First impressions mean everything, and EBCs are no exception. The environment that you design for briefings is representative of the company—its message, its values and what it can do for its key clients.
While it might seem like the perfect place to put your company on display, the design process of an EBC is the time when it’s necessary to look deeper. Each touchpoint in the experience is another conduit to a connection with the customer, and it’s important to create an environment as engaging as the content.
“It’s all too easy to equate an EBC to creating a showroom, but that’s not what an EBC should be,” says Sparks senior VP Jane Hawley. “The biggest differentiator in a showroom and a true brand experience is the storytelling aspect of it. You have to find a way to make it engaging, make it intuitive, to build the retention and make it memorable.”
Critical to it all? Linking the messaging to the attending EBC guests in a meaningful way.
“One way to get that storytelling effect is to approach the design process as if you were literally reading a book,” Hawley says. “We use the word ‘chapter’ to define one section of the story from the next. You’re building chapter on chapter and layer on layer to create the total experience.”
Another key to effective design: interactivity. The more that the customer can get hands-on during an experience, the more likely they will feel that they are participating in a two-way interaction. “We look to engage as many senses as possible,” Hawley says. “We want people to develop sense memory, for example, so we always like to involve tactile interactives to engage them and get them to learn the story on their own. What they handle and do will set an emotional context to the experience.”