Merck Sharp and Dohme Corp
Client: Merck Sharp and Dohme Corp
Event Name: European Association for the Study of Diabetes – EASD –
Agency Website: www.ges.com/eu
The 55th Annual General Meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) was to be a prime opportunity for our client, Merck Sharp and Dohme Corp (MSD), to promote its Januvia and Steglatro brands to the thousands of members who would be attending. The brands help people with Type Two Diabetes control their blood sugar levels. The event is Europe’s largest and most prominent meeting for the supporting research into diabetes and in 2019, was held at the Fira Barcelona Gran Via between 16-20 September.
The meeting was an opportunity for scientists, physicians, researchers, students and other healthcare professionals to share ideas about cutting-edge initiatives and ground-breaking technology for the treatment of the condition. Consequently, MSD challenged us to create a stand that would promote the brands, but also attract the interests of delegates and encourage them to attend a presentation in which they would be able to meet the brand experts; the scientists who developed the products. Therefore, it was essential that the stand, while portraying a sense of professionalism, housed an open and welcoming space for visiting healthcare professionals to have informal conversations with MSD representatives.
Our challenge was to overcome delegate lethargy. After an exhausting few days of attending meetings, presentations and conferences, we needed to ensure that the MSD stand delivered enough intrigue to capture the tired but inquisitive minds of passing delegates. After several sessions of brainstorming, the GES creative team set to work developing a custom stand with the overarching theme of ‘the patient journey’ – how the products would promote patient independence and assist them in controlling their diabetes. To do this, the stand would utilise a mix of strong display graphics and bespoke interactive audio-visual technology to provide an engaging and enlightening user experience.
The stand was divided into several distinctive zones, separating an area for commercial presentations and a more relaxed lounge area for hospitality and meetings. To capture the attention of passing delegates we devised a ‘Power Engagement Wall’, which followed each delegate as they walked past the stand by triggering low-level sensors and displaying them on-screen through a series of branded lights and outlines. Additionally, to ensure that the two brands had optimum visibility throughout the hall, we raised two overhead LED screens, each 14-metres in width, above the stand with promotional material on loop – creating a strong, eye-catching content displayed across the exhibition hall. So regardless of what direction visitors approached the stand, they would be able to follow a seamless patient journey as they experienced the products.
During the show, several MSD brand representatives walked around the stand, ready to welcome delegates and invite them into the main meeting area. Here they offered refreshments, answered questions, and introduced them to the company’s experts for further discussions. Each representative was able to provide visitors with their own personalised journey, provide insight into the products, go through supporting data and trial outcomes. As well as the clear messaging throughout the stand, the focal point was the presentation area where, three times a day, experts in various aspects of Diabetes, including endocrinologists and nephrologists, hosted in-depth presentations and Q&A sessions and provided the audience with detailed data and trial results.
This new stand design and experiential concept marked a new direction for MSD, replacing the more traditional stands it had used before. Delegate reactions to the campaign were positive. They liked the ‘patient journey’ concept, found the graphics informative and the presentations insightful and persuasive.
The MSD staff reported that the graphics and interactive material made the information easier for delegates to understand and aided their conversations. Such was the success of the concept and stand design that MSD has decided to take it forward and roll it out across the company’s global promotional programme in order to maintain the momentum started at EASD.