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Event orchestration | 24 October 2019

12 Imaginative Events from Intel

Jacob Thomas

Intel is a highly creative company with a great event strategy. Learn how your organization can host similarly imaginative events with these great examples and actionable takeaways. 

Intel is a massive technology company based in Silicon Valley. As of 2018, it was ranked as the second highest-valued semiconductor chip manufacturer (behind Samsung) and the 46th largest U.S. company based on revenue. Its chips are used by some of the biggest tech brands in the world, including Apple, Dell, and HP.

But did you know that Intel is also a leader in the live events space? It’s true! In this article, we’ll explore 12 Intel events and experiential marketing activations and tease out the key takeaways from each.

1. The Visual Cloud Conference

The Visual Cloud Conference - Intel Event MarketingSource: AI Authority

The Visual Cloud Conference is a joint effort between IBC (the world’s most influential media, entertainment, and technology show) and Intel. Together, the two companies created a unique event that explored the future of visual experiences, especially as it pertains to streaming media. And true to form for an event focused on visuals, the first ever Visual Cloud Conference in 2019 was broadcast live in 8k 360 video for Android, iOS, and Oculus Go devices.

Key Takeaway: It’s important to remember that you don’t have to always plan and execute every event by yourself. If you partner with other, like-minded companies who aren’t direct competitors, you’ll be able to share the event workload and reach a wider audience. So take a page out of Intel and IBC’s book and find a company to join up with for your next event. It just might improve your event ROI.

2. Intel Extreme Masters

Intel Extreme Masters - Intel Event MarketingSource: Gameplanet NZ

If you’re not much of a gamer, you’ve likely never heard of Intel Extreme Masters, which is the “longest running global pro gaming tour in the world.” Every year since 2006, video game enthusiasts have congregated to test their Counter-Strike, Starcraft, and League of Legends skills against other top players and watch the best in the business duke it out for virtual supremacy. The tournaments take place on multiple continents and winners receive thousands of dollars for their efforts. It’s quite the spectacle, as you can see from the picture above.

Key Takeaway: No matter what industry you’re in (whether you serve marketers, fitness coaches, or video game players), if you have a world-wide audience, we encourage you to take your event strategy global. By planning conferences, competitions, and other events in countries other than your own, you’ll be able to reach a wider audience and build deeper bonds with your target market.

3. The Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle

The Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle - Intel Event MarketingSource: MuggleNet

The Harry Potter brand is a global phenomenon. What started out as a popular book series has since blossomed into one of the most successful movie franchises of all time, a huge money-maker in the toy industry, and an exciting draw at theme parks. The Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle is the latest Harry Potter-themed amusement park attraction and, wouldn’t you know it, it’s powered by Intel. This “nighttime spectacle of light and music features Intel Shooting Star drones” and can be seen at Universal Studios Hollywood.

Key Takeaway: While the application will be different for every company, many brands would benefit by taking greater advantage of current trends in their industry or pop culture marvels such as Harry Potter. It just makes sense. If you want to build excitement for your event, incorporate the person, place, or thing that everyone in your target market is already talking about. This could be a new social media platform, a well-known content creator, or a top movie franchise.

4. Artificial Intelligence Conference

Artificial Intelligence Conference - Intel Event MarketingSource: O’Reilly

The Artificial Intelligence Conference is hosted by O’Reilly, a leader in the B2B event marketing industry, and is the place to “Get the AI insights you need to drive results in your business.” Attendees learn how AI is changing corporations and how they can leverage it across a wide range of industries. There are also plenty of networking and career-boosting opportunities available. While Intel doesn’t host this event, some of its top executives have given keynote speeches at it.

Key Takeaway: Earlier we mentioned the benefits of partnering with other companies to help you reach more people with your events. But there’s another, even easier way to get similar results: speak at conferences hosted entirely by other brands. Rather than planning your own event and dealing with the many hassles involved, book your company’s top executives at popular conferences already happening in your industry. This will allow them to showcase their knowledge and quickly connect with potential customers.

5. Intel Presents “Serenity Lake”

Intel Presents Serenity Lake - Intel Event MarketingSource: The Nantucket Project

Are you stressed and ready to take a load off? Sounds like Intel Presents “Serenity Lake” is exactly what you need! This immersive VR experience guided participants through meditation exercises in the virtual world of Serenity Lake while biometric sensors measure their physical response. How cool is that?

Key Takeaway: This is a great example of Intel understanding their target audience and giving them what they need. Many business professionals are stressed out of their minds. The chance to relax in Serenity Lake must have been quite appealing to attendees of the TNP8 conference hosted by the Nantucket Project back in 2018. How can you better serve your event attendees? Answer that question and your conferences will always be successful.

6. “Minimalist Culture” by Intel

Source: iSpot.tv

In 2014, Intel partnered with famous actor and Big Bang Theory star Jim Parsons. The partnership lasted until 2017 and produced many comical commercials that showcased the power of Intel’s technology. These commercials were then shown on national TV during some of the biggest live events in the United States.

Key Takeaway: Whenever you can align your brand with well-known personalities, do it. For some companies, that might mean hiring celebrities to endorse products. For other organizations, it might mean bringing in popular speakers to give keynotes at their conferences. If you want to boost your company’s event branding, partner with the folks your audience already knows, likes, and trusts.

7. Intel Game Night: Fortnite Fridays

Source: Twitter

Apparently, Intel and video games are a match made in heaven, as evidenced by Intel Game Night: Fortnite Fridays which is the second video game inspired Intel event on our list! Every Friday night in September and October of 2019, Microsoft stores around the United States and Canada will host Fortnite tournaments. These fun competitions are open to all, free to attend, and will provide prizes in the form of Microsoft gift cards to winners. It’s event marketing at its finest.

Key Takeaway: If you’re looking for fresh corporate event ideas, try hosting a free conference, seminar, or competition for your target market. Free events sometimes get a bad rap because they don’t generate revenue – at least not directly. But the goodwill you’ll build will help your company become more successful down the road. Plus, no one says you can’t sell products at your free events to help cover the costs of a venue rentals, speaker fees, and other expenses.

8. Fall Desktop Launch Event

Fall Desktop Launch Event - Intel Event MarketingSource: Intel

On October 8th 2018, Intel hosted the Fall Desktop Launch Event in order to unveil its latest processors. The event showcased Intel’s new offerings, revealed their prices and built up excitement for the next wave of Intel gear. It was also a great way for the tech giant to secure press and get people talking.

Key Takeaway: When you host an event, you have a captive audience. Which means your events are the perfect opportunity to launch, promote, and/or sell your company’s products! You don’t necessarily need to plan an entire event for this purpose as Intel did with its Fall Desktop Launch Event. But it would be wise to at least showcase your organization’s offerings for event attendees and make them available for sale at each event you host.

9. Intel Tech Lodge

Intel Tech Lodge - Intel Event MarketingSource: Event Marketer

Intel is no stranger to the famed Sundance Film Festival that takes place in Park City, Utah every year. But in 2018, Intel took its participation to another level by creating and hosting the Intel Tech Lodge. Inside the Lodge, attendees were able to see and experience emerging technologies created for the film industry. They were also served hot drinks and given space to relax and get warm.

Key Takeaway: There’s a good chance that your company creates products for multiple industries and/or groups of people. If so, you should also create entire events and smaller event experiences that cater to these specific audience segments. For example, you could host a women’s luncheon during your next event that allows female professionals to network with each other. Or you could do what Intel did and showcase how your company’s products can be used in certain fields.

10. Intel’s Smart Tiny House

Intel's Smart Tiny House - Intel Event MarketingSource: Inhabitat

Over the past few years, both smart homes and tiny houses have surged in popularity. Intel took advantage of both these trends with its “Smart Tiny House” experiential marketing campaign. The home is located in San Francisco, CA and features Intel’s advanced Internet of Things technology, which allows the user to control all of the home’s smart features from one device.

Key Takeaway: Creativity in marketing, whether you’re promoting a specific event or your company as a whole, is essential. Just about every company has a blog and uses Facebook ads because they’re proven strategies. But what else can you do to garner attention? How can you cut through the noise and build excitement for your next conference, training seminar, or trade expo? Start by thinking outside-the-box and letting your creativity run wild for a bit.

11. The Winter Olympics in PyeongChang

Source: YouTube

The 2018 Winter Olympics were held in PyeongChang, South Korea. Intel partnered with the games to “play a key role in accelerating the adoption of new technologies.” The tech company “helped reimagine the Olympic experience for fans using 5G, VR, world record-breaking drone light shows, and the first ever eSports competition leading up to the Opening Ceremony.” They also plan to be a part of the next three Olympics games happening in Tokyo in 2020, Beijing in 2022, and Paris in 2024.

Key Takeaway: How can you make your next event bigger, better, and more spectacular? Maybe you can bring in a famous speaker, or wow audiences with advanced technology, or throw the greatest conference after party in the history of conference after parties. Take a look at the resources available to you and brainstorm ways that you can realistically make your next gathering special, just like Intel is doing for the Olympics.

12. CVPR 2019

CVPR 2019 - Intel Event MarketingSource: SyncedReview

Never heard of CVPR? It’s only the “premier annual computer vision event comprising the main conference and several co-located workshops and short courses.” The event prides itself on delivering top-notch information while keeping the price of admission as low as possible. Held in beautiful Long Beach, CA, CVPR is a great place for professionals to learn, network, get inspired, and have fun.

Key Takeaway: A proper corporate event management strategy will include a number of stellar self-hosted events, a partnership event or two, speaking engagements for the company’s top executives, and a consistent presence on the exhibition floor at top industry events. Once again, you don’t necessarily need to host another conference. You might just need to make appearances and showcase your brand’s products at events that are already happening.

Main Takeaways: Host a Stellar Event Like Intel

The Intel events marketing team is highly creative and they’ve been able to craft some truly amazing conferences and experiential marketing activations. How can your company do something similar? Follow these three tips:

  1. Partnerships Are Key: Remember, your company doesn’t have to host every single event it participates in on its own. Find like-minded companies to co-host conferences with, exhibit your organization’s products at trade shows, and book your brand’s executives to speak at other event types.
  2. Take Advantage of Emerging Technology: Even if you aren’t a tech company, you can still use technological advancements to power your events. How can your gatherings incorporate VR or AI? What about other technologies? Maybe all you need to do initially is invest in event software!
  3. Capitalize on Popular Trends: What’s “hot” in your industry right now? Or how can your event strategy cash in on pop culture? Whether you work to bring in the most popular speakers or align your brand with a popular movie franchise, always be on the lookout for trends that you can exploit.

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