Oct 8, 2018
Technology is sexy. But, do you know what’s even sexier? Awesome results. Unfortunately though, when clients and agencies looking for an innovative event experience fail to have the creative technologist involved at the onset, the experience risks a great divide between pitch and execution as well as an underwhelmed client.
These are my guiding principles that help ensure results are maximized vs. minimized.
The goals of the experience should determine the choice of technology
...and not the other way around. This is the most important thing to consider when deciding the role technology will play in an experience. A great digital experience is one that leverages technology in ways without making the technology the sole focus of the experience. After all, the focus of the experience should be your brand! You don’t want someone to walk away from your experience saying, “Hey, that AR thing was kinda neat.” You want them to say, “Hey that brand really cares about me and demonstrated it using this neat AR thing.” Ok, the quote is a bit of a stretch, but the point is that one of the most important goals of experiential marketing is to promote brand awareness, so you want be sure your technology supports that, not distracts from it or makes it guilty of using the latest gimmick for no good reason.
The hardest ideas may actually be the easiest
Big experiential ideas presented to clients not only sound impressive and smart; they also sound really hard to pull off. But that’s not always the case.
Every good creative technologist should have a broad and deep understanding of the technologies at their disposal. And, they must also know how hard -- or easy -- the tech is to deploy. If you don’t have a creative technologist involved from the get-go, determining the right path - with time and resources in mind - will be costly.
Conversely, some seemingly simple ideas may be difficult to execute, and may lead to busted budgets and broken promises. It’s easy to fall into the trap of seeing a cool activation on Mashable and thinking “that’d be great for Client X!” A technologist can break down a sexy case study into educated guesses on potential resourcing requirements and feasibility. Though it’s tempting to wow clients, making assumptions can be costly to relationships and reputation.
Making things talk
A critical yet often ignored aspect of creative technology is the integration into the bigger picture, whether it be across other aspects of the experience, your marketing plan or your measurement strategy. A good creative technology solution should integrate seamlessly into your overall plan, and a creative technologist should be able to make that happen, whether it be choosing the right product or building the necessary components. This not only makes the technology work harder, it helps to demonstrate its value.
Ask Yourself These Three Things
Before ever proposing a technology, I ask myself these three things: Does it support the goals of the experience or the brand in an effective and non-distracting way? Does it give the client the most bang for their buck? How does it fit in to the overall event or marketing strategy? If I have a good answer for all three, I feel like I have a winner. If not, it’s back to the drawing board (or soldering iron).