Oliver Richardson


Creating lasting impressions with technology

Last month I touched on the importance of attracting and engaging visitors at a live event or experience, and the use of technology as both an attractor – piquing visitors interest – and as an engager – for example providing ways to contribute to or share an experience.  I wanted to delve a little deeper into this as it’s a topic that really fascinates me.

We’re really seeing brands raise their game in terms of the experience they want to deliver to their visitors and potential customers – they’re looking to use the live environment to full effect, to really make an impression on all the senses, and using technology to do so.  For example, the Aerospace clients we work with don’t just want to show a video of their newest product in action – they could do that on the web or through a newsletter – they want to dazzle with a showcase that not only provides a learning journey but is memorable and impactful.

For one Aerospace client, we installed a transparent touchscreen (minority report style) infront of a life-size engine which enabled visitors to interact and “virtually” strip down the engine to understand its component parts. We combined this with a “rumbling floor”, jet-engine sound effects and superimposed video content so that when they started the engine, they really started the engine!  Likewise, our Pharmacy clients are looking for something more inspirational than simply displaying some pills and bottles and handing out brochures containing their product range.  One pharma client asked us to create a 3D virtual-reality walk-through of a human heart.  We used Oculus Rift’s virtual headsets and added noise-cancelling headphone and the sounds of a heart beating in time with the animation to make it truly immersive.  We also used our paperless literature solution, which really streamlines and declutters a demonstration area and enables visitors to simply swipe an RFID tag against specific demo-points to be emailed a copy of the relevant material. It’s incredible what a difference it makes to the look of a product demo area or exhibition stand when you remove the space for displaying and storing brochures, it really opens things up.

Technology is a real enabler in these instances.  There’s simply no other way to create these kind of experiences, but it’s important that the technology adds value and makes sense of a product or demonstration rather than being “flash” for the sake of it.  Next month, I’ll start the year with some predictions for technology trends relevant to the events industry in 2015.