Whatever you do, don’t miss #7! Do not make these virtual event mistakes! Take it from us, we’ve been producing virtual events for years and here are common mistakes you should avoid! What mistakes have you seen on virtual events?
You can have someone present without being at your event: Holograms. Ashley C talks all about holograms and how they are changing the events industry. Listen to the expert in the market who has created the patents for this engaging experience!
Ashley Crowder, Co-Founder and CEO of VNTANA
Tell us holographs?
We are all about putting the digital into the real world. If any of you have kids or have played Pokemon Go that is one version of mixed reality. Your phone can act as a third eye. You also have headsets you can wear that put the digital in the real world. With these only the person with the device can see. At VNTANA we built hardware to do holographic projections. Everyone in the room can the see and interact with the digital together. We do keynote presentations, true live. I can beam myself next time, I’ll be in LA and my hologram will be here.
You are doing movie magic but for real. She told us before, we patented all of this ourselves. How did you develop this?
We are a tech company, a team of engineers. My background is engineering, we have about 15 patents on hardware and software to do this. In the beginning we were using projectors but we switched to LED because it’s brighter. Now we can do things in bright environments.
What is the use for this?
About 7 years ago we found a key use cases people love.
1.Someone can’t be there we can beam them in live, or pre record their hologram. We just did a hologram of Kobe Bryant.
2.Lots of leveraging endorsement deals. For Adidas we did holograms of Stella McCartney.
3.Other interactive experiences to show off products and understand product preferences.
How do you beam in live?
We need dedicated fiber, really good dedicated internet on both sides.5G is coming and we are working with a few different telecom providers to show it off on the 5G network.
What about stages? Are you beaming in keynotes?
Yes we do a number of keynote presentations. That is a lot of our life-size holograms.
You use holograms to show off dead celebrities?
We provide the hardware but we let other people do the “digital resurrection”. We can help people, we have partners who specialize in digital recreation, it get’s expensive. You can’t use old footage it’s CGI. You need to create a photo realistic model of that person and you animate it. We prefer to stick with the living and products!
Have you met and worked with famous people?
Yes leveraging endorsement deals. These brands pay so much money to use their likeness.
Where do you see the technology going?
It’s super exciting, using it as a new medium. Even if the person is there, if they are launching a product the hologram can show up on stage next to them. We are excited about being able to push he boundaries with the creative and content side.
You are a speaker tomorrow what are you talking about?
How you can use mixed reality to influence the attendee journey at an event. Why do you want to do it? What is the purpose of the tech? Then figure out what you want to do. Rob Thomas, we did a great hologram karaoke for his tour it was really successful because it was a holistic approach. He talked about it on his radio show. They published it and you got to sing karaoke with the hologram. I always say don’t put technology in the corner.
With these experiences people are willing to give their information freely because it’s a fun experience.
How much does this cost?
The cost depends on the size of the hologram. Is if life-size or a small kiosk display and content. Does the content need to be created for it? We have done a lot with our software to automate the process. In general you can start between 10 – 20,000 range and go up. Realistically people say, this is doable.
Superpower: Super focused on things I want to do.
Cause you Love: Girls Who Code
Twitter:The Meeting Minds
On this episode of Meeting Minds; Charles and Paige chat with Zach Sussman about merchandise trends in the event industry. Swag (stuff we all get) that people actually want is crucial. Find out what merchandise is likely to resonate and not become waste!
How did you get your start?
I fell into the events industry through working for a non-profit. You wear many hats and ended up planning board meetings for 30 people each month and moved onto Galas. I consider my first big girl job The Basilica. I remember by then boss asking me if I knew anyone interested in an events job and she remembers it as do you know anyone interested in an events job.
I think what got me to the point where I am today are the relationships I have built over the years with vendors, volunteers and co workers. I have tried hard to who my value through each event that I produce. I make sure I am along side everyone else when we are picking up the trash or pouring the beer or hauling wood to make the fires at Holidazzle. My first year I became the fire master.
I always want to be a part of making the world a better place and I am very lucky to be able to do that through events.
How do you plan for an event when you do not know what the weather will be like?
- Always have a risk management plan that includes weather and make sure all your vendors have a copy of it
- Talk to the Police, Fire and EMTs about their recommendations.
- Plan ahead, where do people go, where does the talent go?
How do you push the boundaries?
- When I say boundaries, it doesn’t always mean bringing in something crazy that no one has seem before. Say you have events with a long history, and you have a great team of folks who have been working on that same event for a long time. Help them think outside the box. What can we stop doing and what can we do that’s new? What are some new revenue streams?
- Why are we doing something that creates more work and what is the ROI?
- How can we look at the space differently?
- Why does the stage always need to go in the same place?
- Yes we do need to do active shooter training and yes we should have the contact information for all the buildings surrounding the event in case someone decides to throw a party and watch the show on the roof and we don’t go into full active shooter mode.
This week Charles, Lisa, and Paige sit down and talk about things they see at events that could be avoided. Check out these tips below:
- Audio in your non – general session areas. A lot of times people are so focused on the main room. If you have a large group you need to get them into room fairly quickly and its difficult to do if you don’t have anything guiding them. Having audio in the hallways or spaces really helps to get them prepared. It’s not just audio though, we have a client put an LED sign in the spaces with the schedule so people know what is going on. You can loop sponsors and scheduling. There are so many opportunities when your audience isn’t sitting in their seats.
- Spending too much time and money on the wrong things. People spend thousands on the little trinkets at the table. Does anyone really care what brand it says on it. A hotel brand is probably good enough, using that money elsewhere can create a greater impact. Get sponsors to cover the cost of things.
- Buffet style food. It could work for some events but at an event, some of the largest donors go there later and they could not start the main program because they were still in line at the buffet. It pushed the whole program back. You need to think of timing and making sure everyone is fed.
- Content being ready too late. Many events that have been done year after year with a flow but I’ve realized a lot of times we are getting to the show and are just receiving the content two hours before going live. That gives everyone anxiety, you don’t have the time to check everything over and make sure it is going to run smoothly. You have to have that time.
- Not having a singular decision maker. A lot of times we work with a board of directors or a group of people, and it is great. However, when all of those people become the ultimate say, it gets really confusing for vendor relationships and everything. From a vendors perspective it’s important to know who we should listen to or talk to for changes and additions especially on site.
- Don’t hire vendors too late in the game. You might not get the a – team or vendors might not be able to work well together.