Airbus at HAI 2019
Agency: 2Heads Global Design
Event Name: HAI 2019
Agency Website: www.2heads.com
HAI Heli-Expo is organised by the Helicopter Association International and attracts more than 18,000 industry professionals as part of the world’s largest helicopter exhibition. With more than 700 exhibits across 1,000,000 square feet, competition is intense and exhibitors need to offer something unique to stand out from the crowd.
2Heads has partnered with the world-leading aerospace manufacturer, Airbus, since 2002. It has formed a reputation for delivering innovative and memorable experiences across a number of global shows to support Airbus’s business objectives.
After several years at HAI Heli-Expo in Atlanta, Airbus wanted to reinvent its presence in 2019 by building upon its traditional blue and white branding with a new, contemporary, slick look that reflected the quality of its best-in-class aircraft.
Airbus wanted to put more emphasis, not just the technical elements of its helicopters, but also the customer service and after-sales experience that only Airbus can supply.
Airbus was also using the show to launch several new flagship products, including the enhanced H145 model, and to announce new partnerships with the Norwegian Air Ambulance, Swiss air rescue operator, Rega, and New Zealand-based private aviation charter firm, Advance Flight.
2Heads was working with a €1.1million budget to design a stand within 1,586sqm.
2Heads worked collaboratively with Airbus to develop a unique environment that showcased its product range whilst affording attendees easy access to after-care sales information and a range of inviting suites wherein VIP customers could be looked after, and sales leads could be nurtured.
The agency also provided logistical support by leveraging its trusted network of suppliers to enable Airbus to position its new H145 helicopter at the heart of the show.
Unique spaces were created to enable all guests to linger and enjoy, designed to increase dwell time and to ensure Airbus’ key brand messages and new look and feel brand was absorbed.
2Heads also recognised the opportunities to harness digital technology to assist with the sales process. The client wanted to tell the story about how its services work and 2Heads offered a digital solution to show customers how they all link together. Using actors, an AV show and digital content, 2Heads simulated landing in a helicopter and uploaded the pilot’s data to an iPad. This demonstrated to attendees how that data is verified through a visual representation via digital content screens, and how that information is transferred to Airbus.
2Heads also harnessed sound isolating technology to build sound domes that immersed clients in a jet helicopter experience.
2Heads’ unique activation included:
• Four working Airbus helicopters – provided by customers or diverted before delivery (some with police/coast guard livery)
• A discrete VIP lounge to assist with aircraft sales
• Pristine and prestigious meeting rooms that used quality to reflect the Airbus brand
• Experience booths where people were invited to linger and watch Airbus’ promotional videos, providing more opportunities for visitors to engage with the brand
• Sound domes where visitors could walk onto a disk and hear different sounds – most notably the H160 ‘Blue motion’ reduction of noise from rotor blades example to great effect. This innovative ‘sound shower’ concept worked incredibly well in a busy conference environment
• A unique light feature with sequenced moving lights to reflect the rotating blades of a helicopter which transformed into the US flag to demonstrate Airbus’ global reach
• A running clock on the helicopters to show ‘real time’ info on how many flight hours each aircraft has completed.
• Eight digitally assisted informal sales zones including touch screen displays with essential sales info
• A suite of digital sales consoles to allow the after-care team to display their product/services range in a visually engaging format for visitors
• A welcome digital totem that proved an important way for visitors to interact with the stand before entering. This enabled funneling of visitors and provided the right experience to the right targets
• The ACH premium brand H160 fuselage mock-up showcased the interior of Airbus’ helicopter, harnessing digital technology to create an immersive experience for guests
• 2Heads created a content management system, stats, videos and a condensed mini website for Airbus’ products at the show which also brought digital content to large screens, spreading key messages wider than the immediate stand area
As a trade only show, Airbus occupied one of the four key spaces central to HAI and in 2019 secured visits from 80% of the 18,000 professionals in attendance – a huge achievement for a single exhibitor.
2Heads also recorded the dwell time of VIP targets it had invited and of non-invite visitors. Both exceeded initial KPIs set of 30 minutes for non-invites and one hour for VIPs.
2Heads also managed Airbus’ press event/stage that consisted of around seven hours of live announcements that emphasised post-sales lifetime partnerships, which secured great engagement from the live audience.
2Heads also provided a deeper emphasis on sales and after-care than had been observed at HAI in previous years and helped to reinforce Airbus’ position as leader in the helicopter market.
One of the most successful experiential moments 2Heads created for Airbus at HAI was a ‘visual’ scenario for a pilot on his first flight landing. This visualised how aircraft data was captured and sent to the aftermarket care centre. The live demonstration used a unique lighting installation created for the show to demonstrate how essential information and diagnostics is imparted between different parties by displaying this on screens at HAI. This live demonstration encapsulated the journey from pilot through to the ‘H-Care’ branded service and support.
Overall, 2Heads exceeded its KPIs of securing a strong dwell time amongst visitors while positioning the Airbus brand and its products as market leading.