Four Tips for Shaking Up Your User Conference Engagement Strategy

Give yourself permission to explore the edges of what’s expected and possible to shake it up for your attendees.
<p>Today’s typical user conferences are hardly typical at all. With top notch entertainment, vibrant creative scenes and surprise and delight experiences around every corner, what was once a simple sit-down business event has become something that looks more like a buzzing arts festival. Here are four tips for shaking up your user conference strategy to give it a more competitive edge.
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<h3>1. Create ‘Micro Experiences’</h3>
<p>Successful user events are doing away with the “general session plus exhibit floor” model and are creating more unstructured physical spaces filled with immersive, tangible and tactile engagements—“experiences within an experience,” says Brent Turner, SVP, Solutions at Cramer. “People are taking inspiration from and being influenced by the more general trend around consumer activations.”
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<p>TED 2016, for example, offered rock climbing walls and ball pits for its attendees. The C2 (Creativity and Commerce) conference in Montreal erected a full-scale Ferris wheel inside its event space. Bottom line: the same people who are coming to your show are comparing you to what they experienced at South by Southwest, Coachella and other festival-style events.
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<h3>2. Become One with the Destination</h3>
<p>Why host an event in a killer host city when you’re just going to lock your attendees away in a nondescript ballroom? “The biggest and best conferences become microcosms entwined in their location,” says Turner. “They’re authentic and true to where they are.”
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<p>For example, think about how Austin, Texas, and South by Southwest have become synonymous with one another, and how you can bring that same sense of place and destination to your event. Some ideas: treat attendees to local musicians, artist engagements, and tasty fare by local chefs (even food trucks!) that infuse your user event with the local flavor—and a whole lot of energy.
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<h3>3. Create a Next-Gen Environment</h3>
<p>Smart environmental design is just step-one in the modern user conference experience. To truly differentiate your event, you have to give it a sense of special energy that goes beyond the static identity work. “You’re not just branding a space, you’re figuring out how to take your business’s purpose and keep that tied into all the spaces,” says Turner.
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<p>Can attendees collaborate on a digital graffiti wall that embodies your company’s spirit of collaboration? Can a local artist create customized takeaways that align with your product’s personalized features? “It’s about how you keep what’s special about your company’s message going on outside the general session, so when you walk out there’s something big and meaningful—a space of activation and activity versus passive signage illustrating just your brand identity,” Turner says.
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<h3>4. Be Courageous</h3>
<p>“Give yourself permission to explore the edges of what’s expected and possible—of stepping into the irreverent to find something that may not make a lot of sense on paper,” says Turner.
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<p>Like the <a href=”https://www.c2montreal.com/” target=”_blank”>C2 conference</a>, which offered attendees the chance to climb above the show floor, circus style, and have meetings suspended in chairs. “You may amaze and engage your audience in a way they didn’t see coming. That alchemy of physical reaction becomes so much bigger when you are tapping into those emotions in a way that’s not expected or planned for.”
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<p>As an added bonus, quirky and unexpected moments are also highly shareable ones, and that viral effect is an imperative piece of any healthy user conference.
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Advertising should be about everyday magic

Ryan Newey - Everyday magic

What better job is there than creating little moments of wonder that stop people in their tracks, even if it’s just for a brief moment? Fold7 Founder and Chief Creative Officer, Ryan Newey, discusses the need for everyday magic.

When I was a boy, I recall telling my neighbours that I was getting a pet bull. Not your average bull either but an imperious Spanish fighting bull. I thought bulls were cool. Lamborghini had one on its logo and I had a poster of that on my wall (a red Countach – what was I thinking?). Four feet tall at best, I pitched to my neighbours that the bull was coming and would be living in the back garden of a small bungalow in the Midlands. The neighbours smiled and I thought no more of it. Until, that is, two days later, when a few of them showed up at the door.

My folks answered with an air of innocence as I offered a smile of apprehension. Just to clarify, my street wasn’t a zoo. Animals didn’t roam the gardens. The idea was ridiculous. But, nonetheless, the neighbours were here and they were alarmed. And so they explained their concerns. Had we thought it through? Is it not dangerous? While hiding behind the curtain, I thought: “You’re kidding me, you can’t have believed a word I said – I’m just a kid!” Stood on the doorstep, the neighbours waited for my dad’s thoughts on the matter.

Cue a long, dramatic pause. Then: “He’s getting two bulls.” Boom! Dad was in on the lie – he had my back and I started to think this bull thing could become a reality. Holy shit, what was happening? My mind was dancing. After scraping the neighbours off the floor, my dad conceded: “He’s pulling your leg – he’s got an overactive imagination.” That spoilsport. And there it was. What an amazing campaign I had cooked up, rallying neighbours around a common goal, filling their lives with dread, fear, delight and imagination. What fun. Surely life should be full of such augmentation of the everyday? In that moment, I understood a little more about the power of communications and how they should be considered, aimed and fired.

Cut to today. Open on an alarm clock beeping from an iPad, cut to shower, close up on face (not for long: need to fix that in the grade), journey, meeting, work review (highlight), cut to wide of client meeting, travel, tracking shot through street and – boom – there’s a dog with dreadlocks! There it is: the moment of the unexpected, the moment of everyday magic that I crave. This is what I get up for: to experience and inject a drop of magic into the everyday. When all is said and done, what more should we expect of the idea babies we send into the world than little parcels of magic that just temporarily make people miss a beat? In that beat lives a creative director who is in all of us.

Everyone has a creative soul and, as creative professionals, we are tasked with helping others see it – even if it’s just momentarily. Everyday magic can’t be bottled – it’s the very thing clients can’t manufacture and it’s the only thing people really feel. No-one likes “advertising”. But everyone likes to pause their day for a moment for a creative blip that takes them to another place. What a gift that we have companies and brilliant minds dedicated to crafting spells to augment the everyday. Happily, the days of advertising as a tax on entertainment are long gone. Now, it’s all about owning the magic in consumers’ everyday. And, as creative businesses, filling our stables with such magicians. No bull necessary.

The article was first published in Campaign magazine.

Cadillac Shadows.

Following a series of successful digital and social campaigns in 2016, Cadillac tasked us with the development of a bold new campaign for the Cadillac Escalade that would not only be memorable, but also serve to drive consideration among the automaker’s conquest audience for the marquee model and deep cultural cache.

To drive earned conversion and help consumers to associate Cadillac’s “Dare Greatly” brand platform with the Escalade, Rokkan created a social campaign featuring daring imagery to illustrate the Escalade’s power and style while encouraging viewers to “Cast a bold shadow.”

Centered around four unique cinemagraphs titled ”King of a Different Jungle,” “Force of Nature,” “Every Road a Stage,” and “The Undisputed Champ,” respectively, the campaign ran on Cadillac’s various social channels using organic and paid placements on Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter and Snapchat.

Outperforming all expectations, the campaign assets were also used in reporting for Cadillac’s broader brand success story.

The post Cadillac Shadows. appeared first on Rokkan.

Watch Fold7’s Year in Review

Fold7's year in review

Oh, what a difference a year can make.

  • Last year Hilton and Magners appointed us. This year we launched Hilton’s biggest-ever global campaign and relaunched the Magners brand.
  • Last year Marc Nohr joined Fold7 as CEO. This year our leadership team had 4 new additions, all of them being women.
  • Last year we had plans for new ventures. This year we made them happen; launching experiential agency Hyperactive, standalone production company Film7 and Unfolded Talks.
  • Last year we brought to you “Probably the Best Poster in the World.” This year we made Carlsberg talk of the town during the Euros with our “Substitutions” campaign.
  • Last year we welcomed furry friend Tallulah into the office. This year the Fold7 dog kennel has quadrupled with the addition of tail-waggers Georgie, Bertie and Sadie.
  • Last year we held bake-offs, cook-offs and coveted ping-pong tournaments. This year we did it all again and then some, introducing run club, kickboxing and book club.
  • This year’s events were pivotal to the Fold7 story. Join us next year to watch an even bigger 2017 unfold…

From all of us here, have a very merry Christmas and see you in the new year. Now sit back and enjoy some of our best bits from 2016 below.

My Media Week: Marc Nohr

Marc Nohr Fold7 CEO

Campaign magazine follow Fold7 CEO Marc Nohr while he joins the IPA to discuss the impact of Brexit on advertising, sits in on a planning meeting for Carlsberg, teaches his children to cook burgers and more.

The article was first published in Campaign magazine.

MONDAY
It’s the Jewish New Year, so I take my family to Synagogue and then host friends for lunch. It’s always a bit odd to see regular London going about its business when Jewish London hunkers down for these autumn days. But kind of nice too.

TUESDAY
My daily morning ritual kicks in: wake up to the Today programme and straight to my home gym. Today yoga, with the Mrs. It’s the one form of exercise we both agree on.Jump on the train and read half a Harvard Business Review article. It’s an early start today to film a new AAR reel for the agency. This requires a couple of coffees and a few takes to get into my stride. But the director is personable, has a good interview technique and we get there in the end…90 minutes fly by.

Lunch is in the office with an old confidante. We discuss an opportunity to do a joint venture in a new market. I throw a few provocations his way and he throws a few back my way. As a form of problem solving this Socratic dialogue probably explains why creative teams still form pairs – and by the end of an hour we have a sense of how to proceed.In the afternoon I go across to the IPA at the invitation of director general Paul Bainsfair to join some other agency leaders to discuss the impact of Brexit on advertising.

As a Remainer it’s interesting to now problem-solve around the reality of exit and to try to make the best of it. On the way back to the agency I have a long chat with a mate who is a leading political columnist on what is happening at the Tory conference. Tuesday evening is a late shift. A massive presentation the following day to a major client for their global campaign next year – which has some 15 people or so work until the early hours, fuelled by Uber Eats. Pitches are where it all comes together in our business – where problem identification turns into strategy which becomes creative work to solve the client’s business problem. Addictive but knackering.

WEDNESDAY
To the gym for high intensity training. It’s painful but the happiness hormone kicks in as soon as I finish. Hotfoot it to the agency Zone (recent recipient of BIMA’s digital agency of the year) where I serve on their Advisory Board. Three former agency chiefs, three clients and the agency’s management team. Every meeting centres around a big topic, which we all receive in advance and are required to come and talk about. It’s a mental workout for their executive team – as they get to test their ideas and have their assumptions challenged. The format is the brainchild of chairman James Freedman who sits back and largely enjoys the debate.

Arrive late morning in the agency’s reception dominated by stationary bikes and blaring music in aid of the NABS Ride Adland event. We appear to be going at a fraction of the speed of Bartle Bogle Hegarty. I console myself that they employ Lawrence Dallaglio who could probably do the race single handedly. Lunch is with a headhunter who recruited a star player for us a few months back – no agenda, other than his desire to recruit some more. I’m always up for discussing talent. Then, the afternoon is dominated by a creative presentation involving several clients in different cities. I’d much prefer to be doing it in person, but screen share technology at least gives us the chance to control the visual flow. After a series of internal meetings I remember my wife is out this evening. I call home to ask if any of my kids know how to cook a burger. By the third “no” I head straight home to show them how it’s done. An evening of news, box sets and red wine follows.

THURSDAY
Go for an early run, shower and jump on a train. Read news headlines on Twitter. Breakfast is with Annette King at Ogilvy. She shows we me their wonderful new office with views over… my kids’ school. I think of burgers. We discuss kids, clients, talent and the thrill of the chase in new business. Back to the agency for calls, internal meetings and the rehearsal of an afternoon presentation. Lunch with Chris Duncan, chief marketing officer of News UK and fellow political junkie. We discuss party conferences, paywalls and who is winning in online journalism.

Afternoon presentation to a client on how to win in the content wars. Then a prospect meeting with a fintech brand wanting to internationalise and seeking to understand how relevant their brand will be in the US. At the end of the day, head out to Soho to my favourite Chinese restaurant and to meet a former client who has now turned up as a client again – dinner followed by a gig at Ronnie Scott’s featuring drummer legend Steve Gadd (best known for the drum lick which starts Paul Simon’s 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover). Love that place.

FRIDAY
Gym: kettlebells. Breakfast in a local cafe with my cousin who is a City trader of some repute – I find his job as bewildering as he finds mine, but as my only extended relative in the UK (both my parents were immigrants) it’s always heartening to see him. A morning at my home office – a dozen or so calls including one to the US chief marketing officer of Audible whose UK campaign we have just launched, and a strategy call with the Hilton marketing chief in Virginia.

I get to the agency at 1pm, just in time to sit in on a planning meeting for Carlsberg for 2017. I am struck by the startling array of media we operate across as marketeers. Afternoon of one-to-one meetings with my senior team. Then, I have a meeting with the founder of our new experiential agency Hyperactive and Tony Spong of the AAR to discuss credentials. Finally, an end of day drink with someone keen to discuss an overseas venture. Then head home for the traditional Jewish Friday night meal – which I endeavour never to miss. When I reach home the phone goes off – 24 hour digital detox begins.

My Media Week: Marc Nohr

Marc Nohr Fold7 CEO

Campaign magazine follow Fold7 CEO Marc Nohr while he joins the IPA to discuss the impact of Brexit on advertising, sits in on a planning meeting for Carlsberg, teaches his children to cook burgers and more.

The article was first published in Campaign magazine.

MONDAY
It’s the Jewish New Year, so I take my family to Synagogue and then host friends for lunch. It’s always a bit odd to see regular London going about its business when Jewish London hunkers down for these autumn days. But kind of nice too.

TUESDAY
My daily morning ritual kicks in: wake up to the Today programme and straight to my home gym. Today yoga, with the Mrs. It’s the one form of exercise we both agree on.Jump on the train and read half a Harvard Business Review article. It’s an early start today to film a new AAR reel for the agency. This requires a couple of coffees and a few takes to get into my stride. But the director is personable, has a good interview technique and we get there in the end…90 minutes fly by.

Lunch is in the office with an old confidante. We discuss an opportunity to do a joint venture in a new market. I throw a few provocations his way and he throws a few back my way. As a form of problem solving this Socratic dialogue probably explains why creative teams still form pairs – and by the end of an hour we have a sense of how to proceed.In the afternoon I go across to the IPA at the invitation of director general Paul Bainsfair to join some other agency leaders to discuss the impact of Brexit on advertising.

As a Remainer it’s interesting to now problem-solve around the reality of exit and to try to make the best of it. On the way back to the agency I have a long chat with a mate who is a leading political columnist on what is happening at the Tory conference. Tuesday evening is a late shift. A massive presentation the following day to a major client for their global campaign next year – which has some 15 people or so work until the early hours, fuelled by Uber Eats. Pitches are where it all comes together in our business – where problem identification turns into strategy which becomes creative work to solve the client’s business problem. Addictive but knackering.

WEDNESDAY
To the gym for high intensity training. It’s painful but the happiness hormone kicks in as soon as I finish. Hotfoot it to the agency Zone (recent recipient of BIMA’s digital agency of the year) where I serve on their Advisory Board. Three former agency chiefs, three clients and the agency’s management team. Every meeting centres around a big topic, which we all receive in advance and are required to come and talk about. It’s a mental workout for their executive team – as they get to test their ideas and have their assumptions challenged. The format is the brainchild of chairman James Freedman who sits back and largely enjoys the debate.

Arrive late morning in the agency’s reception dominated by stationary bikes and blaring music in aid of the NABS Ride Adland event. We appear to be going at a fraction of the speed of Bartle Bogle Hegarty. I console myself that they employ Lawrence Dallaglio who could probably do the race single handedly. Lunch is with a headhunter who recruited a star player for us a few months back – no agenda, other than his desire to recruit some more. I’m always up for discussing talent. Then, the afternoon is dominated by a creative presentation involving several clients in different cities. I’d much prefer to be doing it in person, but screen share technology at least gives us the chance to control the visual flow. After a series of internal meetings I remember my wife is out this evening. I call home to ask if any of my kids know how to cook a burger. By the third “no” I head straight home to show them how it’s done. An evening of news, box sets and red wine follows.

THURSDAY
Go for an early run, shower and jump on a train. Read news headlines on Twitter. Breakfast is with Annette King at Ogilvy. She shows we me their wonderful new office with views over… my kids’ school. I think of burgers. We discuss kids, clients, talent and the thrill of the chase in new business. Back to the agency for calls, internal meetings and the rehearsal of an afternoon presentation. Lunch with Chris Duncan, chief marketing officer of News UK and fellow political junkie. We discuss party conferences, paywalls and who is winning in online journalism.

Afternoon presentation to a client on how to win in the content wars. Then a prospect meeting with a fintech brand wanting to internationalise and seeking to understand how relevant their brand will be in the US. At the end of the day, head out to Soho to my favourite Chinese restaurant and to meet a former client who has now turned up as a client again – dinner followed by a gig at Ronnie Scott’s featuring drummer legend Steve Gadd (best known for the drum lick which starts Paul Simon’s 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover). Love that place.

FRIDAY
Gym: kettlebells. Breakfast in a local cafe with my cousin who is a City trader of some repute – I find his job as bewildering as he finds mine, but as my only extended relative in the UK (both my parents were immigrants) it’s always heartening to see him. A morning at my home office – a dozen or so calls including one to the US chief marketing officer of Audible whose UK campaign we have just launched, and a strategy call with the Hilton marketing chief in Virginia.

I get to the agency at 1pm, just in time to sit in on a planning meeting for Carlsberg for 2017. I am struck by the startling array of media we operate across as marketeers. Afternoon of one-to-one meetings with my senior team. Then, I have a meeting with the founder of our new experiential agency Hyperactive and Tony Spong of the AAR to discuss credentials. Finally, an end of day drink with someone keen to discuss an overseas venture. Then head home for the traditional Jewish Friday night meal – which I endeavour never to miss. When I reach home the phone goes off – 24 hour digital detox begins.

Fold7 lands money.co.uk account

Fold7 lands money.co.uk account

We’re delighted to announce that money.co.uk has hired Fold7 as its creative agency following a competitive pitch. The task ahead will see us handle brand strategy, creative, and content strategy, positioning money.co.uk as a challenger brand and a trusted alternative in the sector.

Founded in 2008 by entrepreneur Chris Morling, the company is independently owned and was ranked the UK’s second-fastest growing business in 2015 by the Sunday Times. The brand’s mission is to provide people with the expert knowledge they need to make smart financial decisions and choose the right deals for them.

Marc Nohr our CEO comments: “We are drawn towards entrepreneurial fast growth businesses. And we have our fair share of credentials in the comparison space – so we feel equipped to provide the brand with a voice and distinctive point of view on the world. money.co.uk are an ambitious organisation with a clear sense of how they want to win.”

With the comparison sites category being a crowded one – dominated by the likes of Compare the Market, Moneysupermarket, Gocompare.com and Confused.com – we’re on a mission to switch things up, watch this space.