Engaging Shoppers with Interactive Experiences: Custom Engraving

September 27, 2019


We know it’s holiday planning season for many of our clients and that means retail activations ideas are flourishing. Our studio is buzzing with design ideas that incorporate a unique retail experience.

Malls are increasingly competing with alternative retail channels, and so what goes on in its halls is more than just added nicety – it’s critical to creating an experience and atmosphere that attracts shoppers. It’s one reason malls have Santa Clauses: it offers an opportunity to delight guests with something they can’t get with online retail. We’re seeing malls create special pop-up concepts featuring small retailers; exclusive credit card lounges that feature free perks like coffee, gift wrapping, and quiet rest; and special interactive experiences at gathering points. When we’re designing an experience, we also bias towards hands-on creative interactives that produce a physical takeaway.


A couple months ago we worked with Fido in Montreal to celebrate the launch of the newest retail store. The centerpiece was an interactive where guests designed custom keychains using selfie booth experience. When ready, the keychains were brought to life by our laser cutter live on-site. Guests were able to watch while their personalized keychain was lasered into reality and tied with ribbon to take home.


For a retail experience at Hudson’s Bay, we laser engraved custom-shaped ornaments with branding on one side, and guests’ designs on the other. A regular shopping trip was elevated to an interactive creative experience – memorable, personalized, and captivating for social media.

What we love about our laser cutters is that they are infinitely adaptable. We can create ornaments and objects in any shape to fit a brand, theme, or narrative, while also allowing for complete personalization on-site. Wood, glass, and even mirrored ornaments are possible. From an experiential marketing perspective, it’s a triple threat: a unique hands-on experience, a compelling fabrication process to capture for social media, and a keepsake with intrinsic sentimental value.

Have a retail program coming up and need something to create a draw? Check out more detail on our “Design-it-Yourself” Experience here.


MakeLab is a laboratory for interactive events. We bring laser cutters, 3D printers, and other future-tools of fabrication to events around the world, introducing people new modes of hands-on creativity. Have an event in mind? Reach out to our team and let’s build an experience together.