Halo Up There!

The Challenge: PRG and Five Currents were tasked to create an amazing, never-seen-before opening and closing ceremony experience held in the massive Omnilife Stadium for the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico.

The Solution: Ambitious would be the operative word. Using a halo structure that weighed 165,350 lbs (75,000 kg), which held all technical and creative elements inside while suspended in the center of the roofless Omnilife Stadium, the opening session began with an unbelievable sense of awe and wonder.

Aerialists descended in a beautiful, rhythmic movement performance. They appeared to be floating in midair inside the halo as performers on the ground below sung and danced. Spectacular visuals were projected onto the 360-degree projection surface of the halo in addition to the stunning custom-designed lighting and impactful audio elements. There were three projection areas: the Halo retractable 360° screen, the circular stage floor and the projection on the aerialists. Everyone worked together to create the magical moment.

It Makes Sense

Visualize your toothbrush for a second. Now imagine brushing your teeth with it. What do you feel when you brush your teeth? Is the experience exciting? Are you asking yourself, “What is your point? It’s just a toothbrush.” Not according to industrial designer Jinsop Lee. At a recent TED talk, Jinsop Lee shared his theory of the 5-sense design in the hopes of inspiring us to notice great multisensory experiences. He candidly shares some great examples, including a toothbrush that tastes and looks like candy, to support his belief that great design appeals to all five senses.

His examples reveal just how much more any ordinary experience can be elevated if one, two, or even all of the senses are heightened in some way. It makes you wonder how we can integrate this theory of the five senses into our events. After watching his TED talk, there are definite possibilities in most scenarios, we just have to think outside the box… Jinsop Lee certainly did.

Perhaps when attendees walk into general session, an intoxicating smell greets them. Or what about a pitch-black general session opener where attendees only hear a powerful audio experience that mimics the sounds of nature, to help immerse them into the experience? Liquid scenic or 3D projection mapping is a great way to stimulate sight. The ideas are endless – how are you going to engage the senses at your next conference?

You Have Five Seconds to Strike a Pose

We’ve all been inside a photo booth. Three, maybe four, of us enthusiastically squeeze into this tiny 75”h x 29”w x 60d” booth with a useless bench (because let’s face it, even one person sitting on it gets crowded). We excitedly choose between four different backgrounds – hearts, Hollywood curtains, stars, etc. – or maybe there is no choice. Suddenly, you have five seconds to pose (most of the time without a countdown) so some of us hurriedly try to come up with the cleverest pose while the others are trying to maintain within the photo frame in the hopes of not being cut off. We go through this circus about three more times and then, sweaty but still excited, we stumble out of the photo booth and wait five minutes for our one photo strip.

Sounds exhausting, right?

Fortunately, there are other ways to have fun taking photos with friends and colleagues. Instead of piling a limited number of people into a booth, what if you created an environment that allows photo-posing fanatics to feel like they’re actually in the scene? To enhance the experience further, hand attendees props and easy-to-throw-on costumes. These backdrop environments are a great way to promote your product or an event; draw attendees towards your booth at a tradeshow; or create a memorable experience at your conference.

To help inspire you, BizBash recently compiled 19 of the most clever photo booth backdrops. So tell us, if the sky was the limit, what kind of photo booth backdrop would you create?

For Your Entertainment

Been there. Done that. How can we up-level the entertainment factor at our next conference?

We need to think outside the box of the typical awards and general session space. Make your conference memorable so that long after the show, your attendees are still talking about it. And we know you want your audience to feel special so give them that special moment that’s both awe-inspiring and unforgettable.

What about an amazing laser show to open your general session? How about introducing award winners using light painting performers? Or maybe wow your audience with a unique opening performance of video mapping dance and combat? Is your conference outside? Check out the water rocket show that will surely catch the attention of your attendees.

The ideas are clearly endless and it’s up to us to WOW our audiences in unexpected ways. Share with us how you WOWed your audiences recently.

Don’t Be Another Face in the Crowd

It’s pretty easy to get lost at Comic-Con expo as an attendee wandering aimlessly through the crowds of 130,0000 enthusiastic fans. But what about the hundreds of sponsors and exhibitors? How do they stand out amongst the competition? In the madness of wildly creative exhibitors, this can be quite challenging. While most of us aren’t as outlandish as Entertainment Weekly and Marvel Comics, we still face that same challenge about how getting your brand to stand out in a crowd. What do you do to differentiate yourself from the competition? I found this great article online with 5 tips on how to make your brand stand out from James Carter, a guest columnist from Social Madness.

O.M.G., R.F.I.D.!

Let’s face it: R.F.I.D. bracelets aren’t going away, so we should take advantage of this tool while it’s still hot. Although it’s been around for several years, we’ve only just seen a boosted interest in its ability to increase engagement. According to Biz Bash, there has been an increase use of these bracelets at events around the world.

So… what are they?

The acronym stands for Radio Frequency Identification Technology, which uses electromagnetic fields to transmit identification information. For those who prefer layman terms like I do, it essentially means that R.F.I.D. can access user data and send it back to you. You might not know this, but it’s been used to track identification and information for subjects that range from military personnel to pets and patients.

So how can we use R.F.I.D. into our events? Get inspired by this Biz Bash article about three recent events that used R.F.I.D. bracelets to connect with their guests.