June 12, 2017
3D printing, which is also known as additive manufacturing, is the process of using digital files to create three dimensional, solid objects. A 3D printer reads digital files and then begins to create a solid object by laying down one layer of material after another until the object is complete. Although the technology is still fairly new, 3D printing has already been used to create customized products in the aviation, medical goods, consumer electronics, architecture, and various other industries.
But, that’s not the only way that 3D printing can be used. Experiential marketers are always looking for innovative technologies that they can incorporate in their next event, which is why so many are turning to 3D printing to impress and excite their event’s attendees. Here are some of the many ways that 3D printing can enhance your next experiential marketing event:
Many people believe that 3D printing will completely revolutionize the manufacturing industry. Why? Because it gives brands the power to quickly and easily create custom, personalized items for consumers. One of the main goals of experiential marketing is to provide a unique, memorable experience for each guest, so it’s easy to see why 3D printing is a perfect match for these events.
For example, the athletic apparel brand Asics decided to incorporate 3D printing into their New York City marathon marketing campaign in 2014. The brand asked runners to submit front and side head shots of themselves prior to the event. Then, artists hired by Asics converted these images into files compatible with 3D printers. Asics was then able to use a 3D printer to create small statues of each runner that are incredibly life-like. Asics only asked for headshots of the runners, so the rest of the body was left up to their artists. Of course, the brand chose to use this as a branding opportunity and dress each figurine in Asics athletic apparel. Instead of leaving the event with just an aching body, runners got to take this unique souvenir home with them so they would always remember the day they participated in the marathon.
More brands should follow in this company’s lead to personalize events using 3D printing. The runners who went home with a small statute of themselves have a personalized, branded souvenir that probably made them feel more favorably towards Asics.
Although 3D printers are becoming more well-known, they are still very expensive and therefore somewhat unattainable for most people. There are cheaper models available to consumers, but they don’t have the same capabilities as the higher priced industrial models. Because of this, people associate 3D printers with exclusivity, so having one at your event will make it seem more high-end and exclusive. If this is the image you want to create for your brand’s event, 3D printing should be a part of your strategy.
Whereas traditional marketing is about one-way communication to the masses, experiential marketing is about two-way communication between a brand representative and a consumer. How can 3D printing help you interact with your customers at an event?
Coca Cola launched a campaign in Israel to announce the introduction of their new, smaller bottles. The company set up a 3D printing lab inside their main factory and invited consumers who won a contest to come and make a mini statue of themselves. Attendees stood inside a 360 degree scanning device that took pictures from different angles and converted the pictures into 3D files. Then, guests could watch as a 3D printer began to create a small figurine that looked just like them. This is similar to what Asics did, but with one major difference: guests were involved in every step of the process. As they stood in the 360 degree scanning booth and watched the 3D printer create the figurine, they were alongside Coca Cola brand ambassadors who had the unique opportunity to interact face-to-face with real customers.
If you’re struggling to figure out a way to get event attendees to stop and interact with your brand ambassadors, you may want to consider incorporating 3D printing into your event. Attendees won’t turn down the chance to make something with a 3D printer. If you do this at your event, attendees will be likely to stop by, and then your brand ambassadors can begin to connect with each attendee on a personal level.
When people go to events, they tend to share exciting moments with their followers on social media. One way to get people talking about your event online is to have a 3D printer set up so customers can watch it in action. Because many people are still unfamiliar with the concept of 3D printing, or are familiar with 3D printers but have never seen one in person, they will most likely be eager to take pictures and videos that they can share online. Attendees will be excited to share videos of the 3D printer as it creates a new object, or pictures of the personalized souvenir they just created using the printer. This is a great way to build buzz around your event and your brand to increase followers and awareness.
Be sure to take advantage of this online buzz by creating a custom hashtag for your event and promoting it in multiple places around the venue. This will help you track engagement after the event, and will also help other people who are reading the posts figure out what event everyone is talking about.
Are you interested in hosting an experiential marketing event that incorporates innovative ideas and technology? It can be difficult to plan this type of event without the help of seasoned marketing professionals. Contact Factory 360 for help planning and implementing your experiential marketing event strategy. Get started by scheduling a free consultation with our team!