Chicago, IL. Have you ever watched how people interact with touchscreens at a tradeshow booth? It’s actually kind of entertaining. They’ll circle around it. Then move a little closer (not too close). Then check to make sure they haven’t triggered any booth booby-traps like a booth representative coming over to give the sales pitch. If the coast is clear, they move a little closer, but usually end up walking away.

Of course, this is highly disappointing – especially when you’ve spent months developing some pretty killer content that’s waiting to come to life once the touchscreen is activated. But, what if the touchscreen knew when a visitor was there. Even welcomed them and invited them to come and interact.

We decided to conduct a little experiment and built a sensor that would do just that. We encased the sensor in a 3-D printed box, did some arduino programming and attached it to the touchscreen. When visitors got within certain proximity, the touchscreen would activate and invite them over or trigger a track loop that started at just the right time.

The results were kind of shocking. By simply prompting people and giving them “permission” to engage, they were much more likely to respond. The touchscreens got an entirely new level of play and unleashed the content that was otherwise trapped behind the screen. It’s a low-cost, high-impact way to create booth draw.

In addition to our touchscreen sensor, we’re also working with projection mapping and iBeacons to leverage the same proximity-based logic to earn engagement. For more on this trend, check out marketing trend #8 Local, Now More Local.

About the Author:

As Managing Director of Innovation and Insights for Syneos Health Communications, Leigh is responsible for building and scaling a global team of healthcare experts who together help life science leaders better understand the complex lives, influences and expectations of their customers. Specifically, they uncover actionable insights that fuel empathy and creativity; lead co-creation events that let marketers learn from peers, trends, and new possibilities; and help clients identify the most valuable and useful new customer experiences to create.

Leigh has worked with Fortune 1000 companies to craft their digital, mobile, social and CRM strategies for nearly 20 years.She’s worked for category-leading agencies in retail, public affairs, B2B technology, and higher education. Prior to moving to Syneos Health Communications, she held several leadership roles at our largest agency, GSW.  There, she founded an innovation practice fueled by the zeitgeist and spearheaded digital and innovation thinking across the business.

Leigh has taken a special interest in complex healthcare products that can change lives in meaningful ways. She was recently a strategic lead on the 3rd largest launch in pharmaceutical history: Tecfidera. Before that she had keys roles with Eli Lilly Oncology, Abbott Nutrition, Amgen Cardiovascular, and Eli Lilly Diabetes.

A critical part of Leigh’s work is trends and new ideas. Every year, she convenes a group of trend watchers from across our global network to identify the shifts most critical to healthcare marketers. This year, she led over 250 experts to experts to focus on the most important changes in the commercial, consumer, marketing, digital and healthcare landscapes. (See reports at

Leigh is a sought-after writer and speaker. Recognized as one of the most inspiring people in the pharmaceutical industry by PharmaVoice and Top 10 Innovation Catalysts of 2017 by MM&M, Leigh also was recognized  as a Rising Star by the Healthcare Businesswomen's Association (HBA) for her overt passion, industry thought leadership and significant contributions in new business, strategy and mentoring.