Ecobuild 2017 was evidence that the construction sector is embracing experiential tactics to maximise ‘live’ event formats.

As we walked the floors, we sought to uncover evidence of the kind of totally immersive thinking we celebrate in our recently published ‘Long live the ‘live’ event’ report. And we found plenty of it.

The organisers had clearly set out to create an experience. The regeneration drive concept worked well and the immersive cityscape gave exhibitors an inspiring platform to work with. The installations that really stood out had gone all out – but not necessarily on aesthetics – more on storytelling, bringing their offering to life and allowing the audience to be very much a part of their Ecobuild 2017 presence. We’ve nominated five frontrunners for their totally immersive initiatives here.

But while the show itself was a hive of stimulating activity, the pre-show build-up points to a potential missed opportunity for some exhibitors. From researching the planned activities in the days leading up to the event, who knew the exciting agenda many stands had in-store? Furthermore, there seemed to be a general consensus that the show close was considered the campaign finishing line. Ecobuild 2017 was done. They were done. Time to down tools and get back to the day job.

Could construction brands be getting so caught up in the ‘live’ event moment that they’re missing an important trick in maximising all the time, expense and effort expended in it all? The art of creating reasons to re-engage by taking a joined-up campaign approach that tells the full story.

Careful pre, during and post-show planning should ensure at least six to nine months of valuable exposure around high impact initiatives. Regardless of whether it’s a trade event or an immersive stand-alone initiative – such as a pop-up installation at a wholesalers, or national roadshow – getting the maximum ROE (return on experience) is what matters. After all, it’s proving the effectiveness of these experience-centred activities that supports the construction marketer’s business case for capitalising on the growing appetite for interaction – not just features and benefits.

If you’re currently taking stock after a very intense stint at Ecobuild, take a look at ‘Long live the ‘live’ event: A toolkit for trade brands looking to stand, deliver and dominate in 2017’ . It offers a new perspective on trade show planning that could make you see future ‘events’ through very different eyes.

Read the report here.