The environment you create for a customer is inextricably tied to emotion. Think about those events you have been to. What do you remember about them?
Environmental design, when done right, does an incredible job in lifting your audience and making them feel emotionally tied to you. When you invest in good design, and good use of space, it brings your audience into a new world. Too many times, I go to these conventions and I see the three-sided stand-up boards that look like something I made in fifth grade science class. When you are thinking about your event, or your conference, or your convention, invest in the power of environmental spaces. They connect instantly to people.
When I worked for a firm that handled a lot of higher education clients, this is something that we specialized in. We would meet with faculty members, learn their story, and we would turn their class subject into an interactive space. So, when alumni would come to the event, they would see the academic brochure brought to life. While they were connecting with old classmates, we immersed them in study abroad programs, research on bats, business classes, biology labs. The school they loved was now right here in front of them. Boom! Emotion right there.
Power of interaction
People want to interact with things . They want to feel empowered. They want to take a photo with it, hashtag with it. They want to got to their friends and say, “hey I was there.” The more you can do to create experiences, the better.
The issue is that not everyone has the money to spend on this. These spaces, if done right, can cost thousands of dollars. To that, I ask people to consider two points. One, think about how you can do it on a smaller scale. Can you create banner displays that aren’t too expensive? Can you build something on your own? Can you do something with an activity on the coffee table? Can you provide a listening station for guests? Think about ways to make it work, rather than just say no.
And the second point I would like to address is this: yes, it is expensive. And yes, you may not think it’s necessary. But you have to think about what the guest experience can do for the long-term connection to this client. Audiences, especially millennial audiences and younger, won’t accept a few couches and cocktail tables. There is little that’s personalized about that experience.
What they are looking for is personalization. It can’t be the same anymore