Attracting and retaining a prospect’s attention has become increasingly difficult in today’s competitive marketplace. An Executive Briefing Center allows your company’s subject matter experts to engage with visitors in an immersive space allowing you to share real-world solutions and advance strategic business initiatives. When well designed, with attention to both aesthetics and technology, these corporate spaces can offer significant business advantages.
Whether your company is updating an existing space or building a new Executive Briefing Center, the process may seem daunting. Working closely with an Experiential Design Agency, will help you navigate the process and you will have a partner every step of the way.
So where do you begin? Follow along for 8 essential elements and considerations for a successful Executive Briefing Center.
At the core of every business decision, a fresh look at your target audience is critical. This will help guide you in understanding the visitors you will be engaging with at your Executive Briefing Center (EBC).
Who are the key stakeholders to the success of your business? An executive briefing, by definition from the Association of Briefing Program Managers (ABPM), brings together the team of key executives, stakeholders and subject matter experts from your company to have a customer-focused series of discussions with your customers and prospects. You may also host media, analysts and investors at your center. Be sure to recognize the impact you can make with each visitor by creating targeted ways to engage them individually, from executives and employees within your organization, to customers, prospects, partners and vendors; they each have different needs and interests.
Your corporate environments, in particular, Executive Briefing Centers, offer you a platform to set the tone for customers, guests, employees, and candidates. A well-designed EBC will improve production and morale, differentiate your company in an increasingly competitive marketplace, and influence relationship building. Many corporations are adding or improving their EBCs to provide a forum to uncover customer insights, strengthen loyalty and relationships, increase probability of sale, and accelerate the sales cycle. Establishing relevant KPIs for your briefing center will allow you to evaluate the success of your program. Typical KPIs include number of monthly/yearly briefings overall as well as per prospect. This often translates into both pipeline numbers and secured business. Oftentimes, launching an EBC will spur new discussions surrounding your corporate goals that can be incorporated into the design of your center.
Create an internal taskforce to manage the design and implementation of your EBC. Internal stakeholders that bring a variety of perspectives such as your communications, sales, and marketing departments all have relevant input as well as desired outcomes for the space. You will also need to engage the support of outside resources who understand your business and the value of the EBC. Part of building your team is finding an Experiential Design Agency that understands your purpose.
Choosing an Experiential Design Agency that aligns with your purpose, goals, and culture is paramount. Developing a vision and seeing it through implementation can be complicated and intimidating. A successful project requires significant investments of time, resources, expertise and financial commitments. It is important to find an agency to be an extension of your team and with whom you will be eager to develop a long-term trusted relationship. Assign a project manager from your taskforce to work closely with your external team and be the bridge and project advocate for your internal team; your Experiential Design Agency, commercial real estate providers, architects, construction managers, IT and AV specialists, furniture vendors, electricians, and any other partners.
Once you and your team understand the foundational aspects of your EBC — your audience and goals — you can better understand the space and visitor flow, along with what type of technologies might be most effective. These details will help give a clear sense of the investment that will garner the best outcome. Nonetheless, if you have a budget earmarked for your EBC, your partners can help work within those constraints but it is important to share that information from the start.
A high quality EBC project can take 6-12 months for the process for discovery, design, and fabrication and installation. The quantity and complexity of custom media elements will also influence your budget and timeline. With proper communication and reasonable expectations, your team and external partners should determine a solid plan that they can deliver on time and on budget.
Most businesses today face a great deal of competition. If the majority of your competitors have invested in a new or existing EBC and you have not considered it yet, you are missing a valuable opportunity to connect with your prospects. Research best practices that suit your specific industry. Gather benchmarks from your competitors and determine which solutions to incorporate into your center for optimum results. Think about what sets you apart and then be sure to design the space and content for your briefings accordingly.
When it comes to briefings, thinking about the competition is two-fold. Hosting a briefing gives you an opportunity to showcase your solutions, and share with your visitors how your company stands out from the competition. You can also bring in your thought leaders, and communicate your clear understanding of your visitor’s vision. Use the briefing as a time to highlight how your solution will in turn help your visitor stand out from their competitors. Discuss where you think their market is evolving and how your solutions will impact their business to promote the exchange of ideas and create a more memorable interaction.
Consider every step in your customer journey from the welcoming process when guests arrive at your door until the moment they depart. While our focus here is the EBC, do not lose sight of the other spaces that your visitor will pass through when visiting your company. Most visitors will enter through your lobby and that is an important place to start. Think in terms of transforming the corporate lobby into an Immersive Reception Area. What design elements will facilitate a smooth movement as visitors travel through your space? What type of wayfinding and signage will you need? Start by exploring the impact that facility planning and design decisions have on visitor flow and overall visitor experience. Creating a visitor journey map, focusing on developing goals and outcomes throughout their visit, will help customize and focus your solutions to craft a memorable experience. This will be useful in the development of your new EBC, as well as improving existing ones.
Today more than ever, the use of technology is critical to a successful EBC. Using technology as part of your brand story lends opportunities to easily customize the messaging for your prospective customers and partners. Interactive displays, immersive environments, and reliable audiovisual (AV) components are some tools that can be used to layer messaging and provide various levels of memorable storytelling for your customers. Many companies also incorporate technologies for data collection, providing information and insights regarding your prospects interests that your marketing and sales team can use for future campaigns or sales engagements.
Customize every aspect of the experience so when visitors enter, they feel as if the design and presentation was tailored just for them. This starts as early as your initial correspondence and invitation to your visitor’s arrival. Research each individual before they walk into your space. The agenda, event, and discussion should be personalized to the group. With thoughtful design, customization for each unique customer will influence the relevance of your brand and demonstrate the connection to your visitors’ brand goals.
To simplify the transition between each visitor group, digital displays easily allow for integrated personalization. Incorporate signage, content, and language into your space that will resonate for your visitors. Little things matter too. Consider greeting them with a welcome bag waiting for them at their hotel, adding their logos to your presentation and engagement materials, serve snacks or beverages that tie into their brand, and offer personalized take-away swag as a reminder of their visit.
The Executive Briefing Center provides your company a platform to enable rich discussions between customers and executives, and a deep exploration of solutions in a welcoming and comfortable space.
From an internal perspective, you will foster transformational customer and partner relationships, build trust in your strategy and solutions, and support your sales efforts. The external value is to inspire and empower decision-makers to understand how your solutions will support their goals.
Through successful design, planning and execution of business briefings and corporate events, companies can strengthen their competitive advantage, support marketing objectives, and contribute to their company’s financial objectives.