How Good Design Can Lead to User-Generated Content

By Gerardo Paz, Graphics and Printing Manager, ASV

The HubSpot 2024 State of Marketing report underscores the escalating significance of video for effectively engaging audiences. It emphasizes the necessity for authentic, eye-catching content and highlights that 56% of marketers plan to increase their investment in TikTok this year. Moreover, 30% of marketers who have yet to adopt short-form video intend to do so in 2024.


A pivotal challenge identified in the report is the creation of compelling content. However, the burden of content creation doesn’t have to rest solely on marketers. By integrating graphic design and fabrication into experiential events, brands can create environments ripe for user-generated content. Graphics are essential in selling the product or service and in helping attendees learn more about the brand. From stunning visuals that captivate attention to tactile textures that evoke emotions and memories, the choice of size, placement, contrast, materials, and printing techniques significantly influences the effectiveness of an event.


Attendees, captivated by stunning graphic displays, are likely to take and share photos and videos online, which brands can then repurpose. This strategy not only addresses the need for engaging marketing strategies but also creates a repository of user-generated content. Allocating funds toward graphic design and fabrication emerges as a smart and strategic decision. This approach is not only a boon for digital design in the tech-savvy marketing realm but also acts as a catalyst for producing visually striking video content through user interaction.


How can you use experiential design to increase engagement?


Use design to evoke emotion.

To effectively evoke emotion in marketing, focus on strategically selecting visual elements that align with your brand’s emotional message. Begin by identifying the core emotions you want your brand to resonate with, such as trust, excitement, or calmness. Use color palettes, font styles, and imagery that reflect these emotions. For example, a brand aiming to evoke trust might use blues and stable, clean fonts, while one aiming for excitement might choose vibrant reds and dynamic imagery.


Apply this strategy to all marketing materials, from website design to social media posts and events. Regularly review and analyze the emotional impact of these elements through customer feedback and engagement metrics. Additionally, infuse design branding into events where you can physically manifest your brand’s emotional ambiance, akin to the International Annual Architecture Competition. For this competition, architects crafted spaces intended to provoke distinct emotional responses through color and form, illustrating the profound impact of design on the human experience. By engineering a particular environment, participants depart with more than just a visual impression; they carry away a resonant emotional experience. 


Leverage interactive technologies. 

To make your design strategies more engaging and impactful, start by incorporating Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Virtual Reality (VR) into your marketing plans. These technologies can transform ordinary interactions into immersive experiences. Consider how AI can tailor content dynamically based on user interactions and use VR to create captivating environments for your audience.


By utilizing VR, you can craft compelling brand narratives that allow your audience to experience your message in an engaging, interactive way. Aim to create multi-sensory experiences, going beyond just visual and auditory elements. For industries where sensory experiences are key, such as real estate or travel, incorporating additional senses like touch or smell can make VR experiences even more impactful.


The INTER/her project highlights the shift towards interactive design, using AI and VR to create immersive experiences that engage audiences deeply. This approach, exemplified by INTER/her’s use of virtual reality to explore women’s health issues, transforms traditional design into a dynamic experience.


Design photogenic spaces.

As an event marketer, prioritize graphic design and fabrication to create captivating photo opportunities for your attendees. Utilize the latest printing techniques, such as embellished printing for tactile and visual appeal—including embossing and foil stamping—and large format for building wraps with impactful visuals. Explore laser etching on various materials like wood and metal, interactive printing that embeds QR codes or uses conductive ink, and advanced 3D printing techniques to create unique physical objects. These methods will bring dynamic design visuals to life at your event. Photogenic spaces pave the way for innovative marketing collateral, merchandise, signage, backdrops, decor, and other essential event elements.


Additionally, focus on creating interactive displays and kiosks. These not only draw in attendees but also encourage engagement and social sharing. Look to successful examples like the “World of Barbie” in Los Angeles, where incorporating elements like a full-size DreamCamper and an Interstellar Rocket significantly enhanced the event’s immersive quality. These interactive and tangible components are vital in creating an unforgettable experience.


Such elements become key touchpoints for engagement. They are not just decorative but strategic tools for encouraging attendees to take photos and share them on social media. This approach effectively amplifies your event’s reach and impact, turning your event space into a hub of interactive and photogenic experiences that resonate with attendees and extend your brand’s presence in the digital realm.


Strategic Implications for Marketers


The strategic integration of graphic design fabrication in experiential marketing represents a holistic approach to content creation that taps into the collective creativity of the audience. This method not only addresses the challenge of generating compelling content but also aligns with contemporary consumer preferences for authentic, interactive brand experiences. Moreover, it underscores the importance of emotional engagement and storytelling in building meaningful brand connections.


For marketers, the implications are clear: leveraging graphic design in experiential events can significantly enhance audience engagement, encourage content creation, and amplify the brand’s presence in the digital realm. 

About the Author 

Gerardo Paz is the Graphics and Printing Manager at ASV Experiential