Fresh marketing ideas to consider that will make an impact at the next conference.

Having finished a number of virtual and interactive experiences for a Fortune 500 financial institution recently, I want to share some ideas to consider for the next conference that will make an impact on customers.

Tools that marketers have used at conferences for years include giveaways, brochures, flyers, and other promotional materials that are collected and put almost immediately into bags or conference totes. But are these customers walking away with the impact needed to move them to action when they get back to their desks?

If you want to make a lasting impression, forget the conventional tactics and create an experience that uses technology to make your product or service relevant to the people using it. Think about what has resonated or inspired you to take action in the past. It probably was a promise of something better/faster/more efficient but chances are it wasn’t a flyer.

Even the most complex financial solutions can be re-imagined visually to draw in prospects and differentiate the product or service offering. If the goal is to stand out and create a lasting impression for customers or channel partners, here are two experience ideas to consider for the next conference:

Idea 1: An interactive touchscreen experience

touchscreen illustrationIt’s one thing to watch a video, demo, or product walkthrough but quite another to interact with the content and guide oneself through an interactive experience.

With an interactive touchscreen experience, the content is self-guided and the user has the ability to make choices within to get from point A to B. The experience should be engaging enough for a user to stick with it and, being self-guided, the sales expert has the ability to communicate the benefits and answer questions while the customer is using it. In addition, since it is public, the experience can attract other spectators as well.

Tips for effective implementation:
  • Key to success: Create a story or narrative that makes the product or service relevant to customer needs and devise a visual experience that draws the user in and encourages interaction with the touchscreen.
  • Hardware requirements: LED touchscreen and a modern PC or Mac with a fast processor and modern graphics card.
  • Development options: There are a number of options that can be utilized in creating a touchscreen experience, including HTML5 with Javascript and CSS, building an app with software like Unity or Unreal, or utilizing web-based platforms like IntuiLab.

Idea 2: A virtual reality experience

VR illustrationVR (virtual reality) and AR (augmented reality) are the hot tech of the moment although few marketing teams have been able to successfully utilize virtual reality in their marketing strategies.* It requires potentially costly hardware and software development but it will flourish on low-to-mid-end VR devices in the meantime such as Google Cardboard.

Remember stereoscopes or Viewmaster? That was our first experience with viewing static virtual content on a personal device. With Google Cardboard, it’s as simple putting a mobile phone into a Cardboard viewer to immerse the user with virtual content. To best achieve this at a conference, we recommend having an isolated area at a station or kiosk with Cardboard viewers pre-loaded with mobile phones ready to show the interactive experience. The experience itself could be a simple self-running 360° video or an interactive app which allows you to make selections in a virtual space.

The best part is that the Cardboard viewers themselves can be customized and double as a giveaway item to help keep you top of mind.

Google CardboardsSample customized Google Cardboard viewers

Tips for effective implementation:
  • Key to success: Create either an abstract experience or virtual world that teleports a user into another dimension. For both 360° video and an interactive app, the user must feel immersed by photographic or illustrated content.
  • Hardware requirements: iPhone or Android device and a Google Cardboard viewer.
  • Development options: Content can be either streamed via YouTube or Vimeo apps, played locally on phones using 360º compatible apps, or developed as an interactive app downloadable from the iTunes or Google Play stores.


At the next conference, put the emphasis on interaction and re-imagine how traditional products or services are demonstrated to get potential customers excited. If immersing customers in virtual content or creating an interactive experience, these two ideas can make a lasting impression–even after the excitement of the conference fades away.


Alexander Acker is the president of Adventure House, a digital agency in NYC specialized in web, marketing, animation, and VR. For questions or inquiries, please contact Alex at or 212-243-6867 x212.