Paul Whitney is executive producer at bluemedia and is known worldwide for his years of experience in 3D projection, immersive 360° domes, building illumination, and more.
They say one should “think outside the box,” but if you want to create a truly immersive brand experience, try putting customers in a bubble — literally.
Event domes allow you to showcase your brand’s message in multiple formats, from a logo on the exterior to custom animation or video inside the dome itself. You can also customize the dome’s interior to craft a unique, surprising world that will inspire awe among your audience. And the controlled entry and exit allow you to easily track consumer engagement.
In a world where social media is king among younger generations, it’s critical to provide experiences that compel your audience members to share what they discover. And brand activations are a perfect opportunity, as 98 percent of consumers say they create some type of content while attending a live event, according to an Event Marketing Institute and Mosaic study. What’s more, 74 percent say they are more likely to buy a promoted product after such an event.
Still, creating your own dome activation might sound intimidating. But all it takes to truly “wow” consumers with an event dome is proper planning and execution.
How to set your dome activation up for success
When domes first entered the experiential marketing scene, they were expensive, one-size-fits-all pop-up venues that allowed for simple “brand-in-the-hand” opportunities. But to everyone’s benefit, the dome has evolved.
New, upgraded technology allows for custom activations that immerse audiences within a branded world bordering on virtual reality. As the tech continues to improve, so will the resolution and image quality for these experiences. Soon, images and animations in domes will be more visually stunning than those of VR headsets and movie theaters.
While many more dome sizes are available today than when domes were first introduced, the costs required to create a truly great dome experience can quickly add up. However, the variety of size, pricing, and technology options allow you to create a solution that matches your scale and budget while customizing it to bring in the best possible return on investment.
Once you decide you’re ready to pursue a dome activation for your next brand experience, you need to focus on your planning and execution strategies to make it shine. These three factors are crucial to making the most of an event dome:
1. Location, location, location
Unless your activation is all about crop rotation, setting up a dome in the middle of an empty field won’t engage your audience members. And truly, their experience should always remain top of mind. Think carefully about how many people your dome needs to hold, how people will arrive, and how they will interact with your event. Use these considerations to write a checklist of must-haves for your dome location.
The bluemedia team helped AT&T host a dome experience at the Byron Nelson golf tournament to build extra excitement among fans as well as showcase its 4K and fiber services. The dome environment was located right next to the action of the tournament, and AT&T’s media platform surrounded the audience with live 360-degree video of the first and 18th holes on the course. It was the perfect location, which made the experience itself all that more impressive.
2. Stick to your budget
Being clear about your budget is also important for creating a compelling experience for your audience. If you try to fill your dome with every bell and whistle, the experience will be overwhelming and scattered — and it won’t tell a clear story. So ask yourself: What are the vital ingredients of this event? If a particular feature isn’t absolutely necessary, cut it.
Your budget will determine how your dome looks and performs — when brands pretend otherwise, the results can be disastrous for engagement. If you sell your dome experience as Universal Studios but deliver adventure golf, your audience will leave with a diminished view of your brand.
3. Knowing your audience
You can’t just throw a dome up, place some fun and games inside, and expect an audience to love it. You have to know your audience first to determine what kind of show will have the greatest impact. Find out who your audience members are — their lifestyles, what they care about — and use this information to join each touchpoint of the customer’s journey into a compelling story they’ll want to share.
When Courtyard by Marriott created a dome to celebrate Super Bowl LII, they took fans on a one-of-a-kind adventure. They asked bluemedia to create a dome that would mimic U.S. Bank Stadium so fans would feel like they were actually standing on the field. They then created a simulation that took that environment to the next level so that audience members could participate in the action and compete for their own prizes.
The only thing limiting the success of your dome project is your imagination. While crafting any experiential marketing event is a real investment for your brand, planning and executing your dome thoughtfully can bring your audience into a new world, kindling true excitement about your product and keeping viewers engaged enough to share their experiences for days and weeks after the event.
Have you seen success with a recent dome project? Do you have questions about building your own dome experience? Let us know in the comments.
This article was first published on The Marketing Scope.