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Comment on Make Your Next Event More Engaging with Engagify by Biswajit Bhadra

Have you ever heard that how you say something is even more important than what you say? In a world where we are inundated with marketing messages, in order to stand out, you need a certain something.

Meet Engagify.

Engagify specializes in making customer-facing teams and events more engaging.

Businesses have become more tech-enabled but a common roadblock is the need to create meaningful interactions with customers. Problem is, the average person hasn’t learned how to engage and grab a prospect’s attention.

Engagify helps companies deepen connection and command attention.

What the Business Does

Anders Boulanger, founder and CEO of Engagify, explained how Engagify took its roots and evolved.

“We use our skills to train others to be more engaging,” Boulanger said. “And that’s what’s kind of missing at lot in business these days – there is so much of the solution in the technology, we kind of get disconnected to how we deliver that information.”

Engagify is passionate about creating human connections and teaching others the principles of the skill. You’ll learn to use the tools needed to command attention.

If you’ve ever been on a boring zoom call, you suddenly realize how easy it is to tune out of the presenter’s message. Over the past year since the pandemic hit, Engagify has been training sales teams from around the world how to create more virtual engagement.

“We only remember 10% of a presentation 2 days later. So it’s imperative that we make an impact with our interactions especially when those interactions are customer-facing,” says Boulanger.

The company trains teams through live virtual training, on-demand courses and through engagement coaching sessions.

Business Niche

Engagify got its start sending its professionally trained staff members — infotainers — to trade shows. These Infotainers were hired by clients to present entertaining content that communicated messaging for the company that hired them.

Engagify’s Infotainers developed show-stopping demonstrations that drew people to the booth and increased sales leads.

“The companies saw a 54% increase in lead generation from the trade shows,” Boulanger said. “Our staff members acted as an extension of the company’s marketing arm and dramatically increased the ROI they received from the trade show.”

“We work with all types of companies, from start-ups to billion-dollar businesses,” Boulanger said. “Companies need to win the eye-ball wars, and our Infotainers know how to command attention and make people listen.”

How the Business Started

Boulanger couldn’t have known he was launching the foundation of his business when he was five years old. That’s when he became a magician and began performing magic shows. At 12, he was performing at birthday parties. He paid his way through university working at fairs and festivals, perfecting his showmanship.

He found a way to evolve his life-long passion into a business model.

“I put on a suit and turned corporate,” Boulanger said. “I took what I’d learned from performing magic, added a custom marketing message and turned that into info-taining.”

“Our Infotainers travel the world creating value for our clients at their trade show booths.” The last year, no one has been travelling. “We parlayed the skills we’ve honed on the trade show floor into training. Salespeople, systems engineers and product marketers have been learning from your content so they can put their companies’ products into the spotlight.”

Biggest Win

Engagify has been helping customers for decades and Boulanger said that Engagify’s most significant win was landing Microsoft Azure as a customer.

While most of Engagify’s clients are in the Tech Sector, during the pandemic they have grown to work with hotel chains such as Marriott’s W brand and have coached the sales team of the fastest growing start-up in Canada.

Biggest Challenge

Then came the pandemic, and like the worst magic trick you could imagine: Poof! The trade shows disappeared.

“We were flying on all cylinders,” Boulanger said. “But when the first trade shows began to be cancelled in March 2019, I knew we had to reinvent our business model.”

Lesson Learned

Boulanger said that small business owners often aren’t good at recognizing the skills they’ve developed running their companies.

“You’re good at things, and some things you don’t even realize you’re good at,” Boulanger said. “I specialized in being at a show, presenting, performing, and engaging.”

He realized that having the skill to present presented him with an opportunity.

“Okay, I can teach this,” he said. “Let me take a step back and figure out what that looks like.”

By June 2019, Boulanger had evolved his business model to fit the changing times.

“Teaching people how to engage has been the shift that makes sense,” he said. “We can serve more people in new and better ways.”

Engagify would remain at the ready to provide actual infotaining for companies at trade shows. And the company would expand to provide training for company employees, teaching them the needed skills for infotaining.

What does Engagify do at a trade show?

“The typical trade show, I would be hired or one of my certified infotainers would be hired for a booth,” Boulanger explained. “We’d have a stage sound system, and then we would start a presentation that would have magic mentalism mathematics, martial arts demonstrations, some interesting stuff that people want to watch and see what is that all about.”

“And while we’re doing that, we weave in the messaging of the company,” he said. “And so the demonstrations that we do are kind of very memorable experiences for people to be a part of, which then make the messaging memorable.”

Engagify infotainers typically do five shows a day during the five busiest hours of the show. And they do that each day. Lead generation metrics show a 54% increase.

Secret Weapon

As Engagify grew, Boulanger relied on Zoho. He’s a Zoho One subscriber, which means he has a platform of business tools at his disposal for all areas of business from sales and marketing to finances and HR. And he especially values Zoho Expense.

His favorite feature of Zoho Expense is the ability to snap a picture of a receipt, and have it instantly entered. He also likes the Zoho Expense capability to work with different money exchange rates – Engagify is based in Canada but does most of its business in the US.

“It’s all such a great value,” Boulanger said of Zoho. “Zoho Expense makes it easy to reimburse from purchases or keep track of expenses from sales trips.”

“Zoho Expense is one more way that Zoho helps me and keeps my business on track,” he added. “Zoho provides great analytics – I can see everything.”

“Of all the vendors and subscriptions that are available, Zoho is the most helpful,” he said. “They are constantly involved in research and development.”

Zoho also allows customers to adjust their subscriptions as needed. Boulanger said it is easy to make changes.

“To have a company that totally supports you is powerful,” Boulanger said of Zoho. “They are true to their word.”

Future Plans

Engagify will continue with its flagship offering, Infotaining. It will also provide in-person, virtual and on-demand training for infotaining. Customers can select from those offerings through an Engagement Suite.

“We’re going to be building out our sales team, because we built a suite of engagement training, including in person virtual coaching, or on demand (work at your own pace) learning,” Boulanger said. “And now that the trade shows are picking up we’re going to be getting back to our flagship offering, infotaining.”

“At the same time, we’ll be helping those companies be able to take those connections and turn them into conversions through our engagement training,” he added. “This will help improve the efficacy of their selling.”

“We’re going to have someone on the engagement suite of products, selling full time, and then we’ll be back at our trade shows as well,” Boulanger said. “So, we’ll be firing on all cylinders, which will be a nice thing – engagement is the heart of functionality.”

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