How big brands grabbed attention at #BML16 Posted on: June 30, 2016 by Kelly Edwards BritMums Live – aka #BML16 is the UK’s biggest blogging and social media conference. During breaks in the exhibition hall, bloggers met with brands big and small to find out about how they could work together. But with a jam-packed conference schedule and designated networking/ exhibitor breaks, time was of the essence. For most bloggers, it wouldn’t be possible to talk to every brand, so it was important that brands stood out to make sure that they were the ones visited as a top priority. So, how did brands grab the attention? By creating engaging exhibition stands. Not just by creating backdrops with banner stands, but by offering something different. Here are a few examples of how big brands engaged with visitors, how it related to their products or services and why it worked well. Coca Cola Coca Cola used a counter to conduct a blind taste test of their original, full-fat Coke vs their new formulation of Coke Zero with no calories. For Coca Cola, this was an opportunity to put their money where their mouth is to show just how similar they are to ask visitors if they could tell which one was normal, full-fat coke and which one was Coke Zero. Of course, a lot of visitors thought they would be able to tell the difference immediately, but were soon proven wrong when they found the challenge harder than they expected, or getting them mixed up. From Coca-Cola’s point of view, they’re challenging the preconceptions of their product Coke Zero to an audience that may want an option to drink what for all purposes could be full-fat coke, but without the calories. Of course, a can of Coke Zero was included in the goodie bag to reinforce their messages further after the event. Boots Soltan Boots used a branded holiday themed backdrop and photo booth to ask bloggers to have their photo taken with some props – including their product. After the pictures were taken, a printout of the photos was given to each person who took part. Using an interactive screen, Twitter details could be entered to share a GIF that animated the 4 photos to be shared on their personal accounts which had the message of 5* sun protection on it. This meant that their message of 5* sun protection (especially important for parent bloggers!) was stretched far and wide, taking advantage of the blogger’s influence on social media. From the bloggers point of view, it’s a fun thing to do with a photo memento from the day. Of course, they also popped a bottle of sun lotion into the goodie bag to reinforce their messages and to provide a sample to try. Clangers It’s not just big exhibition spaces that can be engaging. The Clangers had a smaller stand presence with 2 banner stands and a table top display. As well as introducing new Clanger themed merchandise to a relevant audience, they also held a competition where bloggers were asked to write a message of kindness, tie it to a tree that sat next to their stand and share a photo of it on social media with the hashtag #clangersforkindness. As well as reinforcing the Clanger message of kindness and spreading a message of positivity, a winner would be announced from those that used the hashtag to win a bundle of Clanger toys – giving an extra incentive to take part. As with many other brands exhibiting, they also left a prize in the giveaway bag of a clanger whistle. Although a bit of fun for 5 minutes for those with small children, I can safely say that many have now unfortunately been ‘recycled’ due to overuse. If they were looking for longevity, maybe a cuddly Clanger would have been better received.