Oliver Richardson

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Using apps and interactive menus to make the most of your content

In our last post we talked about unusual ways to “reveal” content, using gaming or RFiD object identifiers, or SmartWindows, all of which encourage visitors to engage with and participate in the unveiling of information about your brand.  This month I wanted to look at how brands actually present that content.

We’ve been building apps for customers for years – from simple solutions that pull together designated content into an informational interactive, to more complex solutions which integrate with live data feeds or collect data on users interactions. We’ve built apps that integrate with our other technologies – like Fusion, which enables a sales rep to “fling” content from their iPad to multiple screens simultaneously, which is perfect for demos. We also build a really cool app, that the team love creating every year, for a Formula One sponsor for their VIP suite, which is used throughout the season at races around the world. The app, which is used by their VIPs in the hospitality suites, provides up-to-date race information and all statistics on previous races, a photo gallery for each race weekend completed so far, a car technology section and a video gallery with exclusive content. After each race, we update the content online, which is then pulled down to update the app for the next race, wherever the team may be in the world.

But it struck me the other day whilst visiting an exhibition (and then later, in a well known retailer which had iPads positioned around the store with their dedicated app to help shoppers) that whilst dedicated apps are on the rise, they are still, surprisingly, in the minority.

It’s not uncommon for us to install beautiful high res screens on stands at exhibitions – sometimes upward of twenty screens – and for the brand to add some basic powerpoint presentations or a shortcut to their website for the sales teams to show people around. Thousands of pounds get spent on the look and feel of an exhibition stand, and on the space itself, great care and attention has been spent on hospitality areas, meeting rooms, where brochures and additional material will be positioned, but the journey through critically important marketing material is then little more than a ragbag of demo software, a PDF and a website shortcut.

Nowadays there are many different ways to create interactive menus which are beautifully branded and which enable visitors to self-serve through an extensive library of marketing collateral. Or, to create a more bespoke app with additional interactive functionality and seamless integration between pages and yet many leading brands just don’t appear to have thought about it properly. If you’re creating something experiential, or getting involved in pop-up marketing, or exhibiting at a show, take a moment to think about what your content looks like onscreen, how it’s accessed and revealed and how visitors move about through your information. If you’ve spent thousands on the rest of the experience, it makes sense to invest in getting this bit right so that you can wow your audience where it counts, and help them to seamlessly get to the very heart of what they’re looking for.