What is it your company does? How are you better than your competitors? What’s your USP?
4D is a live events agency working across live events, branded environments and experiential experiences. What we try and do is to understand what the client objectives are and the messages that they’re trying to get across to their audience. We deep dive into those brand values and then the secret is really trying to transmit and portray those brand values to the customer, to the visitor at that particular event. We want that visitor to go away with something that would change their perception about that brand or about that product.
Where do you see event market heading in 2016 and why?
I’ve always championed this, but events and marketing are converging and this all comes back to creating an experience rather than just a sales stand. Traditionally, an event planner looks at organising an event and a marketer is responsible for promoting a product or a service to their audience. Where we are now is that both of these come together into experiences and the two marry together very well. People are no longer buying a product or a service based on features and benefits of that product. For example, if you buy a TV, you know what the specification is and you understand what the TV does. You’ve done the research online, but what you want to know really is, what’s the experience of buying something that has been manufactured by that company? Who are Samsung or LG and what they do they mean to you? And you want to take something more away than what you’ve just read or seen, you actually want to feel what that brand is all about and how that matters to you. I think that’s where the events world is heading because the importance is actually understanding what it is that you want your visitor, your guest, your customer to take away from that event. Not necessarily what products you want to show them or what the theme of the event is, but how do you want them to feel and what brand values do you want them to take away?
What new innovations or product launches can we expect from your company?
This year alone we have been working on new solutions such as 90º edge cornered LED on exhibition stands, motion-sensor tracking technology to measure engagement and different materials and textures to imply authenticity. We work very, very closely with some of the leading suppliers within the industry and we’re continually working with them to see what’s out there, what’s new, and quite often, we’ll make suggestions to them and then we’ll ask them, “Can you go and source this?” And then they love working with us if we’re pushing their boundaries as well.
What’s the best event you’ve done to date and why?
A three-day user conference for 1,000 delegates at Duxford airspace in the repair hanger and aircraft museum. It was a space that wasn’t geared for conferences at all and it had never been done before. There were many challenges but the results were amazing. Those kinds of briefs aren’t the norm but they’re the ones where everyone at 4D comes alive.
What do like most about the event industry? what do you find most challenging about the industry?
Every project poses new challenges, which can be very exciting and rewarding. To find a client who will trust you with their brand is a gem for us. What I enjoy most is researching and looking at exciting & dynamic ways to present compelling brand experiences. The most challenging part of the industry is time. Client projects are often left until the last minute and set up times can really hinder creativity.
Where do you see your company in 5 years time? Where do you see the event market in 5 years time?
I see 4D in 5 years time as an agency with a holistic proposition where we merge both live event experiences and digital. We take our client’s visitors on a creative journey. The stand or 3D environment is just part of the whole experiential campaign.
In 5 years I think the whole event industry will be taking more cues from retail environments.
If you could give one piece of advice to anyone starting out as an event professional what would it be?
As an event professional today (compared to when I joined 4D back in 1996) you are able to learn much more quickly about things because the internet makes information available to you. So for example, either a client or you might have an idea and think “I want to put this amazing piece of technology onto this event.” It can then be really, really quick to become a guru on that piece of technology because you can read about it on the internet, you can source suppliers and look up case studies. Event industry professionals just starting out should make use of this power of digital to learn, learn, learn and then have new ideas. Because you just can’t buy that type of passion.
What else do you want to tell the event community about yourselves?
4D has a passion for telling brand stories and engaging visitors within superior brand environments. We get very excited by delivering projects that surpass expectation and we genuinely honestly love what we do.