See how Coca Cola bottles light up. Bite into crunchy organic apples. Enjoy smoothies in CI colours. Convey political messages in the washroom. Feel jerseys made of ocean waste. Listen to how the Deutsche Bank is realigning itself. Salute the winners with a champagne toast. Plus a wide range of product novelties – from charging cables to lamas, from bamboo mugs through to Brixies construction kits to touch and try out. The sixth edition of HAPTICA® live on March 21, at the WCCB in Bonn, once again did justice to its subtitle “The Experience of Haptic Advertising” and succeeded in impressing everyone with its diversity in haptic advertising ideas.
193 exhibitors (2017: 174 exhibitors, 2016: 142 exhibitors) presented their product highlights, including many well-known retail brands, the industry’s most important global players, recognised specialists and numerous young niche players with fresh ideas. As such, the visitors – marketing decision-makers, creative minds and the buyers from promoting companies, advertising agency employees and marketing service providers as well as promotional products distributors – were given an all-round insight into the industry’s latest trends, a free run-down of the novelties and a large pool of ideas for sourcing project-related products. 1,803 visitors (2017: 1.946, 2016: 1,494) came to let themselves be inspired by the compact offer of information. Due to the transport problems (the public transport systems in Bonn and Cologne were on strike on the day of the HAPTICA® live), the flow of visitors got off to a slower start than in the previous years. However, the exhibition halls then started filling up rapidly during the course of the morning and the event was well-attended up until the afternoon. Almost three quarters of the visitors (72.4%) were users, the rest were from the industry.
In order to do justice to the increasing significance of the theme sustainability, the organisers of the HAPTICA® live, the Cologne-based publishing company, WA Media, informed the attendees about various aspects of socially-responsible and eco-friendly production in the scope of a special zone. Notebooks made up of the leftovers of apples, T-shirts made of fairly-traded, GOTS-certified organic cotton or vegan jelly babies in compostable bags gave an insight into the sustainable alternatives that are available on the market.
In line with the key theme, the first speaker of the lecture programme, Prof. Dr. Michael Braungart, dedicated his speech to the cradle-to-cradle principle. His approach: Promotional products have to be made in such a way that they leave a positive footprint and not simply do less damage to the environment as conventional products. Braungart conveyed his vision of a world without waste where people can relish in consumption to the listeners in a sometimes controversial, but thoroughly impressive and entertaining manner. The other speakers gave an inside view of their companies’ marketing strategies that had involved the successful implementation of haptic advertising. In his pithy lecture, Tom Inden-Lohmar, managing shareholder of Mampe Spirituosen, explained how he had revived the cult brand with the elephant logo. It was all about boosting the image in the case of Deutsche Bank, whose new campaign #positiverbeitrag (#positiveimpact) relies on the aid of haptic promotional products, as Christian Rummel, Deputy Global Head of Brand Communications & Corporate Citizenship at Deutsche Bank, pointed out. The fact that Johannes van Hamme, Marketing Expert Local Marketing at the Zurich Group threw bobble hats into the audience was not the only reason why he was able to warm the public’s enthusiasm for “cleverly entwined insurance protection”. Finally, Björn Schumbrutzki, CEO of Unicum Merchandising, drew attention to the significance of hoodies, bags & co. in the battle between the universities.
The visitors were able to gain further practical tips in the Best Practice Special Show: 17 campaigns from all over the globe vividly illustrated how effectively haptic advertising can be implemented in order to convey messages to the target group: Beer mats made of metal from cars that had been involved in accidents, warned people in Canada against drink driving. The election campaign material of right-wing parties was processed into toilet paper across Germany. A scarf made out of air filter material helped Swedish people get safely through the influenza period… Many visitors were impressed by the creativity of haptic advertising.
Once again the HAPTICA® live was brought to a close with the award ceremony of the Promotional Gift Award. The 42 award winners of the Promotional Gift Award – from a table lamp as a reproduction of the Allianz Arena, through to a BMW experiment set – were presented to the audience all day long in an exhibition next to the stage. Tribute was subsequently paid to them in an own ceremony that started at 4 p.m.
The vibrant and inspiring HAPTICA® live ’18 came to a close with a champagne reception next to the Promotional Gift Award stage and local Kölsch beer at WA Media’s stand. The harmonious setting and the friendly atmosphere contributed towards arousing or intensifying the participants’ appreciation for haptic advertising.
The HAPTICA® live ’19 is taking place on March 20, 2019, once again at the WCCB.
Of course, it will take around two or three weeks until we really know how successful our participation in the HAPTICA® live was. But we have drawn a positive conclusion after our first participation here at the show and are very satisfied. It was very busy at the stand – 80 to 90 leads – we were rushed off our feet. The visitors here were very interested in our products and we held some really good discussions.
This is the second time we have exhibited here and we have been very pleased with how the day’s gone – the long trip from Poland has been worth our while. Due to its manageable size the HAPTICA® live offers the visitors and exhibitors the opportunity and also the time to hold extensive discussions. That isn’t always the case at big shows. The quality of the visitors is very high here and we have made some good new contacts, but were also able to strengthen existing relationships too.
We exhibited at the HAPTICA® live for the fifth time this year and the show was very good as always. The price/performance ratio is what convinces us as well as the concept of the show and we welcome the fact that both distributors and industry customers are allowed to attend. We had plenty to do all day and have held good discussions.
I attended the HAPTICA® live this year with a few very concrete projects in mind and was able to establish some interesting contacts very fast. The exhibitors were all relaxed and friendly, the discussions very informative. We gained many good ideas of how one can convey messages subtly using haptic advertising. We were also very glad to see that the theme sustainability played such a major role – both at the exhibitors’ stands and in the special zone.
This is my second visit to the HAPTICA® live and I am particularly interested in creative, haptic solutions in the dialogue marketing area. The event is a super opportunity to come into contact with manufacturers and expand one’s personal network. I have met several new interesting service providers today that haven’t been among our portfolio so far. From the discussions we held I am pretty sure that we will be able to jointly put one or two of the ideas suggested into practice in the near future.
Our visit definitely provided us with some important impulses and we are taking a lot of ideas home with us that we can propose to our customers. The further developments in the technology sector, but also the new customising techniques that we saw here today particularly impressed us. We found it a good solution and very helpful that the suppliers of sustainable promotional items or products presented their line-ups in a special zone.
Photos: Jens Friedrich Thomas Gebhard, Jo Hempel, Sabine Klüser, Beke Milas, © WA Media