taking audience deeper v2

Taking your audience deeper

02.01.2019

The below article on designing immersive experiences is by Account Manager Sophie and Production Manager Kat. The piece recently appeared in C&IT.

Today all businesses are experience businesses. We’re surrounded by retail, leisure and product experiences that are personalised to our individual preferences, stimulate our senses and spark our emotions. Not surprisingly, when it comes to business events we expect more – we want to be taken deeper.

The good news for those of us creating B2B events is that there are vast amounts of inspiration to draw on. Below we share three immersive experiences from very different corners of the event world.

When Microsoft wanted to dramatise the launch of a new server and bring to life their expertise in data analysis they turned to digital art collective Universal Everything. The result was a custom-built Infinity Room, designed in code and running in real time; the mirrored room created an endless digital landscape. It premiered at a launch conference in San Francisco and was also open to the general public, resulting in a tsunami of trippy photos across social media.

There are two lessons we can learn from Microsoft’s Infinity Room. Firstly, no matter how intangible your product there are creative ways to immerse your audience. And, secondly, taking your audience deeper can be the key to amplification.

The second example is from the world of fashion. Chanel launched their spring 2019 collection with a trip to the seaside. Karl Lagerfeld transformed the exhibition hall at Le Grand Palais in Paris into a beach – sand covered every inch of the floor, there were lapping waves and a 360 panoramic sky backdrop. From the seagulls in the soundscape to the attentive lifeguard, every detail was considered, transporting guests from a grey October Paris to a warm day by the Med.

Chanel’s re-imagining of a catwalk show is a great example of the power of immersive theatre. Rather than digital wizardry, Karl Lagerfeld focused on physical set design, using both scale and attention to detail to wow the audience and reflect the brand. Yes, it must have been expensive. But it’s Chanel – it’s luxury!

If the above experiences seem left-field, Montreal’s C2 event is an example of a conference that’s challenging traditional behaviours and pushing the boundaries. With Cirque du Soleil as a founding partner you’d expect this 7,000-person business event to do things differently.

Talks are punctuated by live music, networking is curated in a specially designed Braindate lounge and ideas sessions see delegates hanging 18ft in the air.

C2 shows that by stimulating the senses you can generate emotion and help people have better conversations and make deeper connections.

As live experiences become ever more central to B2B communications, audiences have greater choice in what they attend and are becoming more demanding. For those of us designing business events this means finding new ways to engage them with content and with one another.

It means finding creative ways to take them deeper and events like those above are the perfect places to draw inspiration from.



interesting December v2

Interesting December

10.12.2018

It’s time for the final That’s Interesting of the year! Below we share some fantastic event inspiration to help keep things fresh in the coming weeks. In other news – we’re proud as punch to have been named Challenger Event Agency of the Year at the EVCOM Awards!

Most Interesting:

Interesting Breakfast – The Write Up (10min explore)
We recently hosted one of our Interesting Breakfasts. As well as great experiential content the team gave speed presentations. Check out the varied examples shared in talks on Immersive Experiences, Brain-Friendly Content, The Power of PPT, Stage Design Trends and Intelligent Networking.

Just Plain Interesting:

Adobe’s Incredible ‘Physical’ Event Identity  (2min explore)
Every year Adobe work with an artist to create their Summit identity. In 2018 the identity became an experience in it’s own right. A beautiful structure and a clever brand story.

Square’s Registration Wall – A Steal Worthy Idea (1min read)
We love it when people find ways to re-imagine often overlooked parts of events. Scroll through the article to see how Square injected creativity into registration.

Augmented Reality Without Glasses or Screens (2min explore)
Billed as ‘coming soon’ the Hololamp promises to be a wonderful new way for event audiences to engage with content. Don’t be put off by the dodgy restaurant food, Hololamp opens up really exciting creative opportunities.

Beautiful TED Experience (3min explore)
This isn’t new but gosh it’s pleasing on the eye. Wonderful physical typography and who doesn’t like an illusion chandelier?

Interesting Venues:

Magazine  – opening Summer 2019
Edwardian Leicester Square – opening 2020

And Something for Christmas:

Lego Bugatti

If there’s something interesting you think we should include, please share it via thatsinteresting@liveunion.co.uk



C2 networking ideas

Intelligent Networking Ideas for Events

Intelligent Networking Ideas for Events

26.11.2018

The second of our Interesting Breakfast topics was Intelligent Networking. Harriette shared a great mix of format and technology ideas, all designed to help your audience make more valuable connections.

Professional Introducer

Galvanize the networking at your event by bringing in someone who’s job it is to start better conversations.

Networking Lounge

Braindate is a networking solution that combines physical design and facilitated connections to create stronger communities at events.

Sweatworking 

A trend that sees events moving away from the traditional drinks reception, instead inviting attendees to join an exercise class. It’s proven that working out in a group creates a ‘tribe mentality’, encouraging trust and developing long lasting relationships.

Mixalot

Soon to be released, this a speed networking scavenger hunt. Attendees are paired using an algorithm and sent a text message with a location and name. Once in pairs they have a 10minute speed network. When the time’s up everyone is given a new location and person to meet.

Socio  

This app’s ‘Shake to Connect’ feature gives attendees a chance to find out who is around them and exchange contact details.

Social Wearables

Limbic Media’s ‘Capture the Rainbow’ game uses wearables to encourage networking. Delegates wear a coloured LED disc. The aim of the game is to get as many colours on your disc as possible. To do this attendees must start conversations and tap discs.



Brain Friendly Engagement for Events - Interesting Breakfast Talks

Thanks so much to everyone who came along to Thursday’s Interesting Breakfast. As promised, we’ll be putting all the content up here. If you’d like more detail on anything you heard or experienced just drop us a line.

Jez kicked things off, sharing five ways that presenters can make their content more brain-friendly. These examples can be used to inspire senior leaders to find new ways to deliver content.

Earn Attention 

Establish the relevance of the topic with an anecdote or startling statistic. Jamie Oliver used a statistic in a powerful way to grab the audience at the start of his TED Talk on Obesity.

Change the Pace & Dynamic 

This can be as simple as breaking up a presentation with a special guest. Intel’s CEO did something far more ambitious: a colleague joined him on stage, took a 3D scan of his body which was turned into an avatar and placed into a computer game.

Power of Live  Events

Finding creative ways to harness the immediacy of being face-to-face with an audience can be incredibly engaging. For a recent client presentation on demographics we inserted a worldometer API that shared live population data.

S.T.A.R (Something They’ll Always Remember) 

Identify the S.T.A.R moment in the presentation and then find creative ways to land it. Al Gore famously used a scissor lift to dramatise the rise in CO2 emissions – following the line off the chart.

Participation in Live Events 

The previous ideas are all great ways to engage audiences with big ideas, but business events also typically need to land more granular content. Presentations aren’t the best way to do this. Jez included two examples of formats that are less about speakers delivering content and more about audiences discovering meaning for themselves.

The first is a Traffic Light Session which sees the audience discussing ideas and indicating their response to it using voting paddles. The second is a Solution Room – a great way to harness the collective intelligence in the room and find practical solutions to people’s challenges.


Set Design Trends for Events - Interesting Breakfast

Conor took the helm for the third our Interesting Breakfast talks, sharing four trends in set design.

Raw Materials 

Sweeping corporate backdrops are out, replaced by a vogue for more left-field materials. As businesses choose varied and creative venues we’re seeing sets that echo the building’s design. Like this nice scaffolding example we came across created for Google.

Agility 

As events become more multi-dimensional, with the focus shifting from plenary sessions, so sets need to facilitate this. Below is an example of an event where the networking and plenary spaces have merged giving people a choice of how they engage with presentations.

360 Designs for Events

The desire for more intimate settings often leads to 360 solutions. This can of course be a challenge for presenters. The below trefoil set, designed by Live Union, kept the audience close without the need for presenting in the round.

Screen Solutions 

As innovative screens become more accessible, so an increasing number of events are replacing physical sets with interesting screen formats. Relying on fantastic screen content to engage their audience. The below screen design which we found with its beveled edges is a simple clean example.


In Praise of Powerpoint - Interesting Breakfast

Paul used his Interesting Breakfast slot to extol the virtues of PowerPoint. If you think PowerPoint has had its day – think again.

Animations for PPT

Paul started by sharing some of the exciting features found in the latest version of PowerPoint. Features such as Morph Transitions bring a level of movement and transition that was previously the preserve of professional animators.

Using Widescreen in Presentations

People imagine that wide-screen content has to be created in a different programme – Paul showed that in fact PowerPoint is perfect for non-traditional screen formats.

Having stepped through the process for creating wide-screen content using PowerPoint, Paul shared five benefits of going wide:

  1. Gets the audience closer to the action by opening up more landscape room layouts
  2. Encourages brain-friendly content with large powerful graphics
  3. Communicates a modern, tech savvy business
  4. Provides a more immersive experience
  5. Allows space for multiple feeds within a single ‘canvas’ – graphics / live camera / live data

As more venues install wide screens, the ability to create affordable, visually stunning, graphics will become vital, and PowerPoint provides the ideal solution.


Immersive Event Experiences

Immersive Experiences for Creative Events

The last of our Interesting Breakfast write-ups looks at Sophie and Kat’s splendid dive into immersive experiences.

Their talk focused on brands that are merging live and digital experiences, toying with people’s senses to achieve deep engagement.

 

Microsoft 

A mirrored infinity room displaying real-time code was installed in San Francisco’s financial district to engage people with the brand’s big data expertise. The endless digital landscape was experienced by invited clients and the larger public, trippy selfies flooded social media.

Samsung 

An interactive installation at Milan Design Week was created to celebrate the design of the Galaxy S8. Visitors journeyed through mesmerizing digital installations. Using their device they were able to create their own avatar, before seeing it come to life on a series of screens that appeared to float within the space.

Chanel cat walk

Chanel

If the previous examples took audiences into the future, Karl Lagerfeld’s vision for the launch of Chanel’s Spring 2019 collection was to take people to the seaside. The exhibition hall at Paris’ Le Grand Palais was re-imagined as a beach with sand covering every inch of the floor, a tidal machine creating lapping waves breaking against the shore and a coastline depicted on a panoramic backdrop.

C2 networking ideas

C2 

Billed as the world’s most innovative business conference, this Montreal event brings together 6,500 people to challenge conventions. With Cirque de Soleil as a founding partner, the experience is anything but a traditional conference – aerial networking being just one example of radically disrupting how people connect.

These four examples show brands embracing the experience economy; finding new ways to harness the power of live to deliver highly creative face-to-face interactions.


Interesting October

Welcome to the latest ‘That’s Interesting’ featuring the event-worthy discoveries that have been circulating the Live Union offices during October. On 22nd November we’ll be hosting one of our Interesting Breakfasts at the Soho Hotel. If you enjoy this newsletter then you’ll love it! Tickets are available here
 
Most Interesting:
Chanel’s Stunning Set Design (Quick watch)
Hat’s off to everyone involved in this gorgeous production. Nice threads too.
 
Just Plain Interesting:
Very cool Tape Art (2min explore)
A whole new world of graphic display. Perfect for your networking space, office or exhibition stand.
 
Screens Re-imagined (5min explore)
A Live Union report exploring incredible new ways to bring stories to life at events.
 
Huge Illuminated Flowers (2min explore)
We’ve just ordered a bunch of these epic blooms for an upcoming event.
 
Bill Gates Releases Mosquitoes into TED audience (2min watch)
The power of a simple prop or stunt to make sure audiences remember your point.
 
Projection Helmets (1min explore)
Who wouldn’t want to don one of National Geographic’s immersive space helmets?
 
The KidCat Team (1min explore)
The place to go for feline performers who project a live feed of what they’re looking at through their LED eyes!
 
Some things to go to:
Videogames – Design / Play / Disrupt at V&A
 
Yayoi Kusama at Victoria Miro
 
Skyline Skating at John Lewis

If there’s something interesting you think we should include, please share it via thatsinteresting@liveunion.co.uk


Screens Re-Imagined

Iceberg melts. Water floods arena. Audience engulfed in water. Bono avatar looms large over audience.

This mind-bending Augmented Reality spectacle awaits anyone with tickets to U2’s Experience + Innocence tour this Autumn.

These creative storytelling techniques are not the preserve of the stadium rock elite. New ways of delivering screen content are changing how we tell stories and communicate ideas within business events.

Why now is the right time to reassess how screens are being used at your events

Audiences

Our everyday relationship with screens has entirely changed. We engage with content across multiple screens, of widely different dimensions, often simultaneously. Where once we simply watched, now we touch and swipe.
So, when it comes to events, audiences have higher expectations for visual content and want to engage with screens in new ways.

Content

As businesses produce more multi-dimensional digital content, such as mixed reality product demonstrations or interactive sales presentations, live experiences are having to find new ways to use screens. At the same time, presenters are increasingly aware of the new possibilities that screens provide to tell their story.

Technology

Underpinning everything are rapid changes in technology, making new ways of using screens possible and dramatically bringing down costs. High resolution LED screens can be built to almost any shape, size or location and software innovations are making dynamic content available to a wider range of events.


Three ways to re-imagine your screens

1. Super-wide screens and beyond

The confines of the 16:9 format are long gone. Super-wide LED screens allow us to envelop audiences and change how we design content. Simply put, the screen is a canvass on which you can seamlessly arrange any combination of media: presentation graphics / audience response data / live camera / streams from beyond the event.

Whilst the default is often super-wide, it can be incredibly powerful to combine multiple screens and introduce other formats. The same content can run across multiple screens or be segmented to specific ones. This approach can be as engaging for an audience of 100 or 10,000 and can easily integrate PowerPoint or Keynote content.

The Power of Dynamic Graphics
Many visually stunning wide-screen events incorporate PowerPoint or Keynote content. But greater creative opportunities are to be found by using real-time graphics packages such as Ventuz. These allow you to create presentation content more akin to the graphics we’re familiar with on election night broadcasts or Sky Sports’ analysis.

Animated 3D graphics
TV quality visual effects

Live data
Feed live content into a presentation

Real-time rendering
Ability to change content at any point

Non-linear content
Presentations that can follow multiple paths


2. Projection mapping

Initially the preserve of the civic arts spectacle or movie launch, projection mapping has proven to be a powerful way to engage business audiences.

Projection mapping allows you to place content onto any surface, extending your content beyond a projection screen or doing away entirely with a screen and bringing a whole space to life.

The creative possibilities to transform a venue and transport your audience to a new place are immense. Projection mapping onto 3D stage sets is also a powerful way to deliver presentation content, different surfaces used for specific messages, to highlight stats or display video.


3. Augmented reality

Most people have some experience of AR, whether it’s arranging furniture using Ikea’s Place app or playing Pokemon Go. As with these examples, AR within event presentations melds the real world and computer-generated imagery.

The onstage presenter can be placed into a different composite world when viewed on screen. This opens up fascinating opportunities. If, for example, you have a large product that can’t physically be present at the event, the presenter can interact with it live on screen.


If you’d like to explore exciting new ways of using screens to engage your audience then do get in touch.

Coming next …

Screens Re-imagined – part 2 – Beyond the main-stage: new ways to use screens to create powerful personalised experiences


Interesting September

Welcome to September’s That’s Interesting. Our shortlist of the most useful and inspiring things we’ve come across this month in the world of events.

If you enjoy it, then please do share!

Most Interesting:
Great Augmented Reality Presentation – 5min watch
Brilliant example of innovating main stage content. For more of this kind of thing request a copy of our next thinkpiece ‘Re-imagining Screens’!

Plain Interesting:
Inspiration from Ebay’s Seller Conference – 3min read
Hyper-targeted networking, events within events, pop-up stages…

Real World Data Viz – 1min explore
Wonderfully creative ways to bring data to life in the real world. Perfect for networking areas.

Domino Artist – 5min watch
Surely we can find a reason to include a domino artist at an event!

Typographical Seating – 1min explore
Seating and signage become one with these alphabet chairs at the London Design Festival. Not to be out done how about the world’s largest bean bag at London Fashion Week?

Gorgeous Modular Touch Sensitive Lighting – 2min explore
Lovely interactive event design idea with possibilities for audience collaboration (or just buy one for home)

Burning Man – Report From The Front Line Of The Experience Economy  – 3min read
How long until your event features Ken & Barbie cosplay or a ‘break your caterpillar cage’ yoga session?

Venue to know about:
Circus West
New event spaces coming on-line at Battersea Power Station

Things to go to:
Flo and Joan: Alive On Stage
Darkly witty musical comedy duo, live at Soho Theatre

Esquire Townhouse
Britain’s most stylish pop-up members club hosts a 4 day extravaganza of fun, food and fashion! With talks from the likes of Christian Louboutin, a live performance from Tom Odell and even a Martini making masterclass!

If there’s something interesting you think we should include, please share it via thatsinteresting@liveunion.co.uk