by Kirby Lindsay
People make decisions – what to do, where to go, what to buy - based on their emotions. Emotional reasoning also connects people to one another, to products, to events or to an issue. Greg Hendrickson, Director of Interactive Media for TPN – The Production Network, explained how “technology is the mechanism by which we are creating that emotion.”
A TPN brochure, created by Rachael Hutchins Granata, their Marketing Director, explains, “we design-build multi-dimensional exhibits, environments, digital spaces and live events that engage and motivate audiences.” They utilize ‘experience marketing’ techniques to immerse an attendee in their client’s brand.
A company brand says everything about that company, its identity and the values it delivers. “We create a relationship with your brand,” Hutchins Granata stated, “we put your brand to work.” Allison DeLeone, Senior Project Manager of Exhibits, helps construct an experience for clients – these have included Microsoft, Boeing, The Bravern, and World Vision – that connect to an audience. An experience that, according to Hendrickson, must be “about the emotional resonance.”
The multi-day Seeds of Compassion festival, held in Seattle in 2008, “engaged every part of the company,” Hutchins Granata said. TPN had to connect the message with audience members here – and engage them emotionally – and with technology, they also made the message, and participation, accessible to a world-wide audience.
Hendrickson credits TPN CEO John Vadino with the original vision – to simultaneously translate video recordings of the event into 24 languages for web casting. This vision required they invent software, conceive methods for synchronizing and encoding video feeds, plus coordination of approximately 48 translators (United Nations style) at Fisher Plaza. Perhaps more significant now, in 2010, technology allows, through the internet, continued access to these web casts – in all 24 languages.
Technology “allows them to leverage after the event,” DeLeone explained, with a web site TPN creates. It also continues to advance a message - “What does compassion look like?” – and a platform on which to build – or sprout.
Hendrickson builds these specific micro web sites around an event or exhibit, with its own URL, that blend seamlessly into the client’s home site. “We have [built] Boeing micro-sites that have legs,” he said, “it can build its own following.” Also, before an experience, a site can inform, promote and deliver an audience.
Messages Of All Sorts
An emotional connection need not always be as high-minded as Seeds of Compassion. American Eagle Outfitters sponsored a Spring Break in Mexico. Live events – concerts, comedy shows and competitions, dodge ball games, a synthetic ice-skating rink, beach activities, etc. – created the perfect spring break experience. Technology – including a video ‘confessional’, webcasts, blogs, photos and a website that connected it all – enhanced that experience as well as providing a connection for attendees to the fun they had, and the brand that provided it.
Technology continues to expand the options within experience marketing. A dynamic web cast can allows viewers to interact with moderators, and potentially influence an event, without being in attendance.
As Hutchins Granata explained, the first thing they must do with their client is to identify what connection they want to make. At the JCB ConExpo, the company wanted to convey to visitors the history of their legacy line of equipment. What could have been delivered through a text-filled brochure, with innovative technology became a video shown in a specially constructed 3-D theater to a now excited and enthusiastic audience.
©2010 Kirby Lindsay. This column is protected by intellectual property laws, including U.S. copyright laws. Reproduction, adaptation or distribution without permission is prohibited.