Engaging experiences aren’t just for traditional leisure spaces where consumers live and play.
More and more, corporations are adding briefing centers, which are themed, immersive spaces where visitors are encouraged to interact with products, brands, employees, and more.
These briefing centers act as an extension of a brand, offering a key way to support the overall brand or message while also leaving a lasting impact on visitors.
Better yet, these key touchpoints aren’t confined to the Fortune 500 juggernauts of the world – they can work for any operation, particularly when designed with the help of a leading audiovisual solutions integrator and designer like Electrosonic.
While the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way these briefing centers are approached, at least temporarily, the desire to conduct in-person meetings is still alive and well, and measured steps can be taken to both ensure briefing centers provide the same engaging experience as always without sacrificing safety and peace of mind.
On a recent episode of Fusion, the Electrosonic podcast, AVIXA Young AV Professional of the Year 2020 and Electrosonic Experience Technology Consultant Sean McChesney and experience center veteran and Electrosonic Enterprise Account Manager John Kolesar discussed their takeaways from the recent Association or Briefing Programme Managers conference, Electrosonic and other integrators’ role in these key spaces, and how they’re adapting to the impacts of COVID-19.
Key Takeaways from the APBM Conference
Kolesar said APBM events are a great opportunity to network and share best practices surrounding briefing centers and their future, a role that took on even greater purpose this year during the association’s first ever virtual conference.
In this challenging environment, Kolesar and McChesney said the opportunity to collaborate with other industry professionals on how best to navigate the next normal and deliver the same level of engaging experience as prior to the pandemic was invaluable.
Key takeaways and topics included:
- The Importance of Virtual Briefing Platforms
Organizations were forced into adopting or upgrading virtual briefing platforms in the wake of the spread of the novel coronavirus. However, like many aspects of the current operational landscape, this could be a “sticky” solution ready to serve briefing centers for years to come.
- Physical Measures for In-Person Briefings
As the world collectively moves toward a wider reopening, physical briefing centers will be put back into use – but will also need to be navigated carefully. Everything from touchless technology to best practices for physically getting guests and employees into the same room while practicing social distancing will be critical.
- Overall Optimism
Kolesar and McChesney agreed that, despite the current climate, the value of in-person briefings has not changed, and both said it was inspiring to see the briefing center community come together and tackle the big questions surrounding that return to in-person collaboration at this year’s conference.
“It’s inspiring to know we’re all together on this roadmap to get back to normal,” McChesney said.
How Integrators Help Shape Successful Briefing Centers
The most critical component of a successful briefing center, Kolesar said, is integrating technology in a way that supports the overall mission of boosting brand awareness and impact while creating a truly special experience.
“The best interactions are done when there’s technology in place that supports the brand or message to create lasting memories for the customer,” he said. “We want visitors that leave to really feel empowered to work with the client (and) understand what they’re doing.”
The role of an integrator and partner, then, is to ensure that the right AV solutions are in place to engender the creation of a collaborative, comfortable and engaging space that allows visitors and employees to interact seamlessly with the tools and solutions on hand. Like any successful experience, it’s not about the technology being the superstar – it’s about how the technology can play a supporting role in delivering unprecedented collaboration and results.
Decisions surrounding layout, AV solutions and more are particularly critical in the case of smaller operations. Both Kolesar and McChesney said they believe operations of any size can leverage briefing centers to tremendous effect, but it takes attention to detail and a commitment to maximizing smaller spaces through technology and more to ensure the finished experience delivers.
The Role of the Briefing Center in the Next Normal and Beyond
Looking ahead, both Kolesar and McChesney said that, despite the current requirements and best practices for remaining safe during the COVID-19 pandemic and into the next normal, the role of briefing centers isn’t set to be diminished any time soon.
“Even though there are many challenges to be addressed around these issues,” McChesney said, “people are looking forward to getting back to doing in-person briefings. The value of in-person collaboration has not changed. Our role as a supplier is to work together in a partnership capacity to address immediate concerns and transition that back to full-on collaborative, in-person sessions.”
In fact, briefing centers can play a key part in delivering the foundational trust and security that people look for when embarking on a new business relationship.
“Business conditions are always challenging and always changing, especially with COVID, so I think it’s really important to have that safe environment where people can come together and have ideas,” Kolesar said. “It’s really an integral part of the sales process – building trust and relationships with your clients, partners and employees. It’s something that really helps every business.”
The aforementioned virtual platforms could play a central role in reopening efforts, offering a way to utilize physical briefing spaces that have been transformed into “hybrid” experiences the promote safety and peace of mind without sacrificing engagement or stakeholder count.
In addition, touchless technology and solutions enabled by RFID, gesture technology, computer vision and AI to enforce social distancing, lighting cues, virtual reality experiences, key integrations with existing building management capabilities, and much more can be integrated into briefing center strategies to promote safety and security.
To learn more about how Electrosonic can help plan your next briefing center with the next normal and beyond in mind, contact us today.