Interactive LCD is Big at Events

I had an opportunity to visit Oracle OpenWorld (compliments of Oracle and CEMA). As I walked around the partner pavilions I noticed one of the hottest technologies for exhibitors was the interactive touchscreen LCD panel. The interactive LCD panels ran a wide variety of sizes from 3-ft. tall to a 8’x15′ wall.

Interactive touchscreens give marketers another way to engage with their audiences and attract attention at their booth. Here are some highlights and lowlights on how some of the companies used their touchscreen monitors.

  1. Connected Marketing – Some of the better touchscreen experiences integrated their other marketing efforts from the show. Intel handed out some cards with different messages on it and you placed the cards on a scanner which allowed you to interact with the LCD display. Emerson created a large interactive LCD which mirrored an experience on their iPad app.
  2. Lead Generation – Make it easy for attendees to profile themselves by scanning attendee badges or using a card scanner.
  3. Tell a story – Some of the displays told an interactive story. The story branched out depending on the user’s interest. The graphics were dynamic and simple to keep the attendees attention.
  4. Have fun – Many of the better interactive displays were fun to use. One booth used it as a slot machine but you don’t need a touch-enabled LCD for that. Intel had a game which involved understanding their solutions – you got to learn something and have fun at the same time.

There were a few examples where I didn’t think the touchscreens were put to the best use:

  1. Electronic Brochures – One company scanned in their brochures and posted it on their interactive display. Seriously? Do you want me to read through pages of 12-point font while I stand at your booth? To their credit, there was an option for me to include my e-mail address and have the brochures e-mailed to me. But this should be an interactive experience – engage me, amuse me, educate me. I hope their website has more interactivity.

  1. Another company used the LCD touchscreens to solicit customer feedback. The problem is, these touchscreens are poor data input devices. A laptop with a keyboard is much better for entering text. Entering text into a big electronic keyboard is awkward and difficult when it’s positioned vertically. The attendee’s comment as I took this photo, “Oh, I hate typing like this.” If you want feedback – why not add a webcam and let them record their feedback more naturally? I had a feeling the team was looking for something cool to do with their new technology but didn’t consider if the old school alternatives would be better for engaging their audience.

As an event marketer, I’m very excited about what interactive touchscreen LCDs can bring to the booth. But we have to think through our objectives for using the technology and make sure it enhances the attendee experience. Few considerations:

  1. Does the new technology enhance the attendee experience over your other event options? Does it do a better job of attracting attention, communicating your message, entertaining the attendee, etc.?
  2. Can you use it to connect with your other marketing efforts at the show? Is there a way to connect the touchscreen environment with your web experiences, mobile or tablet apps so that users have a connected experience?
  3. Make it seamless to capture leads – many touchscreen environments required users to manually enter their e-mail using the electronic keyboard. A better option was to have a booth attendee scan the attendee’s card with their wand but the best option is to have a card reader so the attendees can do it themselves without having an employee hover over them while they explore.

Up next, I’ll look at some of my favorite uses of interactive touchscreen LCDs at OpenWorld. Have you seen other great examples of interactive LCD screens at events? What worked and didn’t work for you?


Note: Scott Lum is an employee of Microsoft Corp. The views expressed are my own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of my employer.

About Scott Lum

Disruptive digital, social & content marketer with a passion for customer experience. Formerly with Microsoft.
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