HP armed its sales force with information about its print security offerings at an ’80s -inspired educational event in Toronto that aimed to build awareness and excitement for the brand’s new business printing and solutions portfolio. Sixty members of HP’s internal sales team, as well as external sales reps from companies like Canada Computers and Staples, attended the May 31 event for a day of out-of-the-box training and networking.
To generate anticipation for the event, HP engaged attendees early by distributing “VIP desk drops.” In a nod to the security theme, the brand sent each attendee a lock box with a hangtag that revealed the event’s registration link. After completing registration, guests received a code to unlock the box, which contained a variety of treats and marketing collateral related to print security.
Upon arrival at the event, attendees received NFC cards that could be utilized throughout the space. An accompanying URL provided access to HP’s digital assets, which the brand encouraged attendees to download and share across social media. Next, the group heard from one of HP’s U.S.-based security experts who provided the keynote speech, offering insights on overall security threats, then taking a deeper dive into print security and how the brand can help consumers navigate it. The speech was live streamed to accommodate virtual attendees and recorded for use in future HP marketing initiatives.
Following the keynote, attendees were encouraged to explore a series of training booths run by category managers who educated them on HP’s latest services and products, including its new PageWide business printers. For each station visited, attendees received a mini Plinko chip (shout-out to Bob Barker) that could later be used to win prizes. The engagement not only provided an incentive to visit each station, but played to the event’s ’80s theme, which included cassette tape graphics, popular ’80s candies and retro décor. In addition to navigating the training booths, attendees could stop by a marketing zone to participate in informal peer-to-peer education and networking sessions.
After a day of hard work, the brand also offered time to play by renting out a box at a Toronto Blue Jays game. There, attendees could play their Plinko chips on an ’80s stereo-themed Plinko board to win a variety of prizes. To wrap up the event, HP challenged attendees to participate in a post-program activity in which they recorded a 30-second selfie sales pitch based on what they had learned throughout the day.
“Print security has become a known threat to businesses where hackers are not only getting into IT infrastructure through laptops and mobile phones; they’re also now getting into people’s infrastructure through printers,” says Jeanette Kennedy, print commercial marketing lead at HP. “So we are educating [the sales force] on how secure our printers are now compared to our competitors and what that story is that we’re leading into the marketplace with, and making sure our sales reps are equipped with that knowledge to be able to speak to the IT pros or chief information security officers about this concern.” Agency: Starshot, Toronto.