks, and align your marketing goals with in-house fundraising resources. This year, Mercedes-Benz showcased a car via the 2-17 Heart Raffle. The result was an extra $46,332.36.

Get Wild with Lighting

You can boost brand recognition, as well as overall donations, by designing an event around your brand’s logo. Get wild with the lighting, and don’t be afraid to use black lights, either. Event producers like Julie Hanson crafted awesome interior designs to assist the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s campaign, helping them garner a massive $1 million overall.

Hire a Comedian

We’re all tired of the age-old keynote speaker approach. Get wild, and hire a comedian instead. If you can boost your event’s entertainment factor, you’ll give your eventgoers something to talk about—primarily, your headliner. Even if it’s a last-minute plan, it’s an effective one.

Create a Lounge Area

While your eventgoers might not empty their pockets over a couch, a lounge area can give them a much-needed breather. Get crafty with the pillows, the flowers, the signage and the accents. If you can give your guests a respite from the events, you’ll give them more time to consider your donation needs.

Take Advantage of a Check-In Area

Check-in areas are effective for maintaining eventgoers. They’re also great resources for gathering guest information. A large number of donations are procured from memberships and return visitors. By installing a donation station, a kiosk or a membership VIP lounge, you can make the donation process as easy as possible.

Showcase Your Brand’s Work

If donors know how their gifts will be used, they’ll donate more. Don’t be afraid to showcase your brand’s efforts. Events offer a highly unique opportunity to present your motives to your community. Skip statistics-based speeches. Instead, illuminate your foundation’s positive impacts. Share stories, give live demonstrations and give hands-on education opportunities.

At the end of the day, donations are procured from a positive outlook on a foundation’s motives. Use technology, if it’s available, and connect your guests to social media. You should, however, never forget why you’re seeking donations. Make sure your guests don’t’ forget, either.

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.