New technology

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.

Event predictions for 2016

The start of a new year is a great time to look at what trends, features and new technologies will shape the year ahead. After all, if you’d said at the end of 2014 that we’d be reading messages on our iWatches and creating brand messaging in emojis while listening to Justin Bieber we may not have believed you.

So in the true spirit of a fresh new year, here are some of the event trends we expect to see being seeded through the world of pop-ups, events, exhibitions and conferences during the year ahead.

 

Enhanced event experiences

Events and exhibitions in particular, have always been an incredible feat, where large and often intricate structures are put together for the sole purpose of a day or two. This makes their message often more impactful than a permanent structure can hope to be, but this year we see the two merging. Events and exhibitions, which so often take their cues from the fast-moving world of retail and pop-up displays have become more innovative and more dynamic, whereas temporary structures have begun to invest more heavily in experience over design. Temporary events and exhibitions are doing more to embrace digital and social aspects, spending more on experience and making the environment feel intuitive, in order to mimic the attendee’s everyday life. Advanced technology such as high-resolution 2.5mm LED displays were once only suitable for permanent structures where they could be kept away from customers and built into more durable casings. Now, these types of solutions are available within event and exhibition environments creating a new option for designers and brands wishing to showcase content. In return, pop-ups and permanent structures are bringing in more aspects that draw the customer and the brand together, encouraging social sharing for discounts, mobile payment devices that can be taken onto the shop floor and interactive screen technology displays.

 

Purpose driven events

The big focus on the consumer cohort, ‘the Millennials’ which seemed to take over in 2015 will be set to continue in 2016 and as this group enters the industry and positions of buying power, we’ll see this affect the entire conception of events. As industry professionals, they’ll bring in new advancements, an enhanced knowledge of event technology and a heavy focus on purpose-driven events. What do we mean by this? Events that were once solely focused to sell, sell, sell will now swing back to more ‘people’ focused experiences. This means creating positive legacies from events, where the brand is able to ‘give back’ or create repercussions from their activity on the show floor. This may be as simple as partnering with a Not For Profit or worthwhile cause or giving up an event presence in order to spend on an experience or social project.

 

True engagement

Gone are the days where an event can be quantified by the number of attendees who sign up for a ticket. The progression in technology and big data means that brands and consumers now demand a higher level of data to prove return on interest. In 2016, when eyeballs and attention will be even more stretched across the on and offline worlds, creating true engagement and a way to measure it will be more important than ever. For audio visual suppliers, this means enhancing the technology that is able to provide data capture as well as monitoring number of views or time that the audience is engaged. For designers and partners, this means measuring everything from the number of tweets, through to conversations held on the stand, touchpoint check-ins and data viewed post-event. For brands, it means finding comprehensive ways to take the data captured, digest this and use it to improve the offering event-by-event.

 

Back to basics

In 2015 events seemed to be a platform for brands to show that they were bigger, better and more expressive than those next to them. In 2016, we predict a return to basics, where events simplify the connection between audience and brand in order to really communicate their most innate of brand values. Stripped back design, more intuitive technology and simple ways to communicate and create real face-to-face value will all help brands to embrace the event platform in the year ahead and make it their own.

 

The rise of event technology

If there’s one trend we have noticed over the past 12 months it’s the rise of event technology as a real contender to ensuring event success. Event planners are becoming more tech-savvy than ever and audio visual suppliers are going all out to provide event technology masterclasses and other learning opportunities, designed to enable planners to make the most of what’s on offer. The benefit of sophisticated event technology becoming more mainstream, is that the solutions become more affordable and better developed by the manufacturers who provide them. Over the years this has led to solutions such as bespoke content, which once stacked up into the tens of thousands, now becoming available for only a few hundred pounds. Not only does this rise in technology give the brands a continual vehicle through which to innovate their offering, but it also allows the customers using them to touch, test and takeaway the true message the brand is offering.

 

What event trends do you see becoming more important throughout the year ahead? Tweet us at @incredible_pg to let us know

How brands are using dynamic content to connect with their audience

Dynamic content goes against every aspect that an exhibition stand once represented. Whereas exhibition stands were once static spaces where visitors were drawn in and given a single piece of content or concept to engage with, dynamic content now ensures that exhibition stands are personalised hubs, where every experience can be different.

This is key in an environment where visitors are often shouted at, rather than engaged and where a personalised piece of content can often cut through the noise of stands that contain blanket marketing messaging.

This caters fully to a millennial audience who studies have shown overwhelmingly believe that businesses both need a reset, as well as a re-focus on people, rather than profit. Dynamic content allows brands to put themselves on the same level as visitors during an event, exhibition or conference with a carefully crafted message or presentation that shows that they are listening.

Four examples of dynamic content being used by brands on an event floor

Traditional content needs testing and preloading, to ensure it can be shown across a screen videowall or LED during a live event environment but with the rise of certain high-level media servers content can now be updated and adapted in realtime. In an environment such as an award ceremony this creates huge scope for what is broadcast around the world, or even within the event itself. On an exhibition stand, it allows for content that can be much more fluid and adapted depending on events occurring on the showfloor, the time of day or even the weather conditions outside.

burberry

  1. Dynamic broadcast platforms

Smart Digital, the broadcast arm of IPG, creates digital media solutions for events and exhibitions. The Smart Digital Event TV platform allows organisers and exhibitors to broadcast key messaging, videos and showreels across the showfloor, YouTube channels and surrounding hotels, billboards and outdoor screens. In this type of environment, static pre-recorded content is often obsolete. Visitors who have often paid to attend an exhibition want to see content that is relevant to their experience while there. Dynamic Event TV broadcasts ensure that the messaging they see across a network of screens relates directly to the hall they are in, the day of the show and any news and updates that have been released in that moment.

Live dynamic broadcasts also allow exhibitors to have their key messages heard and provide them with a platform for releasing show news and products – something which exhibitions are renowned for. Furthermore, dynamic content allows those not attending to get a taste of what the show is really like – as it happens.

 airport

  1. Personalised presentations

Using a high-quality LED or seamless videowall display screen undoubtedly attracts eyeballs during a show. But once those eyes are looking over, a second step is needed to capture and retain attention. This is where personalised presentations, led by dynamic content processors, are a great way to keep visitors on the stand and interested for longer periods of time. Dynamic content changes can often be managed by the stand staff themselves; using iPads, tablets or other handheld-devices in order to flip content and make it more relevant to the audience who are there in that moment.

 vizril

  1. Unique interactive experiences

Sometimes it is the smallest details which can cause the biggest ripple. For example, an interactive kiosk which welcomes a visitor by name, to a show. Or perhaps a uniquely branded coffee cup which when placed on a table, creates a display of content which has been created specifically for that visitor, based on their interests and previous purchasing history. Interactive event technology facilitates an experience which is personal and more rewarding for the visitor. Rather than bombarding them with every piece of company information, it allows the visitor to choose their own experience and to craft it out of the content they are interested in. According to studies, leads that are nurtured with personalised content produce a 20% increase in sales opportunities.

reception

Exhibitions are no longer static spaces and environments must be built which put the interest of the visitor at the forefront. Personalised, dynamic content which changes visitor-to-visitor, by interest, age or any other demographic you can imagine, will help you to create a longer-lasting more meaningful connection with your audience. For help using event technology to create dynamic content at your event, speak to our audio visual specialist Smart AV at info@smart-av.com