Show Stopper: 3M Pushes the Experiential Level With Its World of Innovation
Succinctly and effectively communicating the depth and breadth of a $20+ billion company that offers 50,000 products, while educating and enlightening visitors to 3M’s people, business processes and technologies was no easy task, but 3M’s strategic team came up with the perfect solution.
The World of 3M Innovation is a business-based environment that takes guests down a path of discovery, experimentation, and business processes. Through it all, science, technology and branding come together in a way that is relevant, educational and functional (all elements throughout the space were created to be customizable and updatable on the fly). Inside, an interactive video wall brings to life the people of 3M, including past and present innovators. This wall serves as a relevant introduction to a Timeless Timeline of Customer Success, a three-dimensional interactive theater featuring video testimonials from customers who have capitalized on their partnerships with 3M (Designer and builder: Sparks, Philadelphia.)
From there, visitors head to the Vision Dome Theater, credited as the first permanent installation of a 360-degree, a 3D domed theater leveraging 3M’s own office projectors. A total of 17 separate experience paths present guests with customizable ways to learn more. Guests are invited to choose the most relevant pa lead to the most targeted products and information. The point: Each journey is customized according to the visiting customer’s interests. “We have a number of customer technical centers throughout the globe, but we didn’t have one here in the United States. Forty percent of our operations are here, and it didn’t make sense that we didn’t have a place where we could bring our customers,” says Candace Mailand, Manager-Innovation Center. “This gives us an opportunity to showcase the depth and breadth of everything 3M has to offer.”
In all, two interactive Innovation Stations, 21 applied technology stations (boasting 84 interactive hands-on demonstrations), and 10 product benefit walls give visitors the opportunity to connect with 3M’s processes and products in a way that is engaging, enlightening, and easy to understand. Wherever possible, 3M materials were used in the fabrication of the experience. “3M has several internal technologies that we were able to implement—including the 3M digital signage package. With the software that supports that package, anytime a guest is scheduled to enter, you can have customized digital welcomes, signage, and interactives specifically for that guest, and those touch-points can follow the guest throughout the experience,” says Jane Hawley, senior vp at Sparks.
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