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IBC Time Tunnel
Event Technology Trends for 2018

Technology is undoubtedly the fastest moving industry in the world. However you try to evolve, update and innovate, it can be difficult to stay ahead of the game.

It is key to our business to maintain the drive, desire and know-how to stay on the cutting-edge of event technology and on the cusp of the latest trends, so you don’t have to. And as we come to the end of an incredible year – filled with Smart AV implementing new and creative LED displays for world-famous events, including Dubai Airshow, MWC and more, as well as installing a brand new showroom, it’s time to look ahead and let you know what’s hot for event technology in 2018.

1. LED in place of projection

The myth that projection is more effective than LED has perpetuated across the event tech industry. As industry leaders, we can confirm that LED will be a key trend in 2018 and will continue to lead the way in place of traditional projection for more and more brands.

For those new to LED, it may not be obvious why LED will top the charts in 2018.

To break it down: First of all, LED has the edge on lighting. It is less affected by the existing lighting than a projector because it emits its own light and manages its own brightness. This means it can function as a high-quality display for outdoor events, fashion shows and sporting events without concern about the visibility.

What’s more, LED comes in a range of pixel pitches, from as little as 2mm, so you always achieve a high-quality HD finish. LED walls are also easy to set up and transport – with individual panels and modules that slot together easily and can be taken from show to show. This has endless benefits for displays at outdoor events, temporary showcases and exhibitions.   

Disney

2. Creative LED

In last year’s article, we predicted a rise in the use of creative LED. We were right! An increasing number of designers and builders throughout 2017 started see their vision become a reality using three-in-one creative LED, and the concept has quite literally transformed and shaped LED innovation.  

Smart AV were one of the earliest investors in 3.9mm creative LED – enabling designers to create curved, flat and edge LED designs in one early on. But throughout 2017 the company started to invest in the next level of high-resolution creative LED at a 2.6mm pixel pitch.

As we move into the new year, Smart AV now has over 325 SQM of 2mm creative LED – enabling clients the flexibility to create any shape they want, from the smallest structures to the biggest. Whatever the shape and design, the high-resolution display enables perfect HD with just 15 SQM of 2.6mm and 4K display with 60 SQM.

Creative LED

3. LED for impact

LED will become the go-to display for a range of brands and spaces in 2018 – thanks to its unforgettable impact and flexibility. As a medium, LED has been proven to offer a robust and high-quality solution for a range of different events, spaces and shows. Throughout 2017 we saw a huge shift in the level of investment in LED – with high-end stores and brands embracing the opportunity to create flexible and changeable displays as permanent LED fixtures. And this is set to increase.

These permanent installations include their own Content Management System to allow users to update graphics and content at the press of the button, which enables brands to display the latest products, campaign or messaging without having to refit the store.

LED is increasingly becoming the number one choice for big and impactful outdoor shows around the world, and has been gaining a key presence accompanying flying displays at some of the world’s biggest airshows, such as the Dubai Airshow and Paris Airshow.

GQ Men of the Year Awards

4. Functional virtual reality

Virtual reality (VR) is set to become more and more accessible, and even a functional tool, for brands in 2018. While VR has been considered essential hardware for gamers for a number of years, it hasn’t really “caught on” as a tool for brands. That is set to change in 2018.

Some brands are already ahead of the game in adopting virtual reality for this use. In 2017 and even earlier, we started to see some brands begin see its potential as a functional and informational platform. Makers is just one example of a brand of a B2B brand who is already doing this. At Parkek, Makers wanted to clients to really experience their carparks in a new and exciting way – so they chose virtual reality as the medium. The VR experience attracted attention to the stand, enabled the brand to stand out and gave customers a meaningful VR experience.

Read more here > https://smart-av.com/portfolio/samsung-gear-virtual-reality/  

Full service virtual reality concepts

5. Experience marketing

The event technology focus for 2018 will be “experience”. Customers today want to do more than just see content, they want to be a part of it. Smart AV have been investing in exciting new technology that allows brands to create immersive experiences that become unforgettable moments for customers, and using LED to reimagine out-of-this-world physical incarnations.  

At IBC 2017, Smart AV worked in partnership with the IBC Future Zone and Google to create the show-stopping IBC Time Tunnel – an experiential design rendered entirely with LED screens. The tunnel was built to represent the show’s multi-sensory theme, an example of how a creative concept can become a reality by using the latest technology. The tunnel’s screens were also used to present the show’s most memorable moments – giving visitors a chance to feel nostalgic from a new perspective.

These types of floor-to-ceiling displays are a chance for innovators and ambitious brands to present a magnificent virtual world in their own physical space.

And tunnels are just the start! With the right idea – experiential LED designs can be game-changing.  

IBC Time Tunnel

6. Livestreaming and social media integration

You’ve probably already noticed that most events in 2017 included some form of social media engagement – whether it be a fully-equipped Twitter wall or an event hashtag. While this might not be a new phenomenon at events, live social media integration is becoming a necessity.

This trend reflects the projected shift in 2018 to a greater emphasis on time-sensitive content – satisfying the desire to be part of events at the time they happen. Not only this, but live streaming can help not only with live experiences, but also with brand awareness. Moreover, live streaming and social media walls are primarily crowdsourced. So you can curate generated content and display your successes to potential customers, while accessing the views, experiences and stories of your customers.

When it comes to measuring the success of events, social media interaction and live streaming is the event marketer’s answer. Using this tool, marketers can analyse feedback and interaction to form an understanding of who their event customer is, as well as help to create a better experience in the future.

Social media and event technology

What’s exciting you for 2018?

As we head into the new year, what are your event goals for 2018? Brands that embrace innovation and the latest technology are leading the way when it comes to creativity, but that doesn’t mean you have to get left behind.

Smart AV are experts in event technology with a unique LED showroom that offers clients the chance to view their content in every pixel pitch and the specialist knowledge to bring all of the latest innovations directly to your brand. Whatever stage you are at, Smart AV can help you turn your dream creation into a reality. Contact the team today for a quote or a discussion with an expert technician.