The pandemic might have disrupted the events industry, but Lenovo Singapore wanted to push on and create a memorable experience for business and media partners, and C-suite end-users when it came to events. The hybrid Lenovo eXperiential Day was eventually launched together with ROOTS Asia Pacific, showcasing the brand’s latest innovations while engaging with industry players.
This effort by Lenovo to pivot during challenging times resulted in the brand being ranked as a finalist for Best Experiential Marketing at MARKETING-INTERACTIVE’s Marketing Events Awards 2021. Here’s how Lenovo succeeded.
The best experiences are usually the ones that engage the senses. Immersive experiences, for example, allow consumers to discover a plethora of possibilities, otherwise impossible, without a physical aspect. Like many brands, the pandemic resulted in Lenovo Singapore pivoting to virtual engagements to continue engaging stakeholders and consumers despite the physical disconnect.
In an audit conducted in late 2020, Lenovo’s business partners and media friends shared that they longed to return to physical media engagements and to connect face to face with industry colleagues, as virtual events saw a rise in virtual fatigue. The eagerness to hold physical events with fewer restrictions was coupled with the ongoing risks of the pandemic, begging the question: “How can we ensure that it’s safe?”
Staying true to its motto of “smarter technology for all”, and having to utilise the available budget efficiently, the team needed a way to cover three areas:
1. Engage physically with attendees in a safe manner.
2. Launch and introduce its most innovative product in 2020.
3. Showcase Lenovo’s technological prowess and innovation across different product segments.
Determined to ensure that all attendees remained safe, Lenovo’s eXperiential Day was done in collaboration with ROOTS Asia Pacific.
It was also touted as the first hybrid event by a technology brand to be held in Singapore in 2020 since the pandemic hit. Working within a budget of about SG$100,000, the Lenovo eXperiential Day was a three-in-one idea that showcased the brand’s latest innovations.
The event took advantage of the Hybrid Event Broadcast Studio at Sands Expo & Convention Centre that offered broadcast-quality live-streaming capabilities and hologram functionalities. This allowed Lenovo to engage with the physical audience while broadcasting the event to a larger audience virtually, making this a hybrid event that truly engaged the senses.
Lenovo’s eXperiential Day’s main aim was to not only launch Lenovo’s most innovative product in 2020, but also allow key stakeholders such as business partners and media friends to experience the innovation for themselves in a safe way.
Hence, the hybrid event was conceptualised based on three key objectives:
1. Amplify Lenovo’s smarter technology and innovation through the introduction of its most innovative product in 2020.
2. Showcase Lenovo’s technological prowess and innovation for work and play.
3. Sustain awareness of Lenovo’s leading-edge solutions beyond eXperiential Day.
Lenovo’s smarter technology and innovation was demonstrated by the world’s first foldable screen laptop – the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold. As the highlight of eXperiential Day, different experiences were curated to target different audiences who were invited.
At the Hybrid Event Broadcast Studio, all audiences were treated to a three-dimensional presentation experience that was reminiscent of the X1’s form factor and Lenovo’s belief to bring smarter technology for all, in the most innovative way possible.
The brand also carried out fringe activities such as dialogue sessions for business partners, C-suite leaders and media friends, aimed at engaging them from different perspectives. This included understanding the secret of foldable technology, to discerning the evolution of technology for female users.
Lenovo paid intricate attention to the details throughout the event, from the key visuals used on the three-dimensional screen to the design of the event collaterals and scarf giveaway.
Lenovo Singapore worked in close collaboration with local designers Binary Style, who drew inspiration from the local nature reserve Chek Jawa, and the X1 Fold, to create fluid and captivating illustrations that reflected the “fold” flexibility of the X1 Fold. In doing so, Lenovo Singapore also supported the local talent and economy during a challenging period.
The day also included an experiential showcase of Lenovo’s solutions and devices, with show-and-tell presentations by Lenovo representatives. The showcase featured groundbreaking solutions and devices such as the Yoga Slim 7i; Lenovo’s service-led transformation; enterprise AR and VR; ThinkSmart solutions; and the ThinkBook and workstation family members.
It was also equally important for Lenovo to sustain awareness of its solutions beyond eXperiential Day. To do so, it reached out to media partners and had them review the showcased products in their homes or offices. The products were made available immediately to ensure the excitement from the event would be sustained long enough after it had concluded.
Audiences were capped at 30 per event for eXperiential Day, which happened across three micro-events on 19 and 20 November, each targeting a different audience. The first day targeted 22 top-tier business partner executives and more than 100 other executives who attended virtually. Meanwhile, the second day targeted 21 C-suite end-users and 21 members of the media.
Featuring a three-dimensional stage with an immersive backdrop and floor, the studio’s digital walls were reminiscent of the ThinkPad X1 Fold’s structure and versatility. It provided an elevated launch experience, with a clear view no matter where participants were in the room. With broadcast-quality live-streaming capability, those who attended virtually also enjoyed an immersive experience.
To effectively engage the different audiences, specially curated dialogue sessions were organised. Business partners participated in “The technology behind the fold” session, where representatives from Intel and Microsoft shared insights into how foldable technology came about, and is realised in the X1 Fold.
Partners could appreciate the research and technology that Lenovo put in to innovate a cutting-edge foldable laptop, and strengthen their understanding of a product they will market.
Meanwhile, C-suite end-users were also treated to the “Toys or tools? What do women want in a gadget?” thought leadership session to discuss how technology and gadgets are marketed and sold to females.
AmCham’s chairman Hsien-Hsien Lei; Intel’s director of corporate services, Tan Ee-Lin; and Microsoft’s marketing director Zorine Lim participated in the session.
This session provided a perspective that technology and gadgets are not solely a male’s space. Lenovo took the opportunity to engage with female thought leaders and solidify Lenovo’s position as a technology brand that advocates diversity in all aspects, through initiatives such as the WILL (Women in Lenovo Leadership) programme. This improved Lenovo’s diversity and inclusiveness scores over three years, according to the employee survey, Lenovo Listens.
Meanwhile, the “Future of foldable computing” media dialogue focused on the future the X1 Fold brings and Lenovo’s plans for foldable technology. Hosted by Lenovo experts, and early adopter Kevin Lim, from the National Gallery, this educated the media on Lenovo’s vision for the technology, which the media could use as part of their reviews or in any trend stories on foldable technology, contributing to the sustenance beyond eXperiential Day.
At the showcase, booths were fitted with plastic guard screens to ensure protection for the presenters and attendees. Attendees were split into groups of five, given earpieces and gloves before visiting the booths in a round-robin style, with Lenovo staff keeping time. Attendees listened to the presentation via the earpieces, thus ensuring everyone could be as immersed as much as possible.
The event was well-received by business partners, C-suite end-users and the media on both days. According to Lenovo and Roots Asia Pacific, attendees were pleasantly surprised at how successful and smoothly the event went alongside the necessary safe-distancing measures.
The post-event survey found that 83% of participants rated the event as “excellent” and most of the guests thoroughly enjoyed the session and found it useful to them. They also commended Lenovo Singapore for daring to hold the first hybrid event of the technology industry, exemplifying how Lenovo constantly takes the leap to be the first in the industry.
The event garnered more than 80 pieces of coverage from media publications. The coverage featured the Lenovo eXperiential Day, as well as news and reviews on the various products that were showcased. These included the ThinkPad X1 Fold, Yoga Slim 7i Carbon, and Smart Home devices.