#HYBRID EVENTS

Case Study: Yonex’s hybrid event hits the mark

The brief

Twice a year, sporting equipment brand Yonex hosts a gathering for dealers to order the latest products, discuss new sales and development strategies, and promote sales. One of latest of these, the 2021 Yonex Newest Technology and Products Trade Show, was held from 9-17 July 2020 in Shanghai, China.

Pico delivered much of the event on a ‘turnkey’ basis – including an extensive programme that encompassed new product launches and ordering, ‘dealer appreciation’ ceremonies and an extensive display of ​​new and existing products to promote the brand’s upcoming 75th anniversary in 2021.

Special promotional appearances featured badminton star Lin Dan, former badminton world champions Gong Ruina and Wang Yihan, and tennis star Zhu Lin.

Insight

The team coordinated the in-person event with online live broadcasts, aiming to drive more sales and media exposure.

The offline element of this hybrid strategy proved challenging amid the COVID-19 pandemic, especially when implementing crowd control measures. Using e-commerce platforms – vital for brand-customer communications during the pandemic – for broadcasts would help promote the brand to a wider audience, including professional and amateur badminton players.

Solution

The expertise of the Pico team was evident in the design and display solutions that caught dealers’ attention throughout the venue. The consistently ‘branded’ atmosphere helped to accentuate product selling points and lent the event a touch of vitality. Among the specially created highlights were a racquet-shaped ‘time tunnel’ and a showcase of 75 years of classic Yonex products.

Displays and special areas were arranged to optimise the use of floor area whilst enabling an easy, comfortable flow of guest traffic. A colour scheme echoing that of the Yonex logo was used throughout, with badminton as a predominant visual motif. As an example of the latter, one display got guests to interact with threaders using the latest Yonex signature stringing machine.

As part of their turnkey approach, the team outlined an event rundown, provided hospitality services, and smoothly managed the programme’s talks and trial experiences. Ensuring a safe, comfortable environment was also of utmost importance. To disperse the flow of participants, interactive session with badminton stars was divided into four breakouts, each hosting around 160 people.

Before and during the event, the team completed more than 100 product shots. The images were used to update the product pages on the dealers’ ordering platform and the e-commerce platform. By engaging the latter’s huge user base, Yonex brand awareness was expanded in China and abroad.

The event’s promotional appeal was greatly boosted by the appearance of Lin Dan, who had announced his retirement from the Chinese national team on Weibo a few days prior. The team arranged a special press conference for the star, which was broadcast in China and abroad in real-time using the stable JD platform. This further increased media and public awareness of the event while creating sales momentum for the Lin Dan product line.

Results

  • Approximately 650 participants attended the in-person event.
  • Live broadcast viewers reached one million.
  • A total of 22 media representatives present, generating 70 pieces of coverage with a media value of approximately RMB3 million (USD439,284).