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The IPG Pop Up on New Event Technology

Throughout July and August, we held a pop up event at our new 40,000 sq. ft HQ to enable those working in events, production and exhibitions to come down, experience, play and interact with some of the latest technology solutions to arrive in the events industry. Event technology has to be seen firsthand, to really connect with a visitor or designer and we knew that providing a comprehensive display of the latest solutions would help our clients to see what’s available for the events season ahead. Here’s a little look at what we had on show…

Personalised welcome experience

Visitors were welcomed with a personalised interactive experience involving a 55” Philips multitouch kiosk and an LED videowall. Once their name was entered onto the interactive screen, they were simultaneously welcomed on the adjacent LED videowall and by their Smart AV point of contract, who was notified of their arrival via an automated email.

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First stop was a drink and pastry (or glass or Pimms!) in the boardroom, where our latest Social Hubb software was being displaying on the new 95” Samsung ME large format screen, showing a flowing live feed of tweets, Instagram posts and Facebook updates surrounding the event, for visitors to get involved using the hashtag #IPGPopUp

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There was also a showcase of the IPG divisions playing on a custom-made Samsung 46” videowall to give an introduction to the four divisions.

Onto the LED…

First up out of our four new types of indoor and outdoor LED was the smart edge 3.9mm LED which has a corner block design, allowing it to be turned into a cubed or right-angled design…or as we had here a 3D rubix cube which was managed using a Watchout 6 server.

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The next room showed off projection mapping in an innovative display which used both projection and LED. This was led by a Watchout 6 server which allowed it to create a coordinated display across the two mediums.

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The interactive showcase

As one of the biggest suppliers of multitouch equipment in the UK and Europe, the next room was a hub of interactive and multitouch software. This included the 42” transparent showcase screen, which bought together a physical product with an interactive digital overlay that gave information about the product through video, touch content and 3D renders.

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Also included was the Multitaction 42” screen – a groundbreaking multitouch solution which has object recognition and reacts to movement, touch and shape using 32 cameras that allow it to distinguish between each. The multitaction table can react to 1000s of different coded objects, which make it a great product for creating a truly personalised event experience for individual visitors.

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Next up, was a 4×4 seamless wall – a Smart AV classic which is used in exhibition and event settings throughout the world. What was unique about this videowall solution was that it was powered by a VENTV2 software – allowing for live content drops with no loading time required.


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3.9mm LED with touch

The big one. And without a doubt the most popular feature at the IPG Pop Up event – a high-resolution 3.9mm LED wall – with touch capabilities. This allowed visitors to manipulate the car shown on screen, changing its colour, design and viewpoint, all with a touch.

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Smart Digital

Next stop was a studio setup from Smart Digital, showcasing their dynamic Event TV platform which allows event visitors to have their own content channel broadcast throughout an event or exhibition via a network of cutting-edge screens, mobile devices and event apps. This is where we recorded the below digital collateral from the event.

Curved LED

The latest LED to join our fleet. 100 sq. metres of curved 5.9mm high-resolution LED which can be used indoor and outdoor. This 3m x 7m design showed off the product’s curved capabilities in both convex and concave formation, up to 5 degrees on each.

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Outdoor LED

The high-resolution outdoor LED which was flown outside to show off its resistance to even the brightest light conditions, is a brand new solution to the events industry. With a pixel pitch of just 5.9mm, this is four times the resolution of traditional outdoor LED shown at outdoor events.

To enquire about any of the technology used in the IPG Pop Up event please get in touch with our team at info@smart-av.com or view our video showcase from the event

How to Lose an Event Attendee in 5 Ways

Exhibiting at an event is your chance to attract potential customers in a live event environment and allow them to see, hear, touch and experience your product or service first hand.

The problem? Attracting event attendees in a crowded space, when the 50 or so stands around you are looking to do the same thing. Visitors need to be engaged, interested and see a reason to investigate further. In our experience, here are some of the ways you could be missing out on attracting your audience:

1. Not starting early enough

Your pre-event activity is almost as important as the on-stand activity itself. Start at least a month prior to the show and let visitors know about your presence, finding a unique angle to tell them what you’ll be showcasing. Take advantage of any editorial opportunities offered by the organisers and make the most of free channels such as social media and your own email stream, to really ramp up the marketing. Also ensure that you make contact with your suppliers as early as possible – in AV at least, we know that the earlier we work with an exhibitor the more options and advice we can provide to ensure that they really make the most of the technology they employ and that it works hard for them, to fulfill bottom-line company aims at the show.

2. Not thinking about how you’ll engage attendees

Engagement. It’s a word that we hear often in the world of events but it’s also one that companies don’t think about enough, when it comes to planning their exhibition stand. In an environment where you have just moments to attract attention, it’s crucial to think about the journey your visitor will take and the moments where they’ll be engaged on your stand. This is where the technology solutions you employ should directly benefit you, by drawing delegates in and engaging them with what you do. An interactive screen, table or kiosk is a great tool you can position in just the right area, so that attendees are drawn onto the stand and begin interacting with your company content even if they are reluctant to directly approach a salesmember. The latest ultra-HD 4K screens, are another powerful-pull, as they have four times more detail than full HD and will therefore set your stand apart from the others surrounding it.

3. A Sales team without the tools or preparation to make an impact

Second only to the design and technology you employ, is the importance of the people you place on your stand. These are the faces of your company during the event and it’s vital that they put on a great show. Too many sales staff are reluctant to approach visitors or too busy talking to other colleagues or checking emails. Prepare your team well in advance, to ensure that they know what to expect and have them practice how they will approach stand visitors with a short ‘elevator pitch’ and two or three lead in questions. A custom-branded tablet or iPad is one solution that makes a huge difference to how a sales team interacts with visitors on a stand, as it gives them a low-key way to introduce the company content to the attendee, in a format that is familiar and easy to use. This works as a fantastic ice-breaker and is also key in capturing attendee data that can be followed up on at a later date.

4. Forgetting to organise incentives

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Incentives don’t have to be monetised ideas but you will need to consider how you’ll persuade an attendee to part with their data or tell you more about their aims at the show. Sometimes all this will take is a sit down area, where you can really get into what they’re looking to achieve and how your company might be able to help. Other times, you may need to create a relevant giveaway or an element of gamification to help the visitor journey flow. A tool such as Poken is a great incentive for attendees to share data, as the NFC element allows it to be transferred ‘at a touch’ – a fun and simple way to encourage networking at your stand.

5. Not creating a follow-up plan

Before the event has started, think about your plan of attack after it has finished. It will be much easier to keep the line of conversation open, if you already have a process to follow that will help create post-show engagement. This could be a simple follow-up email, with the next steps outlined or even a touchpoint process, where you thank the attendee on social media, followed by a general email mailshot and then a personalised follow-up a week later once the hype of the show has calmed down.

What are the worst offences you see on exhibition stands and how would you combat them? Let us know on Twitter @incredible_pg

Should You Choose an Industry-Accredited Supplier?

There are many accreditations and associations within the events industry – it’s one of the aspects that makes it such a community-driven vocation.

For audio visual suppliers like ourselves, it offers a chance to validate the service we provide, leading to further recommendation from a third-party source that the event organiser or agency can trust. For organisers, agencies and event professionals, it offers a rich database of suppliers in everything from catering, to event production, which can help them to make an informed decision about the partners they use for their event. Some accreditations, such as our recognition of sustainability; ISO 20121, is now a requirement for some large events and we are finding ourselves approached more and more, by exhibition organisers who need to work with suppliers who are conscious of their impact on the environment.

This led us to question; should you choose an industry-accredited supplier for your events?

Let’s take a look at the benefits:

  • Better service. Industry accreditations such as ESSA (Event Supplier and Services Association) only accept members who are recognised as providing a consistently high level of service to the organisers they work with. ESSA provides this recognition by seeking testimonials and references from organisers that the supplier has worked with in the past.
  • Worldwide reach. Smart AV is part of an association called GNET (Global Network of Association and Management) and the AV Alliance, creating a network of industry leaders and business professionals around the world that can be called on, in order to provide the same level of quality across the world, reduce costs or enable a last-minute event turnaround.
  • Improved relationships. In the words of ESSA “The development of a closer relationship and understanding between organisers and their suppliers and venues can only benefit the industry as a whole.” This is something we believe in and we always try to work with our clients as a partner, rather than as just an AV supplier.
  • Wider benefit to the event. Accreditations such as ISO 20121 is a management system standard that has been designed to help suppliers like ourselves and others within the events industry, improve the sustainability of our events. This is beneficial to the organiser and supplier, as it puts into place practices that ensure the company grows at a sustainable rate, gives back to the community and operates a more efficient and environmentally friendly business. In terms of direct benefits to the event, ISO 20121 ensures that any event-related organisation can continue to be financially successful and become more socially responsible, reducing the event’s environmental footprint and saving money in the long run.

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Some of the event industry associations Smart AV belongs to include:

ESSA

The Event Supplier and Services Association has 207 members and represents contractors and suppliers of good and services to the exhibition industry. Smart AV has been a member of ESSA for many years and it gives clients the opportunity to review the company’s work before they commit to a contract with them.

AV Alliance

As a member of the AV Alliance, Smart AV is able to utilise the offering of trusted partners to supply and support its clients throughout the world. Becoming a member also means that we have fulfilled every aspect of a certain set of criteria, including a specific level of technical expertise, installation, high-quality equipment and certificates of performance.

GNET

Smart AV’s directors are part of a global network where they can easily contact and confer with other association executives throughout the world. All members are similarly minded within matters of an international nature and this network allows them to share views with a multitude of global peers.

ISO20121

Smart AV are proud to have been the first audio visual supplier to become BS8901 approved back in 2011 (the British Standard of Sustainability) and are now recognised with the international standard; ISO 20121. This ensures that we are always working to minimise the environmental impacts associated with the events industry, which can often lead to extended benefits for our clients, including reduced costs and more tightly organised onsite deployment.

To learn more about our industry accreditations and find out how they could benefit your events, please get in touch at info@smart-av.com – we’d love to hear from you

PRESS RELEASE

Smart AV announces the launch of the Incredible Pixel Group

Leading AV specialist Smart AV today announces the launch of the Incredible Pixel Group (IPG).

IPG is a full-service technology solutions provider that brings together the company’s four primary business divisions, namely Smart AV, Smart Digital, Smart Solutions and Poken, to deliver a suite of smart, interactive, digital products, technology and services to events around the world.

All divisions are based at the company’s new 40,000 square foot HQ in Harlow with a new client showroom for product demonstrations and clean space to house over 5,000 square foot of creative LED.

Darren Poultney, Managing Director of Smart AV and Founder of the new IPG, says: “Over the past decade we have developed an in-depth knowledge of client requirements when it comes to technology at events. Our skillset and product range has continued to evolve over this period and the new Incredible Pixel Group brand reflects our extensive range of products and services delivered by our component divisions.

“We have been known as an expert AV company and we will continue to focus on that market in addition to offering our broader technology solutions under the IPG banner. I am proud of the team behind our continued success and delighted to be unveiling this new identity that is a more accurate reflection of our business in 2015.”

The four divisions of IPG will continue to operate in their respective specialist areas. In the AV space, Smart AV will continue to offer LED, multi-touch and audio visual solutions for the events marketing space. Its offering ranges from indoor and outdoor LED and multi-touch video walls through to smaller LED and LCD displays and IT equipment.

Smart Solutions has been formed solely to work with production agencies and bespoke stand builders  where a higher spec and more complex equipment requirement is needed. The team has a wealth of experience in all aspects of LED, projection and media server techniques.

In terms of digital media, Smart Digital provides comprehensive media solutions for event organisers and venues through Event TV, a broadcast medium which delivers videos, live interviews and show reels that can be used throughout the marketing life-cycle of an event, providing online content and supporting social media campaigns.

IPG will offer a range of revenue generation and digital networking opportunities for exhibition and event organisers via its Poken division. Poken is a digital, green event suite that provides networking, lead generation and engagement solutions to the events industry. Poken’s range of products and services includes registration and badging, web and mobile apps, digital document collection, gamification, full metrics reporting, meeting planning and match making.

IPG’s new website at: www.ipgroup.co.uk is now live

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