Toronto-based Collision attracts over 25,000 of the world’s largest buyers and sellers of technology each year, making it a prime setting for tech brands to share the perks of their products with a captive audience. For Engineer.ai, a startup that helps entrepreneurs bring their ideas to life through customized software, North America’s fastest-growing tech conference, this year May 21-24, was an ideal place to exhibit its Builder tool to drive on-site sales. The brand’s strategy ultimately proved to be a success, enabling over 20 platform builds, which add up to more than $1 million in revenue.
Engineer.ai’s Builder product breaks projects into small “building blocks” of reusable AI-powered software features that are customized by a human engineer, giving just about anyone the ability to realize an idea, whether it’s a social app or e-commerce platform, without learning how to code. Playing off of the building blocks concept at Collision, the brand erected a colorful two-story booth featuring modular cubes to facilitate a variety of brand-customer interactions.
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Given that Engineer.ai is just over a year old, mass communication was key to its on-site strategy. To that end, the brand built four touch screens into the façade of its booth and held live demos just outside it to draw in passersby. (The brand’s primary sponsorship of Collision’s Pitch startup competition also helped increase visibility.)
“Oftentimes, we’ve found that people might be a little bit timid walking around a conference room floor,” says Lauren Crist, U.S. marketing and communications lead at Engineer.ai. “But the moment we asked them, ‘Have you ever had an idea that you’re looking to build or bring to life,’ everybody said ‘yes.’ So, having those live demos and touch screens externally-facing has really given us a good platform to showcase what we can do for someone early on.”
In addition to brand awareness, cultivating intimate conversations and individual sales meetings was also a chief priority for Engineer.ai. To encourage attendees to schedule one-on-one meetings ahead of the conference, the brand directed them to a microsite where they could pre-book a spec meeting with a product expert. The strategy helped Engineer.ai line up over 50 consultations before the start of the event. On-site, its booth design further promoted individual interactions via two open meeting spaces and five private meeting rooms equipped with computers and screens where brand experts helped customers develop and “spec out” their customized platforms.
“Everyone wants to talk to an expert and be heard, and the power of the product is that they’re able to see, in real time, the cost associated with that and the actual process, so everything’s guaranteed,” says Crist. “Events have been a super powerful way for us to convey that in the digital age where there’s a lot of content online, searching and finding different solutions can be difficult, especially for the audience we’re looking to go after. So, this has been a really powerful channel for us.” Agency: Mirrored Media, Santa Monica, CA.