Uncategorized

Serious Subject? Try a Little Humor

Humor is a great way to get attention and inspire fresh perspectives. It’s also a tool too often overlooked with presentations and other experiential marketing strategies aimed at professional audiences.

We’re not just talking about a joke or two to warm up a crowd. We’re talking theming that pushes the envelope. Funny takes on traditionally sober topics. Devices and delivery styles that get people laughing, then thinking, then nodding their heads.

The MPG team had tons of fun recently helping Crest and Oral-B reach out to healthcare professionals who work with pregnant women. The content is quite serious: Recent research shows a woman’s oral health can have a big impact on her pregnancy and perhaps even the health of her baby.

We could have gone the straight-faced route, which would have been more than appropriate for the venue: The Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses Convention (AWHONN). But we had heard that nurses are a fun-loving crowd, so we took a more humorous approach.

Enter the “Dirty Mouth Moms”

Because most pregnant women are prone to gingivitis (gum inflammation caused by plaque build-up) and probably don’t know it, we educated the nurses in our audience that most of their patients have “dirty” mouths. We brought the theme to life with bleeped-out words and images of pregnant women covering their mouths in surprise, then used it as a springboard to share how Crest, Oral-B and the March of Dimes can help.

Nurses loved the approach, and stuck around to learn about how their guidance and recommendations can help create healthier moms and stronger babies.

To see more of our work at AWHONN, check out our website. And if you’re interested in bringing a little humor to your next professional engagement, consider these tips.

Know Your audience. If you’re unexperienced with engaging a certain group, leverage any professional advisory panels your company might have, or even territory managers who interact with them regularly, to find out what kinds of messaging and approaches are likely to resonate.

Dare to be irreverent. Don’t be afraid to get creative. Look at the problem you’re trying to solve through many different lenses. Brainstorm freely—even around topics that may be considered untouchable. You can always reign yourself back in as you refine concepts and content.

Test it out. Run your concept past several representatives of the audience you’re trying to engage. Do they think it will work overall? Are there aspects that should be tweaked in order to avoid offending? If possible, share draft scripts as well to ensure you’re walking the right side of the line.

Commit. Once you’ve decided to go humorous and you’ve done your homework, go whole-heartedly. Your audience will go along if you’re confident in your delivery and committed to your comedy. Win them over, get them chuckling, and they’ll be more receptive to your overall message.

To Glimpse the True Magic of Teamwork, Look Behind the Scenes

Behind the Scenes with MPG at AAD 2016

At the end of every project, we spend several hours sifting through photos. For our clients, we pull the ones that best document the experience. We reserve the best of the best for our website and other marketing materials. And then there are the photos no one else gets to see: behind-the-scenes shots of our teammates in rehearsal, setting up, and having fun with one another.

These images say so much. Essentially, they’re a testament to the intense preparation that happens before “show time.” Our professional presenters and brand ambassadors are the best in the industry, so they make delivering messages and first-class hospitality look easy. But every day on the show floor represents hours of rehearsal and thought, from the way our talent moves during a presentation to the cut of their jackets and the color of their ties.

Behind the Scenes with MPG at AAD 2016

Browse through these pre-show photos, and you’ll see people running their lines over and over, testing and re-testing demos, tweaking the emphasis of key messages, and collaborating to make sure every team member knows where to be and what to do, even when the unexpected occurs.

Our exhibit designers and technical crew are busy, too. They’re obsessing over lighting, wrapping walls in beautiful printed fabric, tweaking sound levels to perfection in our theater, and setting up displays with the eye of an expert retailer.

Behind the Scenes with MPG at AAD 2016

All of these are represented in photos from the P&G skin care booth at last month’s American Academy of Dermatology Meeting. Our team and brand partners set a new bar for excellence with a freshly updated environment, a science-focused main presentation, and demos that brought brand science and benefits to life. More than 4,100 dermatologists spent an average of 15 minutes in our exhibit space. 95% reported that the content they received was relevant to them and their patients. And on average, 90% said they were more likely to recommend the featured products after visiting our demo stations.

BackstageCollage1

But something else comes to life when you look at behind-the-scenes photos from this show and others. You see the friendships that allow us to trust and help one another be our best—which means our clients are represented at their best. You see the fun, which not only propels us through long days but keeps us coming back show after show. Those unguarded, even silly, moments form the foundation of a team that is completely and joyfully committed to delivering memorable experiences for our clients.

This is why we look forward to each post-show photo review. The polished and posed images capture the excellence. But those backstage, pre- and post-show casual moments are often where the real magic happens.

Save

Happy Holidays from MPG!

At Moening Presentation Group we believe in trying new things, and we’re always stretching ourselves to discover new skills.

This year our senior writer Sara decided she could either try her hand at baking holiday cookies, or making a video to wish our team and clients a joyful season. Believe it or not, baking sounded like the more daunting prospect. So she put together this little gem, exercising a video production muscle she never knew she had. We think it turned out great — warm and sweet, just like a homemade cookie.

To our clients and all our amazing team members, thank you for a wonderful 2015. We’re looking forward to more new adventures in the new year!

MPG Video Production: Capturing HD Passion for an HD Innovation

MPG’s production team shoots a video featuring Paul Sagel, inventor of Crest Pro-Health [HD].

Sometimes, you’re so proud of a project you want to tell people yourself why it’s so great. Forget slick commercials and carefully crafted benefit statements. Sometimes, the only way to communicate your passion is to speak directly to your audience—raw and unscripted.

That’s how P&G scientist Paul Sagel felt about his latest invention, Crest Pro-Health [HD]. The first-of-its-kind toothpaste and gel system has been wow-ing consumers since it was launched in January—which wasn’t a surprise to Paul, since the product wow-d him while he was developing it.

Ads for the product were doing fine, but Paul felt they were missing the story behind the innovation. He wanted to communicate just how incredible the results are. And he wanted people to see and feel that excitement, directly from him.

When he called us to the lab to discuss his idea, we wished we’d brought a camera to capture the energy as he talked about Crest Pro-Health [HD]. It truly was infectious. And we couldn’t wait to help make his vision a reality.

Paul2

As we prepared for our shoot, the idea evolved from the original completely unrehearsed concept. We suggested filming in an electronics store to help illustrate that Crest Pro-Health [HD] really is HD for your mouth. And we devised a one-take lab-to-store idea that allowed Paul to set up his scientific credentials while maintaining an element of fun.

As for the script, we helped organize the talking points, but in the end it was all up to Paul. And he delivered! The video has started making the rounds of Crest’s social media outlets, and so far the response is great. Take a look. If you’re as excited as we are, share the video and try Crest Pro-Health [HD] yourself!

A+ Tips for Effective Trade Show Exhibits

We love getting great report cards as much as anyone this time of year. And we believe in celebrating success, which is why we’re trumpeting our latest A+ scores like a proud mom on Facebook.

But we also believe in sharing our secrets. Because the effective trade show strategies that earned our client, Crest + Oral-B, such great results at the Chicago Dental Society’s Midwinter Meeting are tactics all exhibitors can learn from.

Here’s what the Exhibiting Effectiveness Evaluation, conducted by Competitive Edge and Trade Shows Plus, had to say about the Crest + Oral-B  experience in Chicago, PLUS tips on how you can get similarly great results.

Our booth for Crest + Oral-B included a hands-on science demo area, brushing stations for sampling, and a live presentation theater, where two professional presenters delivered a news-themed message about Crest and Oral-B's latest innovations.

Our booth included a hands-on science demo area, brushing stations for sampling, and a live presentation theater, where two professional presenters delivered a news-themed deep dive into Crest and Oral-B’s latest innovations.

The overall experience scored 100% compared to all other exhibitors at the show.

OverallUseThisExhibit Presentation

This category evaluated the general impression the exhibit made on the show floor, and our scores were nearly perfect. Here’s a sampling of comments: “Theme was effective/creative. Good overall exhibit design. Good graphics. Good lighting. Good use of A/V. Creative/Imaginative approach to exhibit/messaging. Wow. Amazing.”

ExhibitPresentation

 

How can you get similar results?

Invest in good booth design. Create something inviting that brings your brand to life with smart use of equity colors and graphics. But keep it versatile. The goal is to get multiple years of use out of your booth with the ability to switch out themes and change up the experience each year.

Be bold, and be seen. We can’t stress enough the importance of a big, eye-catching overhead banner, along with  branded signage high enough to be seen over other exhibits.

Don’t skimp on lighting. Even the best-lit convention hall won’t make your exhibit look its best. Good lighting not only helps your investment shine, it actually enhances the experience for your guests.

Layer in a theme. Since Crest + Oral-B had so many new innovations last season, we carried a news theme throughout the booth. Theming is an extra step that can help you avoid dry, boring presentations and demos.

 

Product Presentation

Here, our scores were 5s across the board. Comments included: “Theater is Disney-off-the-chart. Product innovation demos are excellent. Staging is incredible.”

ProductPresentation

 

 

How can you get similar results?

Do a presentation or demo – or both! Of course we love live presentations — they work! And for many products, a demo should be a no-brainer. Here are some ideas for doing them right.

– Be entertaining. But don’t feel pressured to do Disney. Our audiences have come to expect nothing but the best from Crest + Oral-B, so we’re constantly raising the bar on our theater experiences. The real lesson is to incorporate some element of entertainment, whether it simply be multiple monitors, a storytelling approach, or that fun theme we mentioned above.

Use professional presenters. Giving a great presentation at a corporate meeting is different from engaging and entertaining crowds four times an hour for three days straight. Professional presenters will deliver your message with flair every single time.

 

Exhibit Staff

Our scores were A+ here, too. Just look at those comments!

ExhibitStaff

How can you get similar results?

Go pro. Hire seasoned hosts with the energy and know-how to represent your company with class. Or at least provide your internal team with training on how to be as engaging and helpful as possible on the trade show floor.

Create a uniform look. Matching shirts, ties, and other clothing items not only make your team look good, they make it easy for guests to figure out whom to approach when they’re ready for a conversation.

The final lesson? With good planning, great staffing, and a touch of entertainment, you can create a more effective trade show exhibit that earns top grades from your target audience. Interested in seeing how MPG can help? Check out our Work and our Services.

Save

Spring Cleaning Tips for Great Tradeshow Exhibits

SpringClean1

Photo courtesy of Chiot’s Run, via Flickr

Winter is over, and many of us are wrapping up a successful trade show season. Now is the perfect time to review your exhibits and related events. Could they be fresher, more efficient, and more relevant to your audience?

Spring cleaning doesn’t have to mean an overhaul. Just make sure you’re getting the most out of every piece in your program, starting with clearing out clutter. Keep an eye out for:

Meaningless Jargon – Everyone offers an innovative, cutting-edge solution. And these overused terms are classic examples of “telling” rather than “showing.” We might not be able to trim all of these filler words out of presentations, graphics and related materials, but we can be mindful of falling back on them when a richer, more precise story could be told.

Cluttered Messaging – Are your presentations too long? Graphics laden with copy? Can a visitor look at your booth and immediately tell what you do or sell? Streamlining, shortening and creating areas of clear focus will create a more enjoyable experience for your guests, not to mention a more successful showing for your company.

Pieces that Aren’t Pulling their Weight – Do you have monitors that have gone ignored? Are there touchscreens no one touches? Consider working neglected technology into a demo. Or, transform dead spaces into a presentation area.

Shows that Aren’t Showing a Return – Most of us have at least one convention or trade show that seems to require more energy than it’s worth. If you trimmed it from your schedule, would it free up time and budget that could go toward shows that really improve your bottom line?

Now that you’ve cleared out some dead weight, it’s time for the next step: sprucing up. How can you give your program a fresh face without re-doing everything?

Fix wear and tear. If your exhibit house hasn’t done this already, have them repair scratched paneling, scuffed corners, dingy carpeting and other damage caused by months on the road.

Update graphics. Strategic re-skinning can give your booth a whole new look. Or focus on a few of your most impactful graphics to make branding more cohesive, freshen your messaging, and better showcase featured products.

Add interactivity. Bring your story to life with a live presentation. Let visitors experience your product with a hands-on demo. Find ways to work human interactions into your booth, vs. passive videos and displays. Even the small step of hiring professional hosts to welcome visitors to your booth will set you apart and set the stage for a better, fresher experience.

For more ideas on updating your booth without breaking the bank, contact us. A live presentation may be the key to breathing new life into an existing exhibit.

Save

8 Tradeshow Tips to Win Over Anyone

Valentines2

With Valentine’s Day coming, we’ve been thinking about how live events—especially trade shows—are a lot like speed dating.

Surrounded by primped and primed competition, you have just moments to stand out. You must intrigue your audience, build trust, and make them want to take the relationship to the next level. You’re creating connections with the potential to turn into much more.

Whether your field is serious, technical or more conducive to fun, we’ve got a formula—a love potion, if you will—that can give you an edge over the others:

#1. Be attractive. Great booth design is important. You don’t have to be the biggest on the floor, but do invest in looking your best. That includes staffing. In addition to your most personable team members, consider hiring professional hosts to welcome visitors into your space. From the minute they step onto your footprint, your visitors should feel taken care of and valued.

#2. Offer an experience. Don’t just tell why your solution is best. Let your audience try it for themselves through guided sampling and hands-on demos. If visitors can’t experience your product live, create an activity that demonstrates the benefits in a unique way.

#3. Be emotional. Create a journey connecting your product or solution to your visitors’ everyday needs and desires. Demonstrate how your brand improves lives. Tell a story that tugs at the heartstrings, and help your audience envision a bigger picture.

#4. Make it fun. Or, if you’re striking a more serious tone, be powerful. Impactful. Interactive. All of this adds up to enjoyable, which will make your audience glad they decided to spend time with you.

#5. Be real. Amazing technological advances aside, it’s still hard to fall in love with a touchscreen. So make sure your experience has a healthy amount of human interaction. One-on-one encounters are one of the best reasons to exhibit at tradeshows, so don’t leave your visitors in front of machines. Engage them the old-fashioned way – with a handshake and an offer to share more.

#6. Create an easy traffic flow. Good storytelling has a sequence, and a great experience includes not having to jostle through crowds or guess what to do next. Combine booth design with signage and professional hosts to help visitors make their way smoothly through your space while getting the most from your message.

#7. Be memorable. If you’ve done all of the above, visitors should walk away remembering you. But don’t leave it to chance. A unique, high-quality parting gift can be the spark that reminds someone to seek you out for more in-depth talks.

#8. Make it a snap to follow up. Now that you’ve captivated your prospects, don’t let them leave without a clear invitation and a way to contact you. Nurture the relationship by following up and staying in touch.

For more on the benefits of face-to-face marketing, check out our post on the power of a great live presentation.

Save

We Don’t Want A Lot for Christmas…

MPGList

Another year ending—already? We were just catching our breath from the whirlwind of 2014! In the unique business of live marketing, we consider ourselves blessed. With our amazing team and clients, plus exciting projects on the horizon, we have all we need.

But if Santa still wants to send us a little something extra, we don’t mind making a list.

All we want for Christmas is…

Comfy Shoes – Can the elves make heels that feel like walking on cotton balls, even after 8 hours on a trade show floor? We’ll take 100 pairs.

Friendly Skies – Please gift the airline industry with zero flight delays, minimal turbulence, and the will to bring down ridiculous fares. Our frequently traveling team members will be grateful.

Great Stories – More fun, inspiring and innovative messages mean more memorable experiences for us to create. We love that!

Kindred Spirits ­ Our clients, partners and team members just “click.” So it feels like an embarrassment of riches to ask for more. But who doesn’t love connecting with awesome people?

New Challenges Give us that that tough assignment, that impenetrable brief, the idea no one’s sure what to do with—and watch us make it great.

Health and Happiness for All We hope our friends, family, co-workers and clients have a wonderful holiday. And best wishes for a successful, joy-filled 2015!

Content Marketing at Conventions: Why You Should Consider a Camera Crew

Camera Crew at ConventionsWith today’s focus on visuals, documenting your company’s convention and trade show presence should be part of your marketing budget. Yet we often are surprised when clients don’t have a plan for showing higher-ups and other stakeholders just how successful their booths, demos and other activities were.

Sure, photos and video can be captured for free with phones and personal cameras. Professionally shot video, on the other hand, communicates the quality of the experience, allowing you to craft a recap that shows off why your company should continue to invest in trade shows and other live events.

But don’t stop there. Quality content can be repurposed to help you market externally as well.  Consider:

  • Filming your featured presentation, then breaking the footage into segments for an online series.
  • Filming demos as stand alones that can be used on your website or by sales reps in the field.
  • Interviewing your experts live for segments that can be included in blog posts or shared via social media.

To get the most out of your investment in a professional camera crew, follow these tips.

  • Create a content plan. Map out what you want to capture and where it will be showcased. This helps ensure you don’t return from an event missing the one piece of content your managers and marketing team want to see.
  • Compare crews and costs. It may seem like a money saver to hire in the convention city, but money is wasted if the crew doesn’t deliver what you need. Our clients often use our video directors, who understand their needs and equity — and who we trust to do quality work — then allow them to vet and hire other crew members on the ground.
  • Clear it with the venue. Make sure you understand and follow any restrictions on filming at the event.
  • Get releases. If you’re planning to use footage of attendees publicly, you’ll want signed permission forms. We use a boilerplate release and work with our clients’ legal teams, if necessary, to make sure everyone is covered.
  • Be efficient on-site. Time is money, so designate a point person to help the crew get what they need as quickly as possible.

For more information on our video services and capabilities, check out MPG’s video production page.

Your Convention Season Survival Guide

ID-100260921

Image courtesy of iosphere/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

If you have kids, you’re probably getting ready for back-to-school. And if your exhibiting season kicks into high gear in the fall, like ours does, then you also are preparing to get back on the road.

Here’s our back-to-show supply list: a compilation of must-haves for professionals who travel to conventions. The more you attend, the more you need these items, so be sure to stock up on…

checkmarkBright Smiles. You’ll need plenty of positivity to survive long hours working with the public, vendors, thought leaders and colleagues.

checkmarkVitamin C. Air travel, time zone differences, sketchy on-the-road nutrition and those aforementioned long hours can bring your body down. Pack the immunity boosters that work best for you.

checkmarkProblem Solving Skills. Seasoned exhibitors know not to be surprised when something goes wrong. Don your Thinking-On-Your-Feet Cap, and you can creatively handle any challenge.

checkmarkSleep Aids. Hotels offer varying degrees of comfort, but you can’t let it keep you from getting your zzzzzzz’s. Pack a white noise machine, sleep mask, herbal tea… whatever helps send you to dream land.

checkmarkCameras. You’ll want to show your bosses back home how well your booth is doing, and what better way than with photos and video? Don’t just rely on your smartphone, pack a good lightweight camera with video capabilities, too.

checkmark Batteries and Chargers. Enough said.

 

checkmarkChargers for Your Own Batteries. Take a break from people pleasing and problem solving with a good book. Or pack your running shoes for a jog after the show floor closes. Can’t take a week off to visit the beach? Schedule a spa weekend between conventions.

Now it’s your turn. What items are on your personal convention survival guide list? Let us know, and we’ll update with any we might have missed.

Save

Page 1 of 3123