The editors of Event Marketer present the 2017 Experience Design & Technology Awards, the world’s only marketing awards program recognizing the best use of design and technology in live experiences. The brands and partners who delivered the best designed experiences and most effectively “wired” engagements are honored in this year’s program.
These days, you either like avocados, or you’re wrong. The delicious superfood’s popularity has skyrocketed in recent years—a fact not lost on Avocados From Mexico, the official food court sponsor of this year’s South by Southwest festival. In an effort to leverage the popularity of the fruit, offer attendees a personalized experience and make authentic connections with festivalgoers, the brand introduced a digital interface for its “Avo-matic” food truck that allowed consumers to custom-order their fare on interactive touch screens.
To align the activation with its #avohappiness messaging, Avocados From Mexico leveraged custom facial emotion tracking software on each touch screen that tracked when the consumer was smiling, and how big. The thought process behind the cutting-edge tech was that sometimes, good feelings start with a smile (not the other way around). The brand believed that by asking festivalgoers to smile, the engagement automatically produced positive associations with the experience, the food and the brand.
How it worked: The diner was instructed to smile as a dial measured the size of their grin and the amount of time it was held. Once designated smile requirements were met, consumers were congratulated with a reward screen, gifted a surprise digital photo of themselves mid-smile for social sharing and encouraged to interact with 3D animation of a robot that provided recipe and avocado hacks until the Avo-matic delivered the diners’ custom food order through a slot. Fun fact: A “happiness meter” tracked how long consumers were smiling. If they let their expression slip, the meter would return to zero until they grinned again (nice touch).
Ultimately, #avoshappiness became the largest trending hashtag of the entire event—a metric that no doubt earned smiles from the brand, as well.
Campaign: Gatorade G Bands Client: PepsiCo Partner: Mirror Show Management
Gatorade wanted athletic trainers who attend the 2017 Influencer Conferences to drink in its message—that as an innovator in sports fuel and nutrition, it had shifted focus from hydration to 24/7 athlete and sports fuel—and the Gatorade G Band achieved that goal. The orange wristband embedded with an RFID chip not only made a fashion statement, it gave attendees a richer, more meaningful experience as they learned about Gatorade innovation in sports fuel and nutrition through personal interactions, educational sessions and activities inside and outside of the exhibit.
Attendees received the G Band at check-in, and using their personal devices, registered it on a microsite. They then used the band to check into the learning environment of their choice: Fuel Bar, Partner Pods, Team Tables or the Expert Chat area. At each interaction, they were greeted by name and experienced content tailored to their customer type. Afterwards, they visited the G Desk to receive Gatorade-branded favors such as a Bluetooth-enabled lock and a Gatorade shaker bottle. The more interactions, the more they received.
The RFID chip made users’ identities visible to the system when they checked in, which allowed content to be personalized for each of them. The technology captured attendee interactions right down to the individual, and also allowed Gatorade to observe overall booth activity, track movement between stations and monitor dwell times.
Out of 6,800 show attendees, 4,084 registered a G Band for the Gatorade learning experience. Over the course of the three-day show, attendees spent 144 hours viewing video content alone.
Best Combination of Event Technologies (B-to-C) – Gold
Client: Target Campaign: MLS All-Star Game Rally Partner: Wasserman
How does a brand create an activation that is authentic to its roots yet totally unique at the same time? Target’s pre-game rally in downtown Chicago for the 2017 MLS All-Star Game found the right formula through an interactive 3D projection mapping experience that combined moving bullseye targets with penalty kicks aimed at the iconic Tribune Tower, stoking the crowd of 23,000 into a frenzy.
As the new official sponsor of the game, Target created the 2017 MLS All-Star Game Rally to generate buzz among Chicagoans and the soccer fans in town. The daylong fan festival featured MLS player appearances, on-site customized apparel, local Chicago food trucks, Bullseye the Dog and more.
As night fell, the space became a spectacle that literally took soccer to new heights as guests performed penalty kicks on moving bullseye targets on an LED wall on the Tribune Tower. A “hit” would channel one of several animations that appeared to shatter the Tower and an accompanying bullseye; with a miss, the building appeared to dodge the ball or send it bouncing backwards toward the fans. Sound effects provided the final touch, amplifying the rising noise of the crowd.
The never-been-done-before experience announced Target’s presence to soccer fans and Chicagoans alike and created a deeper engagement with soccer’s on-field action. More than 3,000 people attended the projection hour, with an additional 20,000 impressions based on sightlines down the Chicago River. Besides the building, the projection lit up a positive +80 net sentiment score.
Best Combination of Event Technologies (B-to-B) – Gold
Client: SAP Campaign: SAPPHIRE NOW Partner: In-house
This year’s SAPPHIRE NOW served as a launch pad for SAP Leonardo, a digital innovation system that integrates machine learning, internet of things, blockchain and big data and runs them seamlessly through the cloud. The conference also sealed SAP’s position as an innovator and immersed its 20,000 global attendees in an SAP Leonardo experience. The action began with the opening keynote announcement by ceo Bill McDermott and continued onto the SAPPHIRE NOW campus show floor where attendees experienced the new technology first-hand and in a personalized way.
The SAP Leonardo Experience, an immersion theater on the SAPPHIRE NOW show floor, brought the announcement to life via virtual reality and a 360-degree floor-to-ceiling video display that gave a short overview of the technology. Dramatic 30-foot-high walls branded with LED screens marked its entrance, while its central position made it the focal point of the show floor.
From there, the journey led to one of four connected showcases—Intelligent Retail, Smart City, Distributed Manufacturing and Digital Integration—all placed in a radial form around the experience zone, creating an X-shaped layout with the SAP Leonardo Experience at its center. Each showcase offered an immersive experience that highlighted different innovation aspects of SAP Leonardo and incorporated a mix of technologies, including projection mapping, touch screens, machine learning and artificial intelligence. Interactive displays featured a self-driving electric car and 3D-printed objects.
The strategy was brilliant. SAPPHIRE NOW’s show floor wowed attendees with a glimpse of the future and positioned SAP as a leader in cloud technologies.
TELUS’ #ShareLove campaign (#AimonsNous, in French) had people at pride parades and festivals across Canada puckering up and taking kissing selfies, all in an effort to show its commitment to diversity and inclusiveness. #ShareLove supported the LGBTQ community and drove team member engagement across TELUS. The campaign also generated affinity and selling opportunities for the brand.
Here’s how TELUS shared the love: A #ShareLove cam snapped an attendee’s kissing selfie, which was randomly paired with others on a big screen that traveled on trucks in parades, at festivals and at pop-up locations. Brand ambassadors also captured the images on cell phones alongside guerrilla activations and before the parades began. Proprietary software immediately displayed the images on large LED screens in such a way that they were the same size and that the lips matched up. People also took their own kissing selfies for posting on social media. TELUS’ wireless network technology powered it all, enhancing the experience and showcasing the network while amplifying the #ShareLove message.
People could enter their kissing selfie into an online contest to win a trip to Pride in Montreal. A cause marketing campaign encouraged #ShareLove or #AimonsNous hashtag usage to drive donations to Rainbow Railroad to support LGBTQ refugees coming into Canada.
More than 3,600 kissing selfies provided the content used in #ShareLove videos that were shared on social media. The videos garnered more than two million views, amplifying TELUS’ message that love can be shared across all genders, ethnicities and sexualities. Mwaaaaah!
Client: Papa John’s Campaign: Pan Pizza VIP Launch Partner: TriMark Digital
What could be better than a thick, crispy slice of Papa John’s Pan pizza? How about the chance to win whole pies before they were available to the public. That was the strategy behind the launch of the pizza chain’s new Pan pizza to VIP fans in the Carolinas, before any other local market in the country and prior to the Pan becoming available nationwide. The goal—to increase visibility and drive sales of the product with an engaging and memorable social media campaign.
Proprietary photography and video content featured in a variety of interactive games prompted users to try to win the pizza. The fun, exclusive nature of the content engaged fans and rewarded users for being a part of the community. Papa John’s leveraged the campaign through its Carolinas’ Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages. Facebook’s Ads Manager promoted the giveaways and promo code offer to more than 32 million potential customers in the Carolinas market.
More than 500 winners snagged the tasty giveaways on all three social channels. Winners received individual messages thanking them for their participation and a unique code for the free pizza. Pan pizza launch content was shared nearly 900 times, driving organic reach in addition to users reached via paid support. In addition, shares on Facebook and Twitter and boosted posts through Facebook’s Ads Manager reached a wider audience.
The results? More than a million users were reached over an 11-day period and content generated 8,086 comments and 106,549 video views. No word on how much pepperoni was consumed.
Best Touch- or Gesture-Based Event Interactive – Gold
Client: Google Creative Lab Campaign: AnyPixel.js Partner: Deeplocal
Google Creative Lab wanted something cool—a big installation that was interactive and fun to play with—for the lobby of its New York City office. A giant screen would have been easy, but not much fun. Instead, Google went with something different—a display made of nearly 6,000 light-up arcade buttons acting as interactive pixels controlled by a web page. Then it went a step further asking, wouldn’t it be even more fun if developers, coders and makers could build their own displays running apps they created for it?
Anypixel is a web-friendly way for anyone, even a class of kids learning to program, to build unusual displays. The content creation system is simple. Anyone who can make a piece of web content can build interactive content using Anypixel, an open-source software and hardware library that makes it possible to create big, unusual, interactive displays. All you need to know is how to draw on an HTML canvas element.
Google’s permanent Anypixel display consists of hardware made of independent modules, each with a custom driver and an LED board with 196 pixels daisy-chained on an IP network. Front end and interactive apps provide the custom content that drive the interactions. On the backend, a Chrome application runs the apps and handles communications and system diagnostics.
Anypixel is vibrant, invites interaction and is in constant motion. It welcomes employees and visitors alike to press one of the buttons, and to engage in a uniquely, “Googley” way. Since its installation, it’s inspired as many as 40,000 presses in one day.
When 1,200 wealthy and influential Middle Eastern women gather for an exclusive private event in the Qatari desert, you want to be sure to entertain them and delight them, and that’s just what the Infinity Wall achieved with its glowing, abstract designs undulating on the dusty, desolate horizon.
With less than one month lead time, event designer Fahad Signature tasked U.S.-based experiential design firm Megavision Arts with designing and producing a 3D projection-mapped environment that served multiple purposes, among them: to engage the women as they arrived at the secluded location, to obscure the enormous tent that housed the event and to introduce the guests to the design motif, which morphed and transitioned throughout the evening.
Working with Creative Technology-Middle East, Megavision Arts engineered a plan that involved high-powered digital projectors blended together and controlled by a Watchout media server. In front of the 54,000-square-foot tent stood a football field-sized fabric-covered wall, 330 feet wide by 30 feet high. Eighteen double-stacked Panasonic DZ21K digital projectors projection-mapped 3D animations onto the wall, creating the illusion of a seamless, large-scale kinetic modern art installation floating in the desert. A custom score with synchronized sound design distributed through a surround-sound system enhanced the experience. Due to the time crunch, artists worked around the clock on-site and in a temporary studio set up at the St. Regis Hotel in Doha.
The powerful installation captivated guests and stopped traffic on the nearby main road. Ahlam, a popular Gulf region singer, staged a photo shoot there after the event.
Client: Nike Campaign: Test Stride Partner: Leviathan
Nike’s Test Stride obstacle course, a one-time pop-up that took place in Shanghai, offered influencers and athletes a high-tech and shareable opportunity to test Nike SneakerBoots and Tech Pack Aeroloft jackets—both hybrids designed for cold-weather comfort and style. Replete with lights, visuals and complex obstacles, the aesthetic was ultra-contemporary, in line with the product line’s look and feel.
Competitors suited up and signed in on a tablet at the Test Stride entrance, which opened up into a large room where the obstacle course sat in a 170-foot-long U-shape. The shape allowed the audience to photograph participants as they raced against the clock and provided maximum exposure for product displays. A 30-foot-wide, nine-foot-high LED screen alongside the course created motion and depth, displayed encouraging messaging and stats and triggered animation sequences.
Test Stride presented five obstacles—ascend, traverse, escape, vault and leap—across corresponding obstacles that included jagged terrain, flooded streetscape, barricaded alley, taxi and a concrete stair. Each was accompanied by a custom 3D and motion animation. An interactive system of laser-based optical ranging sensors and other signals tracked participants’ movement through the zones and triggered content and real-time effects, all displayed on the LED screen. Additional short, surreal CG vignettes about Nike SneakerBoot’s counterattack on winter conditions matched the product displays.
Eighty not-so-easily impressed celebrities, bloggers, athletes and “sneakerheads” ran the course. The physical action paired with interactive digital media effectively created a sensational brand spectacle and shareable opportunity to test out Nike’s winterwear. And look good while doing it.
Best Use Of Virtual Reality Or Augmented Reality – Gold
Client: Ford Campaign: Advanced Reality Partners: EPIC, Imagination, Kitestring, NCAM
Augmented reality solved an age-old auto show conundrum for Ford—how to reveal in-car innovations in an understandable and engaging way to people who can’t see them and who can’t even get inside the cars. Through AR, Ford was able to demonstrate the aerodynamics behind the thrilling ride of the GT supercar, show the speaker system and award-winning engine under the hood of the EcoSport and reveal the pedestrian avoidance technology built into the F-150.
Ford told the story through three five-minute presentations, one for each of the vehicles, which turned 360 degrees every hour. Every 20 minutes, one of the vehicles would line up with an LED, providing a canvas for its cameras to capture, while a human presenter and AR overlays told its story. Visitors could see the real vehicle in front of them and at the same time see the technology stories overlaid on the vehicle on the LED screen behind it.
The AR was built out of a game engine that could adapt to the needs of the presentation, camera location and audience. NCAM Live multi-sensor 3D tracking technology created the positioning and real-time connection to the Unreal Engine. A camera rig with two fish-eye lenses aimed at the ceiling instead of the floor, enabling the camera to understand and relay its position to the Unreal Engine. That engine then mapped animations over the vehicles that helped tell the stories.
Seventy-six percent of Ford’s total visitors experienced the AR presentation and rated the experience positively. For real.
Client: South by Southwest Campaign: SXSW GO Partner: Eventbase
SXSW this year offered conference attendees its most ambitious mobile app yet, “The Intelligent Event App.” The app, available for iOS and Android, deployed a purpose-built, intelligent chat bot with never-seen-before capabilities that streamlined the attendee experience in a highly individual way, and offered personalized recommendations that helped attendees make the most of their on-site experience.
“Abby,” the chat bot, conversed with users via text and voice command, replicating a concierge-style experience as it provided detailed answers on over 6,000 sessions and 250 venues with personality and a sense of fun. Its natural language processor formulated attendee questions into logical queries, then routed them through a web service to the appropriate source. For frequently asked questions, Abby searched a set of pre-programmed responses for the appropriate answer. More complex questions were routed to the full database of event content and brought back images along with details on a session, speaker, venue or exhibitor. Each day, Abby’s responses were fine-tuned to ensure the user experience continued to improve.
For the SXSW Recommends feature, a sophisticated matching algorithm helped deliver personalized, hyper-local recommendations. For instance, a network of Bluetooth beacons detected the users’ location, then suggested people they may want to meet who were in the same session room.
The app garnered positive reviews from SXSW attendees who asked Abby 56,000 questions. More than 16,000 attendees interacted with the chat bot, with more than 1,000 of them engaging with it upwards of 10 times. SXSW Recommends facilitated thousands of new connections and seamless networking. Very intelligent, indeed.
Client: Amazon Campaign: The Tick Takeover Partner: NVE Experience Agency
One way to cut through the noise at San Diego Comic-Con is to erect a 20-foot animatronic tick head that is visible from all major landmarks and allows guests waiting in line to control its “emotions” by pulling levers that operated its antennas. That, along with a custom Amazon Prime Member Lounge and a scavenger hunt through set replicas from “The Tick” series delivered an experience that captured fan attention while effectively measuring impact.
RFID tap stations supported every component of the three-phased activation. Guests registered in the Prime Member Lounge where they used the RFID-enabled wristbands to unlock photo moments and sneak peeks of the pilot and series, then tapped out of the Lounge by answering a brief survey to earn Tick swag items, such as branded phone chargers and Tick antennas.
During the A Hero’s Journey scavenger hunt, guests, or “citizens,” used the wristbands to unlock “clues” hidden throughout four rooms as they helped the series’ protagonist protect the city from villains. Transformed into “heroes” in the final room, they redeemed their clues for swag, posed in a 360-degree photo moment and shared the photos on social networks. Swag redemption stations involved further survey items to gather additional guest information and metrics.
RFID technology literally became the pillar that upheld the campaign and drove its success, masking data capture as a game for guests and transforming an experience into a powerful vehicle for analytics. Info captured from more than 6,000 guests helped to build a robust report.
To make the world forget about the Note7 and bring to life the Galaxy Note8 smartphone, Samsung took its “Do Bigger Things” tagline to heart, producing a larger-than-life experience that pushed the limits of the standard product launch.
In an effort to dazzle the 1,700 VIPs, clients and press in attendance, Samsung took over the 55,000-square-foot Drill Hall at the historic Park Avenue Armory in Manhattan. Attendees entered the space through an LED tunnel that was designed to transport them from the “old world” of the Armory into the high-tech, futuristic world Samsung presented. Once inside, they were met with an 80-foot ultra-high resolution LED floor—the largest ever produced—and two 80-feet-wide by 40-feet-tall LED screens. Device-themed graphics and animations seamlessly flowed from the floor up onto the screens, creating a 3D effect, and making it appear as though the product was floating in space.
When it came time for the unveiling of the Galaxy Note8, Samsung delivered a 45-minute presentation filled with brand storytelling, videos, animated graphics and state-of-the-art audio as guests looked on from arena-style seating and 46 million digital attendees viewed a live stream of the event.
A high-tech product experience area featuring 38 custom-fabricated demo stations also allowed attendees to experience the brand’s technology for themselves. The stations were staffed by 100 Samsung employees who helped guests navigate more than 400 of the brand’s devices. The area also featured two interactive tables and an accessory wall showcasing a broad range of Samsung Mobile products.
The launch ultimately generated more than two million engagements with the brand on Facebook and Twitter, and earned 825,000 social media impressions. No phoning it in here.
Client: Nike Campaign: Station 97 Partners: Boiler Room, iDEKO Productions
An abandoned New York City subway station might sound like the setting of a horror movie, but for Nike, it was the perfect place to activate a ’90s-themed launch event inspired by the era’s underground (literally, in this case) rave scene. Dubbed “Station 97,” the 4,000-square-foot “club” played host to an exclusive list of sneakerheads and Nike fans who came to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Nike Air Max 97 sneaker, and view the unveiling of the new Air Max 97 Ultra.
The consumer journey started with check-in on the street level where attendees received wristbands and were directed to the dance party taking place below. Underground in the abandoned station at 163rd St. and Amsterdam, three djs from the Boiler Room music broadcasting platform spun throughout the night as attendees enjoyed small bites, engaged with retro newspaper stands and viewed reflective Air Max posters featuring facts about the classic Nike runner, which produced an illuminated effect when photographed. And, of course, those classic ’90s glow sticks popped up throughout the space.
The main attraction, however, was a 3,000-square-foot SNKRS product display zone. The area featured classic sneakers pulled from the Nike archives displayed in custom cases and illuminated by 3M strips. The display zone also gave attendees the opportunity to buy new colors of the Air Max 97 Ultras and receive a gift with purchase.
By the time the lights came on and the last drink was served, the brand had managed to evoke ’90s-era nostalgia while also positioning itself as a forward-thinking company that understands its audience. Sounds like competitors wouldn’t mind walking a mile in Nike’s shoes.
Client: Deep Eddy Vodka Campaign: Deep Eddy Vodka Dive In Tour Partners: Timeless Travel Trailers, Publicis Hawkeye
If you’ve ever dreamed of experiencing the classic 1950s diner scene, Deep Eddy Vodka’s Dive-In Tour was about as close as you could get. The brand traveled the country in three vintage Spartan trailers customized with ’50s décor, a built-in bar and lounge, and even live pin-up girls in an effort to boost brand awareness and engagement. You dig?
For a company that bills its product as “classic American vodka,” the mid-century modern-themed experience couldn’t have been more on-brand. From retro checkerboard flooring, to the polished, diner-style lounge, to the vinyl 45 rpm records preserved in the resin-filled bar top, the activation was dripping with Americana.
Each branded trailer was customized with a flip-up wing and stage, creating a 235-square-foot branded space with an open layout that allowed the experience to overflow into the surrounding area. The interior of each vehicle included a custom wrap-around bar where attendees could sip on signature Deep Eddy cocktails, and a large cooler to keep the drinks (and the consumers) chillin’. There was also a product display that showcased Deep Eddy’s full line of merchandise.
In the rear of the trailer, a lounge area invited attendees to kick back on the sofa and relax with a drink, while a small photo booth made the experience a breeze to share socially. In addition, three flat-screen TVs and built-in speakers broadcast promotional videos and various sporting events, which could be viewed from both inside and outside the vehicle.
A hyper-customized experience where cocktails are served—we’ll drink to that.
Client: Association of Equipment Manufacturers Campaign: The Tech Experience at CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2017 Partners: Jack Morton Worldwide, GES
They say you can lead a construction worker to technology, but you can’t make him use it. OK, maybe we made that up, but according to data from the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), the construction industry is particularly slow when it comes to adopting new technologies. In an effort to change that perception, engage a younger audience and position itself as an industry thought leader, AEM activated The Tech Experience at CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2017. The experience, dubbed an “un-event” by the brand—unexpected, unconventional and undeniably important—was designed to make attendees feel as if they were stepping into the future of the construction industry.
Spanning 75,000-square-feet, The Tech Experience was segmented into curated vignettes that encouraged attendees to interact with ground-breaking technology designed to help construction professionals succeed in the global marketplace. The Infrastructure Zone included an advanced materials lab spotlighting future smart, adaptive and sustainable materials and modern mobility concepts. The Jobsite Zone demonstrated the safety and efficiency of autonomous and hybrid vehicles, and underscored the benefits of leveragingartificial intelligence to increase productivity and profitability.
Over in the Workforce Zone, attendees participated in hands-on demos that highlighted advancements in wearables and the benefits of virtual reality-based and gamified learning—tools that allowed attendees to explore future career pathways. In addition, the 3D Printworks workshop illustrated cutting-edge developments in additive manufacturing, like 3D-printed steel. To round things out, a dedicated pavilion featuring a lineup of 40 speakers and panels offered industry “Tech Talks.”
The stakes are high at CONEXPO, the premier trade event for North America’s construction and agriculture industries, which only takes place every three years. And with a theme like “Imagining What’s Next,” a brand aiming to cement its position as an industry innovator is challenged, to say the least. But JLG pulled it off without a hitch, leveraging a combination of technologies to present an ecosystem of innovations that included developments in safety, productivity and service.
The entire program was designed to tell a story—that JLG delivers innovation at every level of the customer experience. To prove it, the brand developed a two-story glass structure cloaked in fabric graphics that engaged attendees before they even entered the booth. Case in point: A 10-foot by 20-foot digital billboard located outside the structure lured attendees with original motion graphics, CG animations and live action videos. Similarly, an outdoor, touch-responsive kiosk used CG animation to demonstrate new safety and operational enhancements. And, of course, few could resist the World’s Largest Selfie Stick, which JLG crafted by attaching a camera to the world’s largest articulating boom lift.
Inside the booth, JLG’s story of innovation really hit its stride. A multi-user VR theater gave a live action 360-degree introduction to the brand’s latest safety innovations, while a “Worksite of the Future” display showcased 3D-printed models of a futuristic construction site, enhanced with AR animation, that appeared on two large video walls. In addition, a scale-model concept vehicle was displayed behind a transparent OLED touch monitor, which operated like a futuristic window, overlaying simple line graphics to demonstrate use cases for the future product.
Client: Cisco Campaign: Cisco Live Partner: Go! Experience Design
Anyone familiar with Cisco Live knows that the mega tech event grows exponentially year after year. But in 2017, as the brand was poised to launch its biggest product of the past 15 years, the Network Intuitive, the show had to be more remarkable than ever.
To make it happen, the brand leveraged a design aesthetic informed by the fact that everything Cisco does is network-centric. The concept came to life metaphorically with a stage at the center of the venue that served as the hub of the experience, with 360 degrees of dynamic design elements extending into and connecting with the crowd.
The brand’s “wow” moment took place within the first few moments of the opening session, setting the tone for the rest of the event. The experience strategically began with a ho-hum countdown using binary computer language and an opening video that appeared to set expectations for a traditional conference. Then suddenly, everything went dark. When the lights flickered back on, Imagine Dragons’ “Thunder” was pumping as laser choreography, kinetic lighting that could change to any color of the spectrum and illuminated flying orbs delivered a dramatic opening moment.
The experience included eight massive high-resolution LED screens arranged back-to-back, allowing audiences to see the content from wherever they were seated. To boot, content and characters could jump from screen to screen for added visual effect. And perhaps the coolest feature of all—LED medallions placed on the arena’s 14,000 seats turned the audience into its own LED screen.
Cisco, no doubt, knew it had done something right when tens of thousands of awe-filled social posts from its (rarely impressed) audience of tech pros celebrated the event’s never-before-seen technology.
Client: Kennedy Space Center Campaign: Heroes and Legends Partner: Falcon's Creative Group
Museums often have a reputation as stuffy, “look, don’t touch” environments that bore the average kid to tears. But Kennedy Space Center is changing all that with its Heroes and Legends exhibit, an immersive, tech-driven experience that aims to inspire the next generation of space pioneers. The 26,170-square-foot attraction is divided into various segments, making visitors feel as if they’re walking through a storybook as they learn about the heroes and legends of the earliest space missions.
The action begins before attendees even step inside. A ramp to the exhibit entrance simulates a rocket launch as guests walk alongside the complex’s historic “Rocket Garden,” which includes spaceships from NASA’s Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programs. Inside, visitors step into a 360-degree discovery bay where a “What is a Hero?” video examines the beginning of the world’s space race.
During the “Through the Eyes of a Hero” presentation, which is shot in 6K resolution and presented in 3D, sound, scent, touch and sight combine to simulate a real rocket launch, complete with gusts of wind and the scent of burning rubber. Nearby, the “A Hero Is” exhibit includes a series of large pods featuring touch screens, artifacts from past missions and footage of interviews with astronauts that highlights the core personality traits of the space heroes.
Finally, visitors step into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame, where hours of content about each inductee is available through kiosks powered by a central media cylinder, and holographic technology known as Pepper’s Ghost lends an ethereal atmosphere. Attendees can also participate in a photo op that allows them to pose with one of the Mercury astronauts.
Client: GE Healthcare Campaign: RSNA 2016 Partners: Elite Exhibits, Fine Design Lighting, Stamm Media
Each year in Chicago, the conference of the Radiological Association of North America (RSNA) provides a forum for showcasing the latest innovations in medical imaging. For GE Healthcare, the event represents a critical opportunity for the brand to show off its latest software and equipment to a group of discerning attendees. To differentiate itself from a sea of competitors in 2016, GE leveraged an overhead, dual-sided, curved LED ribbon that attendees could view from any point inside the brand’s 260-foot by 80-foot booth.
Measuring 247 feet by eight feet, the sprawling LED ribbon displayed GE promotional material, eye-catching videos and live coverage of various events taking place at the six presentation stages within the booth space. And while viewing content may have been a breeze, building the massive structure it was displayed on was no easy feat. Case in point: The ribbon involved the integration of custom pipes bent to support its exact curve and accompanying lighting rig.
Below the LED ribbon, GE’s 20,800-square-foot booth featured more than 100 computers, multiple LED walls and more than 95 display and touch screen monitors. The brand also produced a variety of live events and product unveilings across its array of presentation stages. In addition, GE’s presentation on collaboration and innovation in healthcare was broadcast on Facebook Live using two webcams. The footage has since been viewed over 20,000 times. Sounds like someone deserves a… blue ribbon.
Client: Compax Campaign: North American Exhibit 2017 Partner: Unrivaled
Every trade show exhibitor wants its booth to dazzle attendees, but when you’re a company like Compax, known for creating innovative packaging, successfully showcasing your design chops is paramount. So to secure its position as a design-focused innovator in the packaging industry, Compax created a fashion-inspired booth that ultimately led to discussions with some of its most heavily targeted clientele.
Featuring clean architectural elements and a minimal color palette, Compax’s booth replicated a gallery experience that allowed its products to become the hero, while high-gloss finishes provided the high-fashion look it aimed to portray. Lighting was also a key component of the aesthetic. Pierce-cut logos, halo-lit panels and backlit graphics made the booth pop, while three sizes of LED can lights at varying heights, created a bright exhibit space that kept proportions and lighting treatments appropriate to the structure.
The focus of the exhibit centered on case studies that illustrated Compax’s creativity, which the brand showcased through floor-to-ceiling backlit fabric graphics that also brought attention to a floating pedestal featuring the company’s physical packaging solutions. In addition, the brand’s full line of products filled floating white cubes on either side of the exhibit, while large, tiled exterior panels and overhead beams made the booth feel more like a modern home than an exhibit.
In the end, Compax was so pleased with the aesthetic that it incorporated the same styling and finishes into its own corporate offices. Talk about the whole package.
Client: Ricoh Campaign: Ricoh Customer Experience Center Partner: toddstreet
“Imagine. Change.” It’s the aspirational tagline that inspired the recent redesign of Ricoh’s Customer Experience Center (CEC). With its sights set on wowing visitors with its breadth of technology and underscoring its sustainability efforts, the brand revamped the space, transforming it into a gallery-like venue where Ricoh showcases and sells new technologies and solutions, celebrates client relationships, trains new associates, launches new products and host events with various partners. Phew. You still with us?
Visitors are immersed in Ricoh’s messaging from the moment they enter the 7,000-square-foot space, where upon arrival, they’re greeted with the brand’s global anthem on an 86-inch LED screen. The next experience, activated by motion sensing technology, features a custom-fabricated multimedia tunnel boasting eight of Ricoh’s proprietary short-throw projectors and parabolic audio. AI integration using IBM’s Watson platform provides access to Ricoh’s entire content database, making way for a fully customized and ever-changing media experience tailored to each guest based on their industry.
In the client listening area, where Ricoh highlights its business partners, two interactive whiteboards and two LED screens allow for content sharing opportunities. And over in the brand’s 40-seat theater, used for presentations and educational events, custom light tables act as a platform for Ricoh’s smaller technologies like cameras and micro-projectors.
The CEC also includes a boardroom featuring an 84-inch interactive white board and sustainable materials, serving as an elegant meeting space for executives. And, of course, in the brand’s 1,200-square-foot production room, customers get a chance to test all of the latest Ricoh Production Print offerings first-hand and collaborate with Ricoh employees.