Interactive Experiences

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Interactive Experiences: Tech Conferences Part 1

Some examples of cool, interactive experiences that have happened at tech conferences include: unique product demo called Docker Dash at the DockerCon 2017 and IBM’s first singular flagship event at IBM Think 2018.
Below you will find a deep dive of our findings.

Methodology

In order to provide three case studies of cool, interactive experiences that have happened at tech conferences, we defined "cool" as interactive experiences that were noteworthy and were reported on by the press, or had high acceptance by the public at tech conferences in the U. S. in the last two years. We also made sure to include case studies of interesting ways that brands have displayed technology or examples of innovative marketing around products.
We compiled the information by searching for existing case studies for interactive experiences at tech conferences in the U.S. through trusted media sites such as IBM, Eventmarketer and Endgadget. After an exhaustive research we found several lists of brands that provided interactive experiences however, we gathered the cases that meet the criteria and that provided all the information required.

DOCKER: DOCKER DASH


Docker is a tech company leader in the containerization market focused on developers and IT services through an enterprise-grade container platform.
In 2017 and in partnership with Jack Molton, Docker launched a developer conference called DockerCon 2017 presenting a unique product demo called DockerDash.

What made this demo unique, was that It wasn't actually a demo but a game and conference guests weren't guests, they were players.
According to Hubspot, "Docker Dash was a live video game-style simulation of Docker's application platform, and it recruited 5,000 of its enterprise attendees to create an app together by solving a series of fun challenges inside the game. Each challenge presented in Docker Dash allowed the "players" to engage a feature of Docker's product and ultimately complete their app."
Docker Dash engaged more than 3.6 million people. First those who watched and posted about the event from social media reaching 27% of the chatter on Twitter in the firs 3 hours, and then, those who attended DockerCon in person.
After that, DockerCon boosted their social impressions YOY from 2016 to 2017 and gives the company the leadership of the U.S. market since the first day.
DockerCon was defined as a fun, collaborative way to show enterprise software developers why Docker is invested in the containerization market and the value these people can get from Docker's product.

IBM THINK 2018

Think 2018 it's the IBM’s first singular flagship event. In partner with GPJ, IBM combined events, changing strategies to bringing together this series of tech conferences focusing on the tech market around Cloud, Data and A. I.

What made it unique was that the entire event was designed with the attendee in mind, creating a variety of environments which allowed for individualized experiences.
"The Welcome Experience set the expectation and framed the entire experience, with inspirational stories rooted in how IBM is helping to change the world with its technologies. From here, attendees could explore the campuses, which included Services, Cloud and Data, Business and AI, and Modern Infrastructure."
The Think experience and content were organized and designed for specific audiences and organized by campuses.
Each group was paramount to have a "home base" or "campus" where they could find, interact and immerse into stories, case studies or practices using IBM solutions.
Think 2018 engaged over 30,000 global thinkers gathered in Las Vegas from March 19 to 22. What they defined as "Think campuses" brought over 1,500 sessions and targeted networking communities to solve and connect on the innovations that are changing the way business and the world works resulting in a top social trending and share of voice with over 600K live stream views on IBM Cloud Video and over 80% of Think 2018 attendees said they would attend Think 2019.

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Interactive Experiences: Tech Conferences Part 2

Research identifies two additional examples of cool, interactive experiences that have occurred at tech conferences. One of the examples is Imalac demonstrating its Nurture breast pump at CES 2019, which involved a woman utilizing the device in front of a live audience. The other example is IBM's live deliberation between Project Debater, which is an AI debater, and a human debate champion named Harish Natarajan.

METHODOLOGY

We began our research by conducting a background search on the largest or most prominent tech conferences taking place in the United States. We examined relevant reports, articles, publications, and press releases for useful information. Some sources we explored include Fortune Magazine and BMC Software among others. On BMC, we found a list of tech conferences with notable exposure. We concentrated our attention on two specific conferences, CES 2019 and Think 2019. Next, we conducted further research on the gatherings by examining their websites and press releases to gain insight on their most innovative events. Using this research strategy, we were able to locate two of their unique events, the companies that hosted them, the interactions administered, and the media coverage they received.

IMALAC'S NURTURE AT CES 2019

During the CES 2019 trade show, Imalac revealed its product called Nurture. Nurture operates as a breast pumping device that uses hands-free massaging to aid mothers. At the event, Imalac composed a live event involving a 36-year-old mother of two using the breast pump while the audience was watching. This particular interaction was innovative as breast pumping in public is not an appealing topic for most individuals. Hence, Imalac attempted to shock members of the audience with this act. There is also a significant stigma surrounding breastfeeding in public. The company sought to challenge audience members and demonstrate that the act should be generally accepted.

WHY IT IS COOL
Imalac's interactive experience at CES 2019 can be considered cool because the company was able to display its product while vindicating the concept of breastfeeding in public. Also, the stunt was covered by several media outlets. Moreover, unlike Imalac's segment at the 2019 event, the majority of acts at CES do not contain societal messages.

IBM AT THINK 2019

At Think 2019, which is sponsored by IBM Research, IBM used its segment to demonstrate a live debate between a human being and an artificial intelligence debater. During the event, Harish Natarajan competed against Project Debater, the AI debater. Harish Natarajan maintains the record for the most triumphs for debate competitions. During the segment, the two debaters first developed discussions both opposing and supporting subsidizing preschools. They then delivered an opening statement (four minutes) followed by a rebuttal (four minutes) and ended with a summary (two minutes). The event accumulated a substantial amount of attention from the media and was covered by prominent outlets such as Fortune Magazine. There were also interviews with Natarajan, who was named the debate's champion by the audience.

WHY IT IS COOL
The event can be considered cool because IBM entertained a 25-minute debate between a machine and a human being centered around subsidizing preschool. Though Harish Natarajan won the contest, according to the audience, Project Debater was able to enhance the audience's knowledge better. This feat emphasized Project Debater's potential to assist humans in making more knowledgeable conclusions. Additionally, both debaters were only afforded 15 minutes of preparation, which prevented them from training on the subject. Hence, the AI system was capable of listening to a practiced human debater's contentions, engaging with him, and countering his arguments competently with its own, impromptu rationalizing.

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Interactive Experiences: Non-Tech Conferences

Three examples of cool interactive experiences at conferences include Dell's Giant Gaming Laptop at Comic-Con 2018, Sony's "Cave Without Light" at SXSW 2019, and Facebook's Escape Room at Comic-Con 2018. We discuss how we chose these three displays, and go into further details about what makes them cool.

METHODOLOGY

Before we started searching, we decided to define 'cool' as anything that generated a lot of buzz on social media or at the event, and also by any award that recognized its innovation. Our first strategy in finding cool interactive experiences was to look for the most popular annual conferences in the US. We then used this information to search for innovative interactive displays at conferences such as SXSW, Comic-Con, BeautyCon, etc. Even though we were able to unearth information about Sony's display at the last SXSW, this process wasn't efficient so we changed strategy. Our next strategy was to look for awards given out for their displays, and this way we were able to find information about an award that was given to Facebook's Sacred Lies display, which featured at last year's Comic-Con. We also found out that Sony got an award for their display at SXSW with this strategy. To find the last cool experience, we searched for cool and innovative displays through news sites and blogs, and that was how we found the news article by the OC Register about Dell's display at last year's Comic-Con in San Diego. We ensured that they were cool by way of verifying awards, and also gauging interest by way of mentions of social media, or how many people visited the exhibit. We discuss our findings in more detail below.

GIANT GAMING LAPTOP AT COMIC CON 2018

The Giant Gaming Laptop was actually a larger-than-life Dell G5 15 Gaming Laptop featured outside of the San Diego Comic-Con in 2018. It featured a game called "Crypt of the NecroDancer", which is a rhythmic game that is popular on home game consoles and mobile. A group of participants had to work together to move the character on the screen by stepping on the keys in-sync with the rhythm. If the keys are stepped on out of rhythm, then the character on the screen moves in the wrong direction and the players can lose the game.

Dell ran a social media campaign along with this display as well by encouraging participants to tweet images and videos of the display using the hashtag #SDCC. This campaign was successful, and one tweet in particular by @BeatrizVNews had 98 likes and talked about nearly 50 times, showing people were interested in the display. Each participant had a chance to win a real Dell G5 15 Gaming Laptop.

CAVE WITHOUT LIGHT AT SXSW 2019

Sony's Cave Without A Light in their WOW Studio won the 2019 SXSW Creative "Arrow" Award for Best Use of Technology. Many aspects of this display made it unique and featured Sony's R&D projects. The display started out in a dark room with four platforms, each having a set of bongo drums. Gyroscopes under the platform made it seem like the platform descended into a very dark cave, where four participants with headphones were free to make whatever music they wanted with the haptic feedback, echos and reverbs. There was even a vocalist there who chimed in and added to the synthesized music.

One way in which they built hype and got people to enter the exhibit was by blasting text on a screen at the entrance that was focused on how tech can enrich our lives. The line outside was long and slow, meaning people were really excited about this exhibit. On social media, Sony made a tweet with a video about this display which was liked over 80 times and talked about 19 times.

ESCAPE ROOM AT COMIC-CON 2018

Facebook had a new series to be launched on their Watch platform called Sacred Lies, so they teamed up with an event planning agency called The Visionary Group. At Comic-Con San Diego 2018, they built an escape room "in reverse", which featured mini-games and puzzles that were based on themes from the series. Participants went through the maze until they got to the end, where they were 'inducted' into a 'cult'.

Facebook built hype by advertising their escape room through news releases on Comic Con's blog and elsewhere, and also on their platform. It was so popular that over 2700 people participated in the setup. They also won the award for "Most Creative Brand Activation" by Biz Bash. Facebook used its own social media platform to push and power this display, with one notable section that featured Oculus VR headsets.
Sources
Sources

From Part 02
Quotes
  • ""At Think, IBM endeavored to share the science and spectacle of a live debate with a large in-person audience, and thousands more watching via livestream.""
Quotes
  • "“I think as an achievement it’s obviously been really cool, the media coverage has been intense, and certainly it was a high pressure event.""
Quotes
  • ""It was indeed an event the show floor had never seen before -- the CTA confirmed it""