Intel didn’t just wow attendees at this year’s Event Marketing Summit once; it did it twice. Victor Torregroza, events program manager-corporate event marketing at Intel, was the first to impress audiences on April 30, the opening day of the event, with a table lined with champagne-filled flutes that attendees could grab on their way in. It was his homage to the event’s 10th anniversary (thanks Victor!). On the last day of the event (May 2), Joe English, creative director-corporate events at Intel, did it again. He had Event Marketer’s own Editor and Publisher, Dan Hanover, compete against an attendee in a Wii dance competition while the room cheered them on. Intel was on fire. We take you there:
Creating An Emotional Footprint at Trade Shows
Intel’s strategy at trade shows like the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas is not only interactive, but more emotional than ever too. Torregroza brought some of that emotion to EMS not only with his champagne offering, but also with a conversational and casual approach to his session. Before he kicked it off, he walked around the room with an Ultra Book to share with attendees. He let them touch and hold it and answered their questions personally. Later, he raffled two of the machines. During the session he took attendees through the various ways Intel uses an “emotion-driven” strategy to help enhance the on-site connections and measure the success of the interactions. Torregroza explained that storytelling is key. “Frame your brand and your story,” he said. “Add elements of surprise.” And, “We don’t do sequels. We try to do something new, relevant and fun each year.” Intel’s strategy paid off at this year’s CES. More than 80,000 people went through the experience and about 48,000 trialed the Ultra Book. Post-event results showed that 94 percent of attendees said they had an excellent or very good experience at the Intel booth.
Developing ‘Active’ Experiences That Get Audiences to Participate
There was no mistaking that this Intel session was about getting audiences to participate. People were dancing, singing and clapping to pop songs—they even did Zumba. The session started with a Wii dance-off between an audience member and Hanover, both cheered by the pumped up crowd that danced in their seats, to the song “Promiscuous” by Nelly Furtado and Timbaland.
When the music stopped, English explained that brands are taking risks when they create programs that ask attendees to participate, because though the strategy can be highly effective, it can also turn off some folks. “You have to know your audience and design for them,” he said, and warned that sometimes you need to have people planted in the audience in case attendees don’t automatically volunteer to participate. But there are many pluses to taking this approach, English added, like explosive viral buzz. These engagements are often captured on phone cameras and immediately shared on social media. English interspersed his tips with more fun engagements, such as having a local dancer guide attendees through Zumba steps from the stage. He extended the experience beyond the session room by asking attendees to wear stickers with numbers on them throughout the rest of the day. If an Intel staffer spotted someone with a sticker, that person received a prize. Everyone was happy to participate.