Innovation Lab

Our Innovation Lab is a melting pot of industry, digital and technological experts; bringing you the latest in creative content methods, inventive technological solutions and business strategy insights. The team are continually workshopping new ideas that push boundaries and challenge the status quo.

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We put digital at the core

Storytelling is at the heart of what we do. We are pushing the boundaries of traditional brand experiences to create ever more immersive and interactive ways to engage with audiences. Cutting edge hardware and software are the tools we use to push these boundaries.

Our process

Get the picture

We work collaboratively with clients, and rapidly iterate ideas using a design thinking approach.

Build IT fast

We have an in-house team of developers with a deep skillset who work in agile teams to prototype, test and deploy.

Make IT stick

We are an integrated agency, and so take a campaign approach to brand experience. Our wider team collaborate seamlessly to deliver global programmes of any scale.

What we've been up to

Apr 30, 2020

Why Consider a Customer Experience Center

"You've got to start with the customer experience and work back to the technology — not the other way around."
Steve Jobs

The workplace is changing and with this change comes opportunity for those who can adapt. Even before Covid 19, we knew that traditional ways of working were being replaced with new, digitally powered collaborations and it is now increasingly obvious that those who embrace and leverage the technology that digitalisation brings will gain significant advantage over their competitors. Not just in how they provide goods or services to consumers but how they engage with them in the first place. However, to learn from Steve Jobs, the technological innovation should be in response to a customer experience need and CX experts agree that understanding your customer inside out will be the tricky but crucial focus for post-pandemic marketing.

A Focus on Objective

We call this "mapping" the brief, a skill expert Ian Golding focuses on in his book “Customer What?” whilst quoting the wonderfully eccentric Terry Pratchett as insightful link to the "art of mapping a CX strategy: "Map-making had never been a precise art on the Discworld. People tended to start off with good intentions and then get so carried away with the spouting whales, monsters, waves and other tiddly bits of cartographic furniture that they often forgot to put the boring mountains and rivers in at all." 

The same cartographic analogy can be used for many a brand engagement design but not so for a well-designed Customer Experience center (CEC), whether physical or digital. A CEC comes with its own boundaries; its rivers and mountains, with limited time for whales and monsters. The focused permanency of a CX center has exactly that effect on its ideation; the space is focused and lean, targeting audiences with a clean clear map of the brand narrative.

Defines Sales Conversations

The success of a self-contained CX strategy that delivers on clear messaging is growing in demand as sales conversations with customers are becoming more dynamic and demanding than ever and a meaningful dialogue requires a more complex set of stimuli. Yes, an inspiring environment is important and often the first step for a brand when mapping out their CX center ‘wants,’ however in practice, we find it is key permanent stimulus touchpoints that trigger dialogue that ends up in sales.

Which brings us to the nub of why CX Centres are becoming increasing popular; sustainable sales. A means by which a brand product can be repeatedly demonstrated in its finest light to a consumer through digital content and stimulus. A sustainable, re-usable, re-definable heart of a brand that we have seen used to tangible success in many forms of CEC, whether they are a physical, hybrid or digital Innovation Suites, Technology Centres, Executive Briefing Centres, Training Centres, CX Hubs or Showrooms. Whatever the name, the guiding principles are the same.

Expands Brand Identity

Working in CEC’s for some years now, we find one question often arises from clients; I can see the value but how do I get buy-in to create one? We find the heart concept of a CEC is important here. Embodying the brand, the CEC is more than just a showcase for products and services. It becomes a place to explain, explore and expand your brand with your clients, potential clients and influencers. Our clients Playtech and Kantar who we have created physical and digital CEC’s for, understand that a powerful way to engage prospects - especially decisionmakers - is to provide them with a visually impressive, immersive demonstration. Demonstrations are built on structural creative tech and require careful planning, investment and beta-testing, hard to replicate in a short-term environment but a fundamental focus in a CEC. Nothing beats first-hand experience and if the environment is physically and digitally narrative-led, all the focus is on ‘wowing’ customers with the brand’s current and future offerings.

These operational hubs also provide valued insight into manufacturing, design, product or service capabilities, where customers see the value of working with a particular organisation, familiarize themselves with their process and discuss tailored solutions. Customer Experience Centres also provide an excellent forum for customers to build personal connections with specialists and provide organisations with the unique opportunity to personalize service and immediately respond to wants and needs. This can be reversed internally with the CEC used as centre as a training hub for employees and an educational opportunity for potential investors. - showcasing how generating real ROI can generate real buy-in.

Allows Hybrid Collaboration

As with all things brand experience at the moment, the role of the Customer Experience Centre is evolving from a tool for pure demonstration (a one-way communication) to a new focus on collaboration (a dynamic contribution). As part of this shift, many global enterprises are exploring next-generation hybrid CECs for 2021 as the new models for customer engagement, whether physical or digital. As a truly collaborative experience that involves all stakeholders in every stage of contribution, review and presentation, a successful CEC now takes clients on a journey to experience the enterprise's values, people and partnership, and leaves prospects excited and ready to engage.

Ally Mansell-Cook - Brand Experience Director

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Mar 30, 2020

How to use Digital to extend the Physical Experience

What is Digital Twinning?

A Digital twin is defined as a learning system of digital copies of assets that allows a user to experience these assets virtually and also provide the company with information on what to do with assets in the physical space to achieve a targeted outcome.

Digital twinning in the events world sees the creation of hybrid events where physical experience assets are replicated in the digital world through immersive content and creative technology. Partnered with an existing conference/expo, the aim for a digital twinned event is to broadcast a message to the world without sacrificing the interaction and engagement delegates need, and to keep that message perpetuated through the consumer psyche.

Hybrid events are a form of industry evolution. With 45% of the world online and businesses increasing their digital footprint in response to sustainability and end user demands, brands have been reviewing the potential of hybrid events for some years now. As with all evolutionary processes, it is only with extreme external pressures that big leaps forward occur and the recent buzz around virtual events in response to Covid-19 has companies wondering how they can combine them with their show programme to risk-proof 2021.

Reach. Events and conferences can be repeated or extended to global audiences that are unable to attend the physical. Event networking is replicated with meeting notes capturing technology that repeats the sales process and provides teams with information they can analyse alongside their physical data.

Real time adaptation. A brand can create multiple versions of the same content – promo videos, white papers, webinars, holo- panel debates that are available on the physical.  Different people will consume information from varying types of media at multiple touchpoints and via different channels. What happens in the physical can be realigned in the virtual to repoint towards popular trends and areas of interest. Real-time positioning of content helps prospects minimize negative impacts, while maximizing opportunities.

Choice. By curating events with multiple options in the digital from data gathered in the physical, delegates can be motivated to get involved and stay connected. Specific broadcast content can be tailored for virtual attendees after assessing popularity in the physical. If the digital space stays relevant via viral messaging, there is an opportunity to create a community that shares content long after the event, much like the e-gaming evolution.

Visibility. Virtual events offer another acquisition channel for a company’s audience to discover their content and provides attendees with the option to consume the content over video, VR, AR and through digital spaces.

Longevity. Launching a new product at an event can create some serious buzz around a business. Product demonstrations and tutorials are also highly suited to the event space. However, once the physical event is over, the moment is too. By synchronising product launches across virtual events in different countries, the stimulation around a new product can be extended.

Data. A hybrid event can help businesses build their list of contacts as everyone online registers their interest. By recording the virtual event attendee experience, insights can be mapped and shared within the events team to help curate their next physical event, online post-event or offered as a gated asset on their website for other people to download.

Which events are suitable?

Conferences, employee engagement, product launches are the obvious first choices with conferencing tech and meeting applications already going through further stages of development to incorporate experiential elements. Online showrooms and experience centres will also be a natural fit with 3D content repurposed to create online digital spaces that can be experienced via AR and VR. Larger projects such as virtual events and interactive spaces that are overlaid over physical places and people will take more planning and investment - over the last two years we have built sixteen fully digitalised spaces for client Playtech - but once in situ can be used for multiple markets.

How can Digital Twinning help events for the future?

As a trend, we foresee digital twinning becoming first a priority for brands and then the norm for the world global show programme. With future developments in 5G and infrastructure, the development of internal brand event platforms will allow companies to roll-out a continuous flow of hybrid events with digital content extending the shelf life on a physical event. Once platforms are created, this allows a multitude of quick response events to be pulled together in reaction to tech advancements, end user desires and future world upheavals.

Brand commitment to sustainability policies will also be supported by digital twinning, where the event strategy is split between the physical and non-physical, realigning budgets to a greater % of output with zero carbon footprint.

Above the line marcom strategies have been struggling for some time with viral advertising via social media becoming increasing sought after. Digital experiences linked to social media outreach will be important in all advertising, and the ability to get two bites out of an event cherry will provide serious ROI in what could be a significant period of constrained marketing budgets

Content marketing as a primary lead generation tactic is going to increase in events, and as time and investment goes into engaging 3D content and CX, the medium by which it is delivered becomes less important as long as it reaches its target audience, leading to a blurring of output methods between the physical and virtual.

At 2Heads we believe human interaction will always be important and maybe after the pandemic more than ever as people buy people. However, with careful planning, the human rapport element of events can be recreated and prolonged through virtual scenarios that allow a 3-day show programme to continue in perpetuity. This is the power of digital twinning, a trend that has only just started to grow.

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Feb 03, 2020

2Heads Launch Innovation Lab Sessions

Do you want to expand your creative tech knowledge?

News | Nick Rosier | Digital and Content Director

New Decade. New Opportunities. New ways of working. These were all things up for discussion at 2Heads inaugural Innovation Lab workshop. The brainchild of Digital Content Director Nick Rosier and his team, the objective behind the workshop was to open up the Innovation Lab forum to the entire company.

Creative event tech is a passion at 2Heads and our digital/tech team is growing monthly, in terms of both knowledge and inventive problem-solving solutions we are offering to clients. With such progression, Nick and the team wanted to create time internally to explore and debate the potential for this knowledge in the greater event world. Launching with an insight and debate on Digital Printing, the workshops will take place every month at 2Heads HQ.

The first session created a blueprint for future sessions with the team sharing knowledge internally about what is possible, what tech is available and what we can do with that tech to improve efficiencies and our output to clients. Then the digital team opened the forum to drive discussion and some blue-sky R&D projects that could help develop real innovation.

Nick commented; ‘If you fill a room with people and show them a tech and explain how it works, they will all have a different view on how it can be used. For client operations, digital printing can create tools onsite and for a designer, digital printing allows them to question how they could express their space in a different way.’

The forum concept is key to innovation the digital team believes, as it allows time to generate ideas. Take a tech that has an few known applications and let the team brainstorm problems and client situations that we deal with on a day to day basis. By reviewing existing conventional solutions, the 2Headers as a group of people with different perspectives on the tech can generate new ways of resolving these problems and new products we can offer clients.

The aim for the Innovation Lab ongoing is to inspire people and start a thriving R&D presence within 2Heads where the digital team will be able to pick projects out of these sessions that have a real commercial value. In our opinion problem solving and creativity does not become innovation unless it has a real purpose that can be developed and turned into a commercial positive for our clients.

The next two techs to have the Lab spotlight will be our use of Arduino computer platforms at events and the experiential aspects of conductive paint. Check back in for our insights following these session or alternatively, if you would like to come along, contact us @ nickr@2heads.com

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Things we do well

Behind the scenes

Our team are constantly prototyping and innovating. Here is a sneak peek at some of the technology that's passed through our R&D workshop recently.
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