Whether it's a Taylor Swift concert or this year's Super Bowl, projection mapping has a place in nearly every mass-scale event.

But the memorable, attention-grabbing nature of projection mapping isn't just reserved for larger-than-life presentations. In fact, conference center owners have a wealth of opportunity when it comes to seizing this technology.

Why Conference Centers Need Projection Mapping

The sheer novelty of projection mapping is one reason for its popularity. “The key is to give consumers a reason (and opportunity) to explore something they've never seen before,” says Scott Schoeneberger, managing partner at Bluewater Technologies.

This doesn't mean that projection mapping is mere spectacle, however. Projection mapping can be a worthwhile investment because it has a unique way of delivering information to audiences in a memorable way.

Veteran projection artist Bart Kresa, owner of BARTKRESA studio, explains how projection mapping experiences can often feel personalized. “You're changing the landscape to create something new and almost otherworldly. The first time I experienced a large-scale projection project, it was like walking inside of my own brain. I fell in love with that experience.”

Events with projection mapping create a buzz. They excite and engage audiences in a way that traditional entertainment cannot.

Projection mapping is particularly engaging right now, as consumers are putting more focus on experiences. Bluemedia executive producer Paul Whitney notes that many people are motivated to engage with events and experiences based on what their peers post on social media. Events presented with projection mapping ask to be photographed and videotaped. This content can be shared long after the fun is over.

Freeman producer Tony Allen agrees that the benefits of projection mapping extend beyond the event itself. “When projection mapping is done right, it will not just alter the physical space and provide entertainment value for your audience - it can deliver your brand and messaging in an innovative and engaging manner, leaving a lasting impression on your guests.”

Projection mapping is also an effective way to further brand messaging. Motion graphics, video, and 3D animation elicit emotion and create lasting memories, says BizBash writer Claire Hoffman. Event planners choose projection mapping because it creates conversations around brands and ideas for days and weeks to come. When more people are sharing about the event on social media, it boosts both brand awareness and ROI.

Technology Considerations and Challenges

Conference center owners can improve their chances of landing a deal if they optimize their spaces for projection mapping. This means creating a space where large-scale imagery can be projected. Even more importantly, it means acquiring the right tools.

Conference centers that are looking to integrate this technology have special considerations, and a pitch to them should reflect this.

For example, some locations are more challenging than others, says AV magazine writer Guy Campos. In these situations, pre-visualizations are key to success. Be prepared to create a custom workflow, as was needed when projection mapping the Apollo Pavilion.

Projection mapping is new, but that doesn't mean it has to be intimidating. Work together with a professional AV company, and they can help you decide what technology you need. They'll also help you develop the right tools to pitch your services to event planners and companies.

“Projection mapping may be relatively simple, but it needs professionals that understand the technology and the technique. Most staging companies will have video demonstrations illustrating their use of projection mapping,” says audiovisual and event design company Stage Right, Inc.

When it comes to more specific problems, look to specific solutions. Chip Thompson, vice president of Prestige Audio Visual, encountered numerous logistical problems while trying to put together a projection mapping show called “Momentum.” Some of these challenges included measuring out exactly the right scaffolding, and engineering projectors to regulate temperature.

These are just some things a conference center will need to consider. Are all of your centers indoors, or are there outdoor options? What technology can you use to assist event managers in creating a perfect event?

Examining the success of “Momentum” is a great start. But this is just one example of projection mapping. There are others that show just how powerful this technology can be, and how conference center owners must prepare.

Projection Mapping In Action: Case Studies

One example of an event that successfully used projection mapping event was the 12th annual Congress Rental meeting. As the leading Latin American AV supplier, Congress Rental had an ambitious theme to execute.

“The theme for the meeting was Stronger Than All, and we wanted to show the power of Congress Rental, so we looked for a location to showcase this strength. The Plaza de Toros was an imposing building for projection mapping,” says Nahuel Sauza, head of technology.

A stable, high-quality media server was essential for the streamlined presentation of this event.

Another company that found great success was Black Bear Casino Resort, which worked with Chicago Projection Mapping. They chose projection mapping to celebrate their 20th anniversary.

By using projection mapping rather than traditional event technology, the casino was able to reach a wider audience. As the display ran, it brought up to 5,000 viewers for each showing. Those viewers frequently posted to social media, only widening the reach of the technology.

Your network will be a key factor. It must be powerful enough to handle projection mapping technology while also allowing conference-goers to upload videos to social media.

Another case study comes from Go2 Productions, which helped WestJet unveil its new airline using projection mapping. WestJet didn't have its new airliner ready to show, so projection mapping helped filled that gap. “It was up to Go2 Productions to pull off this grand illusion using 3-D projection mapping on the massive hangar doors.”

At conferences, businesses might want to unveil things that aren't actually complete yet, just as WestJet did. Offering them the tools to do that through projection mapping can be a neat solution.

Finally, consider Lightpool, an event that celebrates the history of the town of Blackpool. WarPro managing director Alastair Young noted the importance of bright projectors when dealing with the ambient lighting and distance inherent in the project. If your conference center has a similar set-up, this is certainly something to consider. Size and lighting are important factors to consider when determining how to set up AV projection technology.

Cost Effective Projection Mapping Solutions

Projection mapping is often considered a large-scale, big-budget operation. For this reason, smaller businesses often believe they won't have access to it. If this applies to your clientele, know that affordable solutions do exist.

Optoma notes that laser and LED projectors can be cost-effective. The projections are visible in the daylight and maintenance costs are low. This makes it a great option for retailers and those who need a more budget-friendly option.

LED projections have many benefits over traditional LED walls. For example, projection mapping installations have a softer look and require less technical expertise for setup, notes marketing blog Exhib-it. Additionally, they are “ideal for small spaces, work well with standard-sized screens and objects, and boast a faster setup time.”

Equipment for projection walls is generally much lighter in weight than LED walls, too. By offering this technology to your clients, you can give them the most value for their event (and ensure they continue to return.)

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