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The Importance of Live Experiences for Branding

Hear Kim Myhre’s wrap with Dave Vellante on theCUBE at the AWS Summit 2019, where he discusses: the importance of brand experience how to create better engagement with customers at live events the challenges of a digitally enabled society Sign up to the MCI Experience Channel! SIGN UP! Sign up to the MCI Experience Channel!Receive […]

By Kim Myhre

Hear Kim Myhre’s wrap with Dave Vellante on theCUBE at the AWS Summit 2019, where he discusses:

  • the importance of brand experience
  • how to create better engagement with customers at live events
  • the challenges of a digitally enabled society

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Transcript of Wrap with Kim Myhre, MCI Experience | AWS Summit London 2019, 5/8/19

>> Live from London, England. It’s theCube covering AWS Summit, London 2019, brought to you by Amazon Web Services.

>> Welcome back to London, everybody. This is David Vellante and you are watching theCube: the leader and live tech coverage. This has been an incredible week for the Cube. Three events this week in London, and six events worldwide. We started out yesterday with a public sector session. Special mini session We did for Teresa Carlson at the AWS  headquarters. And we did an impact investor event last night. And of course all day here at the AWS Summit in London at ExCeL Centre. Twelve thousand people. We’re going to wrap up now. My good friend Kim Myhre’s here is the managing director of MCI Experience. Kim, thanks for coming on. First time on theCube, I’ve got to give you a sticker.

>> Thank you. Mate you know, great to see you. It’s also great to be here

>> So you are branding expert. We’ve had a lot of conversations about this. You and I go way back. Brand is everything, every touch point? I mean, you would tell me a story last night and I let you pick it up from here of Apple. You see the Apple logo, but so why is branding so important? What’s MCI Experience and how are you helping brands?

>> Yeah, Well, Dave, I think it’s really amazing, like this event today. You know, we have a lot of technology out there today. We’re really digitally enabled, and that’s great. I mean, it’s amazing what we can do now with technology, but, you know, it also is a little distracting. And some in fact, there was a recent study that said that kids haven’t developed social skills because they feel more comfortable communicating online, you know? So I think the technology is really great and it’s important. But that human-human connection is really the thing that makes the difference. And I think brands are starting to recognize that actually live experiences do cut through the clutter, the digital clutter and getting people together with common interests, getting them engaged, letting them participate really makes a difference in terms of their affinity and loyalty and even advocacy for your brand.

>> So MCI Experience does that?

>> Yeah, we essentially work with companies across a lot of industries, but certainly the tech industry at helping companies develop ways of engaging with their audiences and more meaningful ways. And actually, it’s a very human centric approach. So basically, the way we look at it is it’s not so much about logistics. That’s important. Of course, right. You gotta register people. You’re gonna have so many breakout rooms, gotta thank you guys. But it’s really more about understanding your audience, where they drive benefit and making sure that you’re meeting that need. And that’s really where your brand starts to benefit. So we use a design thinking methodology. We’re really very focused on the audience using empathy and ideation and you know, just really, really getting to know who those guys are like this crowd and making sure that every touch point of the experience; how it smells; the temperature; the lighting. Now, seventy percent of your memory is from smell, you know, and yet we never even think about it. It’s weird when you run an event you don’t even think about it. really.  So that sort of multi-sensory, engaging aspect of what we do is what MCI Experience specializes in and working with clients to help them sort of look at new ways of creating experiences that really engages their audiences and really create community around those audiences in terms of loyal fans and customers.

>> So we hear it at Amazon. You see this audience? Obviously a developer crowd? What are your thoughts here just walking around?

>> Well, as I was saying, I think you know, we were talking about this earlier. You know, developer crowd doesn’t like flashy marketing because they’re suspicious of it, right? This is the perfect tone. I think the tone created here is great. It’s a little rough and ready, and that’s great. And that’s how it should be because that’s how developers are more interested in the content than the show. And I think it’s got the audience bang on.

>> So how do you use data to inform this brand experience?

>> Yeah, so data is becoming obviously really important, and event technology is you know, it’s amazing today the kinds of things we can do. I mean, we can track people and monitor them and take their temperature. I mean, if we want to, you know, you could do an amazing number of things

>> See how they smell?

>> Exactly. And the thing about it is, that data is important. Of course it is. But insights are even more important. And that means using data in the right way, the right analytics, asking the right questions, not just relying on demographics, but really getting to know people on building personas and understanding who your audience is. And I think it’s the two things need to fit hand in hand in hand.

>> Data is plentiful, actionable insights, you’re saying are not necessary,

>> Not necessarily.  I think, is really, really important. You know, we call an empathy planning, but it’s kind of like walking in the shoes of your audience like, would you like this? Would you be happy with this, or would you find this long queue to register annoying? You know, you have to sort of, you know, actually get in there, get in their shoes and feel it just like you’re going to feel it.

>> Well, it’s sometimes it’s hard to predict it. It is. This is a pretty large venue. But it was packed today, but I don’t think they could hold many more people. So I guess you have to say sorry. We’ve got to cut it off of this because of the experience. I mean, making hard decisions like that. Is that what you recommend? Yeah,

>> I think of you. Well, the other thing, too, is, you know, our attention span time. Someone told me recently that our attention spans like less than a gold fish. I don’t know, I don’t know anymore, but, you know, it’s ah, you know what I want. One thing about the audience now is that they don’t need to be polite, and they don’t need to pay attention to boring content. And they don’t need to do any of that because they’re in power, right? Exactly. You know how many events I’ve been to where the entire audience is like looking at their phones with their iPad or the computers and checking out on the content, you know. So if you really want to engage people, you need to make sure that the experience really resonates with them. And having said that, you need to use technology because we live in this kind of on live world and people say to me like ‘What’s online, like you ever drive a SatNav?’ you know you’re driving, but you’re being instructed by an application and a lot of what we do today, whether you’re finding the bank on your phone, your dentist or your phone or you’re doing this or that, we’re connected in both ways. And so I think that’s really important that we recognize that you can’t tell people to turn their phones off. You can’t necessarily, you know, use technology and interruptive way. It needs to be part of how people live their lives around this.

>> So I have observed that we do a lot of these events and that’s it becomes like rock concerts, and sometimes you say, Wow, this is a little over the top Now that’s not from inferring right. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. If your audience is into it, if your audience is, you know, some IT guy who provisions lungs, you know every day and gets out to Las Vegas once a year. Maybe that’s an OK thing. I think it is. It’s really understanding the audience.

>> It is understanding the audience. And I think it is a good okay thing. And, you know, you want to have your audience entertained, engaged and, you know, have fun. And I want to tell people about it. Like I’m in Las Vegas. You want people to get really fired up about what you’re doing. And by the way, they’re going to give your brand credit for that. They’re going to say, you know, bam. I was at this event. Was it rocked? It was amazing. There was great entertainment. There is also a great content. There was great networking, you know, And the beer wasn’t all that cheap. So, you know, you get all that stuff together and you have a really great time.

>> So you’re built your now building out a team? Yeah. Yeah. Tell me about tell me about the team and your vision.

>> Okay, So, MCI is a big company. We’re in sixty three countries around the world, so we’re not small fry. But the truth is, you know, that a big part of our business is PCO (professional congress organising), a lot of association events, and that’s something, and meetings, planning. And that’s one thing. And of course, today experiences. They’re changing. And it’s not about just the logistics. It’s really about understanding your audience, using strategy and creative to create compelling experiences. And that’s what MCI Experience is doing. And we’re doing it here in the UK we’re getting set up, and it’s going really, really well, and we’re going to roll it out, you know, it’s going to go around the world. So, we’re working with some fantastic brands doing some fantastic projects so we’re all really excited.

>> So what? Follow up question. But other than that, you’re awesome. You are. You really have been an expert at this. You’ve worked. You know, IDG, you’ve worked at GPJ, you’ve worked at Freeman. You’ve seen the good, the bad and the ugly. And now you’ve taken that experience and you’re bringing it to MCI Experience – no pun intended – and you’re trying to build out a sort of a next generation experience from that. But other than the fact that you’re awesome, why should I work with you?

>> Well, I tell you, you know, I think that the most of the clients that we work with come to us saying: “We don’t know, what we don’t know”.  And I think that’s really, really important. I always tell this story. It’s called the Drunkard’s Paradox, where a drunk man is underneath the lamppost pounding the ground and another man walks by. And so what do you doing? And he says, I’m looking for my keys. And so the other guy gets down on his hands and knees. He’s padding around. And then he said, Did you drop your keys right here under the lamppost? Because no, I dropped them across the street in the dark. Well, then why are you looking here? Because the light is much better here. And I have I tell you that I have a lot of experience in this business and events professionals and even some experience agencies tend to look where the light is better not where the breakthrough ideas are, and I think we are committed to making sure that we work really closely with clients to really understand their brand, really understand who they’re trying to build relationships with and and beg, borrow and steal from other disciplines, you know, in an intersectional way to create new kinds of opportunities for engagement.

>> One of the things that mantra inside one of the many mantras inside of Amazon is that it’s raised the bar. I was at their UK headquarters yesterday, and she raised the bar signs all over the place. It’s not a rinse and repeat culture. That’s really what you’re saying here that is easy to rinse and repeat. It’s easy to look for the keys where the light the light is better, right? But that’s not transformational. That’s not transformation. It’s really awesome. Having I’LL give you the last word the conference

>> Ah well, I think the conference was It was a great day here, and I think, you know, just testimony to that is how long people stayed and stayed till the very end. You know, they were they were engaged and lots of great conversations were going on, you know, so fantastic. Well done to AWS and Amazon Web services and, um, yeah. More to come.

>> Kim, pleasure having you. Thanks for coming. All right. Thank you for watching everybody. That’s a wrap here from London. Check out silicon angle dot com for all the news. The is where all you find all these videos. for the research. This is David Vellante signing out from London. Thanks for watching.