On Tuesday 13th November, Hire Space headed down to Event Tech Live at ExCeL London to host a panel discussion on how the UK is leading the charge in promoting innovation through next-generation venue technology.
Our expert speakers included Simon Kentish, CTO & Founder of Frameless and Simona Negretto, National Conference and Events Manager at Vue Conferences & Events, with Cecilia Lavin, Sales Director at InEvent moderating. Watch the session or read below for the key takeaways from the session.
Are immersive experiences the next big thing for corporate events?
Considering the demand for unique venues like Vue and Frameless, it would appear so. Frameless is a brand new immersive experience in Marble Arch boasting 5 underground galleries. Each displaying a different style of art and immersion, this venue allows corporates to take over the spaces to create their own bespoke worlds for their guests. Using clever projection to create a completely immersive experience, planners can project their content onto every single inch of the spaces to create a wonderful, unique experience that breaks boundaries of reality.
Vue is immersive but in a different way; instead of stepping into an immersive world, guests are simply transported by the visuals, sound, and comfort that a cinema brings. Vue's clients desire the big screen experience for their content as this gives more power to their conferences and delivers more impact.
So why are these types of venues so popular? After the past few years of being apart, the desire for togetherness is one of the highest drivers for businesses wanting to create in-person experiences for their teams and clients. Not only this, but sustainability is fast becoming a priority, as well as needing to cut costs due to the current financial climate. All of these things combined means that when people come together, they want to gather in an event space where they can experience a unique moment together in a sustainable way.
"People won't remember the slides, infographics or data you present to them, they will remember the experience they have shared with each other." Cecilia Lavin, Sales Director, InEvent
What does immersive event technology actually look like?
Frameless work with Panasonic, one of the top projector manufacturers in the world for immersive experiences. The spaces use clever projectors which upscale every pixel with a technology called Quad Pixel. Due to having such large spaces to fill, a huge amount of computer and media servers are needed to project up these images, which sync up and push out content seamlessly with a resolution of up to 32K.
The spaces at Frameless are each configured slightly differently. In one particular interactive space, there are 6 connected sensors in the ceiling which recognise guests' movement and push it through to a tool called TouchDesigner. This tool changes those particles and displays them up the wall to form the art.
In the 'Art of Distraction' room, 52 projectors display content onto gauzes, creating a multi-layered effect, whilst 170 speakers deliver soundscapes that move with the art. This venue creates a truly incredible experience for corporate events and offers a completely unique way to deliver content. Imagination knows no bounds at Frameless... truly event spaces reimagined! That said, it's important to note that content needs to be of high quality in order to come across well, so this is a challenge with upscaling content to this level. Whether a business wants to launch a new mission statement, a new product, or unite their customers with value-led content, it needs to be of extremely high quality to be brought to life successfully.
"We are a physical gateway to the metaverse." Simon Kentish, CTO & Co-Founder, Frameless
For Vue, we know that cinema technology is nothing new, but there is increasing demand in adopting this technology for conferencing and other corporate events. For example, Vue's built-in technology makes it an ideal choice for a hybrid roadshow; 91 different venues can be linked together to deliver content to different audiences around the country at the same time. This is a more sustainable and easy to manage option than transporting all guests to one location, plus all the technology is already built in, so this is an extremely reliable option too.
Demand for event technology continues to grow
Virtual events increased in popularity by 1000% in 2020, demonstrating that event technology was essential to run events. Despite the pandemic having mostly subsided, virtual events have remained, however planners now require event technology in a different way - to deliver hybrid events, as well as to craft one-of-a-kind in-person experiences. That said, constantly-developing technology can be daunting for planners. This is why an all-in-one solution where a venue takes care of all the technology and can guide and support planners through the process is paramount.
It's also a matter of trusting the venue that they know what they're doing. For example, Vue has been operating with state-of-the-art technology for years, and so are experts in utilising technology to display content. When they transitioned into an events venue as well as just a cinema, they were already extremely well-versed in the application of their technology, meaning they are well-positioned to guide their clients through the planning process.
The future of event technology is bright
Event technology will need to continue to develop in order to keep up with the changing events landscape. Through lots of hard work and innovation, Frameless will soon be in the position to run events which can project content 360 degrees around guests in real time, which attendees at home can also experience through VR goggles.
That said, questions have been raised about how wearing VR goggles for an extended amount of time makes the wearer feel. Many have reported feeling disoriented and even nauseous. Luckily, art is somewhat more forgiving in this sense because it can be a much slower experience than a VR game, for example. When content is set up as an artscape, guests can travel through different eras and locations at their own pace and it's a much slower and less aggressive experience, reducing potential side effects that VR can bring.
Similarly, with a cinema experience, there is less of an aggressive immersion that can come with some VR experiences. For Vue, the future is bright and will likely combine technology currently used with brand new technology that we can't even imagine yet - who knows, maybe in-person 3D conferencing will become the next big thing! Whatever it may be, it's safe to say that technology will continue to be a driving force for events to create unforgettable experiences for attendees.
Will you look to stage your events in immersive environments? Check out our guide to nailing the experiential imperative, and giving guests an event experience they won’t forget in a hurry!
For more guidance around event technology or to find the best tech-driven venue for your event, get in touch with our experts below. Next, read our thoughts around how the cost of living crisis might affect business events, as well as our predictions for corporate events in 2023.
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If you need a hand pulling together your next event, or you need some guidance around event tech, get in touch with our experts below and we'll be happy to help!Talk to an expert
Izzie brings a deep understanding of the events world to Hire Space, and keeps busy by writing lots of Hire Space and EventLAB content and managing the Hire Space social media presence.