Mahony Associates, an interactive company set up last year, was commissioned by BT to create a travelling interactive exhibition to accompany the BT Global Challenge yacht race.
Karen Mahony, who heads the consultancy, used to work at BT so was an obvious choice for Kari-Astri Davies, multimedia communications manager for BT Global Marketing Communications.
The travelling exhibition provided Davies’ department with its first real opportunity to exploit the Internet. But, as Davies points out, the emphasis had to be on BT’s brand. “Karen knows us very well as she used to work here. The project required someone to be intimate with our brand and push it without throwing everything away so they had to know our parameters,” explains Davies.
Mahony Associates was involved with three elements of the project – the showcase which is Internet based, a “private” Internet (requiring a password) for people who have been to the exhibitions and developing and refocusing the concept for when the exhibition finishes this summer.
“One of the challenges was getting the sales force to think about how to use it when approaching clients. There are hundreds of screens and it’s a pretty new thing for them,” says Mahony. But she believes the Internet provides “a lot of new opportunities for marketing and a way of really working differently with clients”. She adds that the project progressed surprisingly smoothly thanks to a “mutual trust within the team”.
Mahony recalls an initial brainstorming session at the beginning of the project. “We had dozens of post-it notes on a big board and everybody had to be quite brave and not necessarily stick to what they’d done before.”
The result was an interactive exhibition which could be tailored for each audience and country, providing information about BT while at the same time tackling relevant business issues. The yacht race stop-overs around the world have been used as an opportunity to “bring customers together and raise BT’s profile in markets where people are less aware,” says Davies.
Sites have been designed to allow visitors to browse at their own pace and find their own level and contain opinion pieces as well as information about products and services.
“It’s a very good medium. We have to be seen to be keeping ahead,” concludes Davies.
user id: showcase password: globalch