Canon Woos New Imaging Customers With Series of Fun, Experiential Retail Events - Black Enterprise

Canon Woos New Imaging Customers With Series of Fun, Experiential Retail Events

experiential retail
Sequoia Blodgett at Canon Portals (Image: file)

Recently, Canon released Canon Portalsa series of events designed to give the customer a unique user experience surrounding its new products — a marketing move that is coming to be known as experiential retail.

The two-week extravaganza, set up from Nov. 29-Dec. 16, 2018, allows the customer to take photo-walks, book workshops, and speak to on-site camera experts in addition to partaking in a six-piece series of sets molded perfectly for Instagram.

The goal of this is to allow the customer to try out new tools and techniques designed to unleash their creativity, using reality-distorting perspectives, moody neons, and explosive color all while understanding the two pieces of tech —  the high-end camera and the mobile device can work in tandem.

experiential retail
Playing with lights at the Canon Portals event (

With legacy camera companies now competing with high-priced mobile devices, companies such as Canon are pressed to become innovative, if they want to keep their customers.

“We want things to be easy for customers. We want to give customers an experience, something beyond what they would do with — say their mobile device,” said Drew Maccallum, senior tech specialist with Canon USA. “We want people to see that you can take a camera and your mobile device and make everything an instagrammable moment, use our cameras to create even better images, use the lens, the skills and the abilities of that camera to create even better instagrammable moments.”

experiential retail

Additionally, the problem with most high caliber purchases of this magnitude, i.e. cameras, lens, and other quality tech products is they don’t come with a hands-on technician. If you’re a first time user, you may have difficulty executing, and may opt for a return assuming the product doesn’t meet your standards, when it can simply be deduced to user error. Canon hopes to mitigate this issue by teaching the user on the spot. As someone who attended the experience, what might have taken me months, or even years to learn in terms of photography shooting techniques — took minutes.

experiential retail
(Experimenting with Depth of Field at Canon Portals Event) (

Canon Portals’ first series happened in New York, and the second series is currently running in Los Angeles.

So is this the new way to sell in the retail space? I certainly think so.

To learn more about Canon Portals, and to sign up for workshops while in the Los Angeles area, click here.