experience

How to Host the Ultimate Virtual Reality Event

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Many brands are helped by the creation of a feeling of excitement and physical activity. The hard part is getting people to feel like they're part of this action. Most people aren't athletes and have a hard time imagining themselves doing strenuous physical activity, especially when that activity involves something unique like riding a zip line or playing football like a pro. One of the easiest ways to jump this hurdle is to provide the audience with a virtual reality experience. Thanks to the development of VR goggles, there's no need for expensive 360-degree surround screens to get the job done. Virtual reality also allows for user participation, so it's far more immersive than any regular movie.

Combining Virtual Reality with the Rest of Your Event

Even with virtual reality, you need more elements to keep people excited all through your event. Keeping some traditional elements, such as display booths and presentations, will help get people in the mindset to consider your company's products and services. It will also allow you to build up the excitement for the virtual reality portion.

One thing you'll need to consider is how to handle the scheduling for your VR show. Each set of goggles is an investment, so you might not want to buy 200-300 pairs. Instead, it's usually best to have the audience come through in smaller batches so you can use far fewer goggles. Staggering arrival times will keep your attendees from having boring waiting times.

What Types of Content Work Well with Virtual Reality?

Action content is one of the most popular types for conversion to virtual reality. One great example is SAP's Quarterback Challenge, which puts participants on an NFL field in the quarterback position. Eye position, combined with a handheld controller, determine where the ball goes and how hard it is thrown. Sports fans love this sort of experience.

Another excellent example is IBM's cycling-based demonstration, which promotes its Watson Analytics system. Cyclers are subjected to a variety of wind and road conditions, all without leaving their seats.

Virtual reality is also great for explaining details about products, services, and processes. One company uses it to transport viewers to an active construction site, where they get to see exactly how to install its products. Another, a brewery, gives an in-depth look at their processes.

This technology is sure to become a standard part of events in years to come, but don't wait for that to happen. Get started with it now to position your company as a creative leader.

Of course, a comfortable venue is essential to any corporate or entertainment event. Contact us here at Soho Studios for the perfect venue for your extravaganza.

What Century 21 Wants Everyone to Know

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Real estate continues to dominate the business space, capitalizing on the future. Imagine this – an event that captures the top talent in the industry with an interactive appeal. You’ve found it with Century 21. Realizing the need to attract and keep an audience of professionals that cater to their specific markets, Century 21 introduced not just an event, but an experience. Dubbed “The City of the Future: Where Technology is No Longer Just a Handheld Device, but a Way of Life,” event goers got to mix and mingle, discuss new real estate trends, and network with industry gurus that can help them find a place to thrive.

A casual and informative event, attendees interacted via a 3D cityscape, highlighting what’s coming down the pipeline in the real estate market. Dramatic lighting, signage and contemporary furniture throughout the venue made it a hip and cozy environment to get down to business. Armed with a database, attendees (also known as agents) were able to create custom searches and notifications that will assist in understanding the business and new landscape consisting of micro housing and repurposed malls.

Held in creative and progressive venues, event participants enjoy signature cocktails, plenty of food, entertainment and guest speakers. Designed to adapt to different part of the country, these events leverage their strategic plan to recruit and retain individuals who can make an impact in the industry. As part of this experience, a more formal event is planned to enhance the relationships created during the initial event.

Understanding that real estate is unique and consistently evolving, CEO and president of Century 21 Rick Davidson takes this opportunity to reinforce the need for real estate agents and brokers to be versatile, unafraid to diversify, and ready to make a difference.

A step into the right direction, Century 21 capitalizes on their strong brand and progressive insight to reach prospective candidates for moving the needle a little bit more into the 21st century. With these types of events addressing the new needs of real estate agents and brokers, the company is poised to make a definitive impact for the near future.

 

Edible Graffiti in Wynwood

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It isn’t often art and food are mixed so intimately. Sara Myers’ cooking series, titled “Sprouted Chef,” returned on Monday, September 21, with an unbelievable approach to Wynwood’s already delectable art scene.

A Nontraditional Art Display

Experiential marketing efforts are constantly changing, but they’re still available to time-tested-and-true eye openers. Monday’s artistic iteration was a selection of edible masterpieces created from savory vegetable purées. Each event-goer was handed “canvas” plates—to be used for color mixing, pattern creation, texture guessing and, yes, tasting.

Each recipe, Sarah Myers revealed, was a concoction of fennel, beets, sweet potatoes, roasted red peppers, curried cauliflower, garlic spinach, carrot harissa and cashew cauliflower. Purple potatoes made an appearance, too, to spice up the color pallet. Attendees were given the option to add their own, hand-selected entree spices and sides, too, ranging across nuts, vegetables, flowers and shaved ribbons.

The Flavor Profile Creation

Primarily, Myers aimed to create a fully interactive class for participants to expand their creative horizons. By tying food and graffiti together, she was capable of ensuring the artist’s overall perspective was preserved while keeping things spicy all day. While attendees needn’t be color masters, art connoisseurs or even massively creative, the food aspect tied most together to bring visual pieces of art to life.

Collaboration wasn’t out of the cards, either. Artist Pedro Amos arrived to assist the classes. Pedro, himself, was Wynyard’s very own graffiti artist—one who’d previously painted its Orlando mural. The two hit it off, furthering the artistic allure of Wynyard. Because collaboration was more than expected, the dynamic duo succeeded in creating a truly organic event.

Combining Marketing Experiences

Sure, old dogs can’t learn new tricks. The combination of two marketing powerhouses—food and art—is, however, an entirely different beast. The Wynwood way has continuously facilitated the relationship between art and South Florida food, and Myers’ hotplate approach and homage to the historically Art-Deco-dominated area is refreshing. Where self-promotion is considered, Myers couldn’t have hit the nail squarer on the head. Her iteration of public taste tests, representation of versatility and sheer love of art carried her series, Sprouted Chef. While Sprouted Chef airs episodes on a weekly basis, events like Monday's are incredibly valuable to maintaining viewership.

It’s slightly rare to see a cooking series successfully navigate the cross-market waters between painting and food dish creation. Myers’ approach, for this reason, is both bold and innovative. Myers has wanted to propose new seasonal concepts for some time—to both elevate her show and highlight Wynwood’s community. The event crossed a communication barrier many marketing approaches fail to surpass, and Myers ability to strike up conversations about her show, on their turf, is nothing short of extraordinarily creative.

Lolë Sets Out to Create an Impactful Yogi Experience

Getting people into your product sometimes takes making a big show out of it. When done correctly, this gives thousands a chance to join in directly, while others get to feel like they're part of the action thanks to excellent camera work. Still others will find out about it because the "big show" was so big that it made it to television news. One brand that knows all about this is Lolë. It didn't run just one show, but instead, celebrated Yoga Week with 60 massive worldwide yoga sessions that included an average of 3,000 participants each. After that, it put the tour on the road and hit some key international cities. Needless to say, this made a giant splash across the world by engaging people – and media - in all of those places.

These weren't just regular yoga sessions that happened to be sponsored by Lolë. Instead, they were part of the Lolë White Tour, which was set up to be visually distinctive right from the start. At these events, all of the participants were asked to wear white. Officially, this is to symbolize peace. From a marketing perspective, of course, it makes the event unmistakable. A sea of people wearing white stands out both live and on TV. The company also handed out yellow yoga mats, so the color coordination continues all the way to the floor.

Of course, there is a good reason that Lolë chose yoga as the theme for its extravaganzas: One of the company's biggest product lines is yoga clothing. Plenty of white yoga outfits are for sale on their site so that those who get excited by the White Tour can get their own. Hosting giant yoga events also promotes yoga in general and makes people want to join in.

This is just one of the latest examples of what has come to be called experiential marketing. With this form of marketing, people don't just watch ads or see pictures of products. Instead, they join in on big, impactful events set up by the marketing company. Participants can number in the thousands, tens of thousands, or even more. This makes it so that a serious number of people are directly exposed to the brand, product, and the events themselves. From there, word-of-mouth will carry the marketing impact even further.

If your company is looking for a venue for its own experiential marketing extravaganza, check out Soho Studios in Miami, Florida. Our multiple event spaces are perfect for big events of various sizes, so you can be sure that you can fit a huge crowd inside. Whether you're planning one event or a multi-venue tour, make sure one of your stops is at Soho Studios!

The Pop-Up and the Consumer Experience

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One of the latest trends in experiential marketing are pop-up shops. But they're not merely a fad. Rather they're one of the most effective ways to promote brands. Here's a few examples of how companies have used pop-up shops to create effective experiential marketing campaigns, as well as the advantages of how these events can help individual businesses.

Why Give it Away, When People Will Pay

When Organic Valley sought to create an event to let consumers know more about their organic half and half cream, the choice to serve coffee seemed obvious, as nothing goes better with half and half than coffee. But while coffee shops across the country give away the half and half, they do charge for the coffee. So they planned a twist, they would charge visitors $2 for the half and half, and give the coffee away for free. While if anyone asked, they'd have gladly given samples of the half and half, no one complained at the $2 charge. Instead, they were too busy enjoying themselves at the two day pop-up cafe in NYC's Nolita neighborhood, which included hosting by food stylist and writer Sweet Paul, and included talks from organic farmer Gerrit van Tol about organic farming and cows.

Advantages

Pop-up shops aren't so much about turning a profit as they are about creating brand awareness and education. But while giving samples can be great marketing, charging for a product at a pop-up sends the message that not only is your item worth paying for, it links the buying of the item with a fun experience. When you give a sample, you reach a potential customer who may choose to buy your product down the road, but when a person pays for your product at a fun event, you've just gotten a new customer, one who has positive associations with your brand from the point of sale.

Changing Perceptions

Women feeling ashamed of their monthly periods is becoming a thing of the past, and who better to take notice than U by Kotex. Inspired by a NYC college student's blog post, U by Kotex chose to launch their Period Project Campaign with The Period Shop for three days on New York's Fifth Avenue. Selling home goods, accessories and beauty products by female artisans, and of course U by Kotex products, the shop also had a truth booth featuring women talking about their period. The hip shop was the perfect place to reach the target audience of savvy young women, but U by Kotex loved the broad appeal of the shop and its contribution to making everyone comfortable with the topic of a women's period.

For Chobani, the largest seller of Greek yogurt in the United States, expanding their customer base isn't about competing against other brands so much as it is about changing the habits of their customers. Europeans eat a much larger volume of yogurt annually than Americans, and yogurt is a regular part of all three meals, while Americans limit their yogurt consumption to breakfast. By introducing Americans to all the possibilities in creating savory yogurt dishes, Chobani is confident it can expand much further than its already impressive growth. There's really no better way to do that than experiential marketing, which Chobani knows well; in addition to a permanent NYC flagship café, the company hosts events 52 weeks out of the year. Getting people to try yogurt in entirely new ways is the surest way to grow the company, and pop-up shops are an integral part of Chobani's marketing plan.

Advantages

Getting people to change their perceptions and habits is hard work for any brand, and it's definitely best done using a "show don't tell" model. Allowing consumers to experience these different ways of doing things first-hand in the fun environment of a pop-up shop is the surest way to achieve success.

Capitalizing on Place

Boohoo.com, a major online fashion retailer in the UK, chose to host a two week pop-up shop in Los Angeles' trendy Westwood neighborhood. With a music festival theme and a location close to UCLA which represents its female college student target demographic, the choice of location served two purposes. It helped expand into a new market as Boohoo.com seeks to have a larger presence amongst American buyers, and it did so strategically, as the brand is highly influenced by Southern California style, and felt there was no better place to begin its expansion to the US. What is more, by being in Westwood and using a west coast music festival theme, the brand was able to capitalize on these things for marketing far beyond the pop-up. In using social media and broadcasting the event to their followers, the brand becomes associated with the hip neighborhood and an authentic West Coast vibe.

Advantages

By strategically using place, brands are able to connect with consumers on the most intimate level, from inside the communities where they live. Additionally, companies can use the associations of a place, whether it be a hip neighborhood or one that will best resonate with their target audience, to create a stronger brand. Our event spaces, at the heart of Miami's Arts District, are the perfect place for hosting any kind of pop-up shop. Give us a call to learn more about how your brand can most benefit from a pop-up shop.

Four Ways the Smartwatch Will Impact your Next Event

As the technology industry continues to evolve, the events industry must continue to keep up with the demand as well.  One of the products to hit the market, and become popular, in the past few years is the smartwatch. Since Apple,Inc., released its version, the popularity of this connected wearable technology has continued to grow more popular every year.  With so many spectacular events occurring on a daily basis,  each event experience must be better than the last.  It's a given that organizers know these little gadgets will be at their next event.  But what type of effect will they have?  Here are a four ways that the smartwatch can and will affect your next event.   Sharing In An Instant

One of the best parts of the smartwatch movement is how connected everyone is to social media. Not only do they log on constantly to check updates on various events and “likes”, but people are more willing to share what they are up to in an instant. This ability to tell the world exactly what are you doing at all times is even easier with a smartwatch on your wrist. Attendees can update their Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook accounts in real time.  They can also send photos and stream live on apps like Periscope.  This can help create a buzz about your event and generate a greater interest in the company.

Scheduling Made Easier

With all the apps geared towards scheduling, an event marketer is able to get their entire team on board quicker to make their event run smoother. If things need to be changed, all your attendees can be notified as quickly as possible with the connect-ability of the smartwatch. It’s much better than trying to run around and track everyone down when you can just send out a group message to get all your people on the same page.  

An Integrative System

Not only does the smartwatch work well on its own, but the variety of integrated systems you can connect with at events and trade shows are amazing. Think about scanning codes with the flick of your wrist, and being able to check-in an attendee in less than 5 seconds, thus cutting down lines and wait times.  Need to make an important announcement?  Attendees can get up-to-the- minute information sent to their wrists while you are attending the event.

The Ease of Video Marketing

It’s a snap now for event planners to incorporate videos into their events and presentations. If everyone has a smartwatch or even a smartphone to access these video presentations, it allows more information to be shared through all the attendees with ease.  Sell more sponsor ads and get your attendees involved.  If something is missed at the event, you can easily look it up on your integrated smartwatch later on.

 

These are only four ways that smartwatches will make an impact.  With technology and innovation changing everyday, there are plenty more reasons to come.  What are some of the ways you think it will make an impact next?