It takes a team of collaborators, innovators and engineers with insights into the human psyche to produce live events and branded experiences that are both engaging and compelling. It takes a team that understands technology and strategy to produce authentic human moments that consumers are willing to share socially. Today, the rapid evolution of event technology is drastically reshaping the brand world, forcing producers and technical directors to master new skillsets, seemingly on a daily basis.
Beyond mapping the user experience, and simplifying the uniquely complicated production process, technical teams are working to usher in a new era of immersive live events for clients. And it is big name brands that are looking for ways to reach audiences at live events. My own teams have worked with the likes of Nike, National Geographic, The CW and Cornell University. These technologists pride themselves on solving complex engineering issues, in pushing the boundaries of what’s been done to create something bold and new. No challenge is seemingly too great.
Enhancing a live event or branded experience by incorporating new technologies can create indelible moments that will build brand loyalty while amplifying social sharing. For your next big event you might consider:
Mixed media | Virtual reality + augmented reality
Virtual reality and artificial reality are changing the way people experience the world around them. Whether you are virtually hitting the stage with your favorite band at a festival or having an avatar guide you through an experience, new digital technologies are having a huge impact on live events.
Digital wayfinding is helping businesses redefine retail through motion tracking, depth perception and area learning. AR has been making a huge impact on the gaming industry through filters, targeted and position-based experiences, and integrated marketing. When projection mapping is paired with AR it enables every surface to come to life, opening a whole new realm of creative storytelling possibilities. The Magic Leap Platform has been taking a different approach, altering one’s visual perception by directly projecting into participant’s eyes for a more natural augmented experience. Tools like these are changing the way people interact with live events and branded experiences, providing engaging content and storylines for social media.
Live streaming is not just suitable for music festivals it is a way for global brands and small businesses to share experiences, or for strategists to induce that FOMO feeling at a consumer product launch. It can be used for training sessions, conferences or to bring people together for celebrations. What’s particularly exciting is incorporating a virtual component or using augmented reality to redefine the streaming experience. Further, the technology exists for truly immersive experiences, such as including 360-degree visual elements into live streaming VR, which is now available on social media platforms.
Metrics + ROI
While measuring success differs for every business, return on investment (ROI) still rules. Analyzing metrics is a process that requires one to define goals and objectives, then devise a strategy to reach them. It can be measured simply through consumer newsletter signups, registrations for news on future events, shared social posts or earned media generated from an event. However, high-tech solutions can provide data on an attendee’s journey through an event or experience using RFID tokens. By tracking a user’s journey, the brand can build dynamic profiles to retarget more effectively.
There are ways to implement software solutions that utilize an API feed to capture data and populate CRM platforms to assist with automation. Recently our team created the ultimate gamified adventure at Comic-Con San Diego, inspired by plot points and the apocalyptic reality of Fear the Walking Dead. Staged on “The Abigail,” a luxury yacht moored at the 5th Avenue Pier, with actual set pieces from the show, we unleashed five unique gaming experiences that put fans in control of their own fate, forcing them to make “do-or-die” decisions along the activation journey and be rewarded with personalized TOPPS trading cards honoring their survival classification based on the cumulative scores.
Great events are often staged in remote locations and in structures never intended for that purpose. Staying connected is paramount for both planning and executing live event experiences. Having encountered several such situations, we developed glueFI, a portable Internet connectivity kit. Through collaboration with Cradlepoint, we delivered a simple glueFI service that can be easily deployed in unconventional environments to provide enough bandwidth for a team of 100 working simultaneously. This system was used successfully for the “Fear the Walking Dead” experience and spared hundreds of users from the dead zone.
It takes specialists to make the most of a brand’s big moment. It required an understanding of complex engineering challenges and mastery of new technologies to deliver something bold. However, it shouldn’t be intimidating. By using any of these technologies you will be able to elevate your event and create shareable moments, as well as have memories that will last a lifetime.
Tom Bussey is the technically creative visionary at productionGLUE. As founder and CEO, he leads a multi-disciplinary team of creatives who re-define the live event experience. Tom has been a creative facilitator for 20+ years and the driving force behind productionGLUE’s commitment to applying the latest digital innovations to enhance brand engagement.