Format Freedom: breaking the mould

Both the global reaction to the pandemic and our maturing relationship with technology are a healthy reminder of the power we all have to make systemic change a reality. Keeping pace with the world around us sometimes means rethinking it, ground up.

  • And some of the biggest ‘givens’ in B2B experiences centre around how an event is put on. The ability to ask ‘What if…?’, and to be unafraid of the answer, is vital when considering the format of an event. We have the chance - and the licence - to reevaluate the perceived rules of engagement.

    Our approach

    One of the new challenges for our industry revolves around the influx of digital-first brands, for whom the pandemic stoked exponential growth. Translating a digital brand into a physical environment is a format in its own right, requiring a seamless combination of smart experience strategy and creative application.

    This is a challenge we’ve recently tackled for Klarna, the bold and eye-catching fintech disrupting the credit market both in service and brand identity. Our work has, for the first time, been showcasing how the brand ‘turns up’ in the real world. This has been achieved through the Klarna Live Playbook: a detailed guide that’s helping inspire teams across global markets to create engaging, distinctive and yet consistent B2B environments and experiences, unlike any in their industry.

    Whether through playbooks or otherwise, more traditional formats like exhibitions, conferences and product demonstrations could - and should - be considered for a rethink. For example, how about flipping the occasionally overwhelming trade show environment, to create a space for more personal reflection, somewhere for real conversations and meaningful human connection, away from the show floor?

    What this means for B2B experiences

    • An audience-first focus is everything. How can we meaningfully engage those that matter with our message and show that we truly ‘get’ them?

    • Being format agnostic allows for better connections. Breaking free from formulaic constraints to address our audiences more creatively.

    • The status quo is a rapidly moving target. Conforming to what ‘we always do’ does not reflect a forward-facing relationship with the audiences that matter.