The IBM Signature Event Experience


IBM’s ‘Smarter Planet’ concept champions the idea that instrumented, intelligent and interconnected efforts across industries and organizations result in a deeper and more meaningful understanding of how the world works. Cultivating relationships and learning moments lead to opportunities for growth. This idea is reflected in IBM’s products, solutions and services, but it needed to be realized in how they communicate and interact with people in their marketing event campaigns and programs.

Over hundreds of hours, GPJ worked with leading Subject Matter Experts across all disciplines of human experience to understand what this meant — how best practices could be channeled into business events, and then uniquely differentiated to express the essence of IBM in the competitive marketplace.

The team found that the key was looking beyond the physical components of an experience space — programs needed to consider a much broader scope of human relationship and learning experience to foster engagements with clients. With a depth of discovery research principles in mind, GPJ established a ‘Signature’ approach to IBM’s marketing event experiences — one that encompassed engagements from the first pre-event touch, to the physical or virtual live experience, to the knowledge and insights shared by participants — all leading to the cultivation of relationships that would accelerate business results. The centerpiece of these IBM ‘Signature Event Experiences’ would be transformative, flexible environments that provoked audience members to engage in collaborative conversation. This versatile experience design would be carried across all aspects and tactics of the audience journey, with data, intelligence and insights captured along the way for better decision-making and customer follow-up.

The new IBM Signature Event Experience approach was put to practice at Sibos in October 2010. An immersive high-touch environment allowed audiences to navigate according to their need or level of interest. Large-format touch-screen technology, Tablet PCs and QR codes provided tools for on-site solution specialists to progress through conversations with attendees. Multiple devices — each equipped with over 400 unique pieces of media — were able to ‘talk’ to one another by moving presentations from screen-to-screen as required by individuals and groups. This method proved an opportunity to manage non-linear dialogue with real-time access to custom content, giving IBM experts the flexibility to provide more relevant information at different stages of the engagement cycle. The result was a 78% increase in lead capture year-over-year — more than the previous two years combined.

After deep research and discovery, GPJ is now creating and executing all IBM events worldwide based on this new immersive approach in support of the ‘Smarter Planet’ ideology. This work will continue to evolve and be applied across the IBM event portfolio globally.