Tech Inspo: 3 Things Healthcare Brands Can Learn From CES 2024

Jack Health Blog

January 29th, 2024 By

As always, CES 2024 in Las Vegas inspires us – big brands, big budgets, big experiences.

This year’s big winner was South Korea’s second largest company, SK Group. In the massive tech jungle that is CES, SK Group impressively grew their engagement by 100%. 60,000 people came to SK Wonderland, a brand experience that checked all the boxes: brave, emotive, grand, and highly immersive.

Seeing their home run of a booth made me think… What can healthcare brands learn from this? Now, a few weeks out from the event, I have wrapped my head around the question, and have three simple things healthcare marketers can do to elevate their tradeshow and conference presence to be more like that of SK Groups at CES 2024.

1. Deep knowledge of your audience can fuel your congress theme and storyline.

Avoid the trap many healthcare brands fall into at congress – showing up with corporate colors and smart slogans that no one remembers by the time they’re sitting on the flight back. HCPs are consumers and human beings like all of us. Find out what they need and care about deep down. It’s probably not your product, so look for the white space between you and them that you can fill and engage them in ways that will make them find you cool enough to care about your messages.

SK Group didn’t show up looking like everyone else. You simply can’t steal the show by looking like your competition. Be brave enough to show up differently, with a human-led idea – for example, a theme park like the SK Wonderland at CES, which tapped into consumers desire for nostalgic experiences and made a work conference feel like fun.

Consumers want fantasy IRL. With inflation, war, polarization, viruses and climate change looming over us, we all are living in an incredibly stressful world, so it is no wonder that data from Wunderman shows a majority of consumers are seeking awe-inspiring experiences that bring joy and spark their imagination to help escape the mundane. Real and imagined worlds can now collide with omni experiences that have the power to awaken feelings and make your brand truly resonate with consumers. Insights like these are exactly what should fuel your brand experience at congress if you want to stand out and be remembered.

2. Start teasing your brand experience a month before the show to build buzz.

In yet another smart move, SK Group got the word out about their interactive activation a month in advance, sharing the theme and storyline, buzzworthy elements like a clean energy train, magic carpet ride and dancing EV, and 3D renders with target media, influencers and key opinion leaders. This helped to ensure mentions, link-building, shares, higher Google ranking, and user generated social media content all helped drive awareness, anticipation, and footfall.

This is an approach healthcare brands can take as well – both with consumers and HPCs. Word of mouth is still one of the most effective ways to reach and engage your audience, so be sure to craft a strong theme and storyline that’s compelling, easy to understand and sets your brand apart. Ask yourself; how would a journalist describe our theme and design in one punchy headline? Is it newsworthy? If not, it is probably not that different. Make goosebumps your new key metric.

3. Ask yourself, what is that unreal, out-of-this-world attractor that will get people talking?

What is the thing you must see, try, capture, share… is it a big LED sphere brought to life with jaw-dropping content? Or a magic carpet ride? If budgets are tight, then maybe it’s as simple as an AR hallway attractor.

Our innovation practice, Jack X, specializes in helping clients wrap product messages and demos into the latest technologies, like holographic screens, RT3D, AI and XR to infuse showstopping wow-factor. At a time when futuristic design travels at the speed of light on social media, adding to consumers’ cravings for the unreal, there has never been a better time to ask yourself what is the feeling that your stand provokes and how? Congress can easily feel like death by demo but with these new technologies you have an opportunity to not only amplify your message but make it highly immersive and truly memorable.

As healthcare brands embark on their congress journeys, the lessons learned from SK Group’s CES 2024 success can guide them towards crafting human-centered and visually striking experiences. In a field where standing out is crucial, adopting these principles can elevate healthcare brand presence and resonate with audiences in ways that go beyond the ordinary.

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