What is an Innovation Center: Elements & How to Design One
Innovation helps us stretch beyond our typical behavior patterns and learn new ways of thinking. Innovation happens when we come together to explore, discover, collaborate, and experiment. Brands can use innovation to transform corporate and customer experiences. In this guide, we answer the question “what is an innovation center?” and cover the elements, purposes, and design strategies of innovation centers for events—discussing how innovation centers relate to corporate environments and customer experience centers. Read on to learn everything you need to know about innovation centers.
What is an innovation center?
Innovation centers inspire discovery and advance progress. Depending on the context, an innovation center can be synonymous with corporate environments and customer experience centers, bringing ideas and people together to facilitate meaningful, memorable experiences.
Elements of an Innovation Center
Innovation centers have an inherent flexibility to adapt and evolve. The adaptability ensures the space is dynamic, allowing you to host meetings, presentations, seminars, games, or any other experiential activation.
Innovation centers highlight technological components fulfilling the environment or event objectives. Technology such as audio, visual, and alternate reality (AR) elements immerse your audience in your brand’s story bringing the products to life. Features like interactive displays and projection maps can enhance audience engagement and create lasting memories.
Strategic Use of Space
Spatial design integrates audiences into an environment and influences how they feel in that space. Innovation centers design the space for attendees to engage in conversations, discover new information, and make meaningful connections. While an open area allows for maximum traffic flow, it will be beneficial for your brand to create various spaces for any unique engagement opportunities.
By definition, hospitality is the “friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers.” With or without food and beverage, hospitality is the intangible element that communicates a warm welcome. The spirit of hospitality is integral to innovation centers because it shows visitors their presence is desired and valued. When audiences feel valued, they become comfortable sharing creative ideas and embracing new experiences.
Storytelling must be front and center, whether your innovation center is for corporate use or as a customer experience center. The physical space and design elements can communicate your brand’s mission, values, and message. Integrate environmental graphics, interactive displays, and multisensory components to reach the mind and soul of your audience.
Purposes of an Innovation Center
Can you remember an experience of entering a space that made you feel energized, excited, curious, and engaged? Perhaps you knew that your ideas mattered and that you had something to learn. Innovation centers can have this effect on visitors. The purpose of an innovation center is to inspire visitors to discover new ways of thinking and form connections around your brand’s message and mission. We can break this down further by looking closer at corporate environments and customer experience centers. If the innovation center is a corporate environment, the purpose might be to excite investors, generate new product ideas, or solidify the brand’s reputation amongst key stakeholders. If the innovation center is a customer experience center, the purpose could be connected to generating actionable leads, closing sales, and cultivating loyal customer relationships.
Why Design an Innovation Center
Your brand can utilize any space, so why should you create an innovation center? Ultimately, it comes down to innovation centers prioritizing idea generation and inspiration. Innovation centers are ideal if your goal is for visitors to contribute insights and walk away with new ideas and solutions going beyond their previous imaginations.
Speaking of design, innovation centers must be thoughtfully, strategically, and skillfully designed to create the desired impact. Every detail is important, from the floor plan to the lighting, sound, and event scent, whether your innovation center is a corporate environment or a customer experience center.
How to Design an Innovation Center
Creating a compelling innovation center takes substantial time, consideration, expertise, and skill. Many brands benefit from partnering with an experienced event marketing agency to meet their goals, and we are here to help.
Hamilton is a full-service event marketing agency with a 75-year legacy creating immersive brand experiences for companies throughout North America and around the world. We design, produce, and execute integrated experiences – exhibits, proprietary events and conferences, corporate environments, outdoor events, mobile tours, and digital solutions – that drive meaningful connections between your brand and your audience. To design an innovation center, contact Hamilton today.