As a multi-faceted company, we do many different things for many different customers. And we wouldn’t have it any other way.
But showcasing our A-Zness at an event like HCEAConnect isn’t easy—and it’s a struggle many marketers can relate to.
Instead of trying to develop a clever one-size-fits-all sales pitch about our services that could miss the mark more than it hit, we decided to flip the script and let our guests lead the conversation.
Was it a risky strategy? Yes. Did it pay off in the end? Absolutely.
Here’s what we learned.
Tactile design makes a difference
Our design philosophy for HCEAConnect was “look and please touch.” We knew that to get guests to dive into their marketing needs, wants and challenges, we first had to break the “Hey we just met, and I don’t know what to say to you” ice.
To establish a comfort level, we kept the design minimal and familiar—replicating a typical living room with a seating area and entertainment center. There was one distinct difference, however: the entertainment center was completely interactive.
Guests were prompted to touch the objects on the entertainment center’s shelves that spoke to them, whether due to personal preference or professional need. Each item was connected to the entertainment center’s large screen, triggering images and unique (yet slightly absurd) phrases when handled.
Touching the globe activated the phrase “Your Bigger Better Badder Boutique.” Grabbing the Rubik’s Cube produced “Your Puzzle Solver Revolver.” And when visitors were done selecting their items, they were left with an amusing collage of their specific interests.
The entertainment center interaction transitioned into a perfect opportunity for guests to open up and begin telling their marketing story. It was then our job to listen, ask questions and respond thoughtfully to their unique circumstances.
“Visitors loved bridging the gap between the digital and physical environments. The engagement provided a comfortable space to start a meaningful conversation with our guests,” said Tim Rogers, Marketing Specialist at Czarnowski.
Gift bags help you win customers make friends
Hosting 101 dictates that guests should never leave empty-handed. And after creating a unique (some would call it customized) experience for our HCEAConnect guests, we knew that a uniform gift bag just wouldn’t do.
So we made the gift bags customizable too.
There was champagne for the bubble lovers, red wine for the savory fans, six kinds of spa face masks for every style and complexion and a Starbucks gift card (because everyone loves a caffeine fix).
The gift bags served as yet another opportunity to strike up a conversation and develop genuine relationships with our guests.
Friends make the best partners
We exhibit at HCEAConnect because we know healthcare is a tight-knit community. And for us to be a true partner to our healthcare customers, we need to be a part of that community and share information where they share information.
But occupying the same space isn’t enough. To understand what your customers want, you must listen.
So we grounded our HCEAConnect experience in opportunities to connect with attendees, not push services. And we walked away feeling like we made new friends instead of met potential customers.