Identifying the most engaging use of conference tech for our clients’ booths

By Cary Flaum, Group Executive Producer, Creative Production, IPG Health

CES is, and has always been, at the forefront of showing off the newest and coolest technology from the world’s largest and smallest companies. Through the lens of Creative Production and Content Generation for our clients, I explored the booths on the floor to identify exhibits that were the most informative and engaging. While there were many booths and a lot of information presented to attendees, I found only a few were able to captivate me and lure me in, with several “cool factors” that made them stand out from the pack. Notably, there were four key trends I identified throughout the standout booths:

Transparent screens:

  • Some of the biggest TV brands unveiled their latest in transparent screens. LG, Samsung and others showed off their transparent tech in a variety of ways. Some as part of a home installation that paired nicely with the decorations that shined within; others, as a display of the possibilities of how to overlay info and other graphics over content to augment the initial experience.
  • I found that the best use of this technology to be the augmentation of other content behind the transparent screens. Samsung showed that off best, with their Micro LED Display that includes scalable panels that they overlayed over another LED experience to contain additive content.

Augmented reality (AR) and handsfree technology (wearable AR):

  • There is an emergence of brands (both new and existing) developing exciting technology to bring augmented reality into more mainstream daily life. There are many new and exciting wearable AR glasses/lenses that allow for the augmentation of physical space. This can also be additive to other additional content within your environment.
  • What excited me most about this tech in the conference setting is the low barrier to entry. Our current tool for AR is our smartphones or tablets, requiring an app installation or fast web connection. Asking people to download an app or rely on conference WiFi (which is notoriously slow), is a barrier that some users will walk away from. The use of AR Glasses can give the AR Experiences we create for our clients more opportunity for more of their target audiences to view their experiences and content they are offering. 

Immersive (and exclusive) booths won big:

  • The big players (and some small) won me over with their immersive experiences. The bigger companies had a large footprint and were walled off into their own private viewing spaces. The lines to get into these booths inspired additional intrigue and a need to see what was behind those walls. Once inside, the breadth of content/products showed were impressive and worth the wait.
  • The immersive booths were just that – immersive. They offered guests the chance to familiarize themselves with the brand without the distraction of other exhibits happening nearby. Maximizing face time with a standalone brand proved resonant with me and these large-scale booths became the standard against which I compared others I visited. 

Interactive, interactive, interactive:

  • Booths with interactive components drew the largest crowds, and many people shared my same sentiment as it being the best way to experience the tech and engage with brands. Booths that provided both an immersive and interactive experiences told the best stories. The level of engagement and focus they provided allowed attendees to be completely captivated.  

I left CES 2024 inspired to implement these learnings and observations to maximize impact for our clients on their biggest stages. A level of panache is required these days to stand out from competitors, especially in an environment as saturated as CES. Innovation, informativeness and fun are three keys to success and audience engagement.