Event Projection Mapping: Planning Memorable, Share-Worthy Installations
Posted on May
Projection mapping is the perfect medium for creating social media-worthy conference and event displays. Just when most conference attendees think they have seen it all, projection mapping brings something fresh and exciting to ordinary events.
Projection mapping is in demand right now because traditional 2D experiences and PowerPoint displays don’t have the impact they used to, says Ovation’s chief creative officer Kevin Fulda.
Creating a powerful projection takes planning, time and professional guidance. Here’s how to plan a shareable, memorable projection at your next conference or event.
Leverage the Venue’s Interior
Memorable event projection mapping starts by working with the space available. Your display will ultimately be guided by the venue, but that doesn’t mean it has to be confined by it.
Curtis Lingard, senior product manager at Christie Digital, notes some of his most creative and memorable events have featured interior projection mapping. Most conference venues are ordinary spaces, but mapping can transform dull interiors and “transport the audience to a whole new immersive world.”
In doing so, attendees won’t be able to help instagramming your creation. Any photograph they take and share will naturally include your projection.
For event managers who want to take things further, AV Concepts recommends incorporating the natural structure of the building into the experience. Most attendees will assume that columns, beams and windows aren’t part of the experience. This makes including them all the more powerful.
“Columns become conduits for energy waves. Alcoves become windows to another world. Ceiling soffits transform into whatever your imagination can dream up.”
Naturally, large-scale projection mapping will require more work and planning than small-scale projects. Site visits will be essential, and the space and its architectural elements will need to be measured. Event managers and projection artists must also prepare to invest time and money in the necessary technology.
Creating share-worthy projection displays doesn’t have to require a six-figure budget, however. Rather than projecting across the entire venue, savvy installers will limit their projections to the places that guests visit most often, says Team Seefried.
“An entrance hall flooded in starlight or a bathroom in the middle of the jungle will not only surprise your guests but is also far cheaper than the full room projection of a large event space.”
Give Your Projection Focus
Projecting across the entire interior of a venue will certainly create a captivating experience, but you don’t have to go big to have a huge impact on attendees. Being intentional about your projection design can create a wow factor that sends guests reaching for their cameras.
Focusing projection mapping efforts also allows event managers to create something that most attendees will have never seen before. Ramzi Shakra, a product manager at Epson America, says one new projection mapping technique involves mapping an image onto a moving object. This technique was used during a recent Carrie Underwood performance at the Grammys, and during a Jennifer Lopez performance on American Idol.
Another new technology allows projectors to make solid objects appear as though they’re moving. Encore Event Technologies notes this approach to 3D projection mapping is already used widely in the auto industry.
Rather than acquiring vehicles for events, auto manufacturers have taken to projecting images onto white foam shells shaped like cars. Not only is this cheaper and easier to transport, but it also has much more impact on attendees. Details can be changed in an instant and video projection can even bring the animation to life.
Projection mapping is also becoming more immersive and experiential. When events have a sit-down element, such as a meal, table projection mapping can make the spectacle feel personalized. Table mapping allows designers like Spain’s Bmotion to project any 3D image, color or effect onto a flat surface, Christie Digital says. It’s hard not to be captivated by a projection that’s happening on the table in front of you.
Tell a Story With Your Projection
However you use projection mapping, make it as impactful as possible by telling a story. Kenneth Chan Mun Kean, managing director of Zappy Production, believes that the right content is crucial when it comes to projection mapping. The way the projection is portrayed must align with the direction of the brand and the event.
Giving your projection context is key, adds Epson. “Without context, projection mapping visuals won’t be an effective tool to convey the appropriate message to trade show attendees.”
Projecting images that suit your services and values can better illustrate your company’s story. In turn, this helps establish a stronger connection between guests and the brand.
“Clients that use projection mapping as a cinematic storytelling experience tend to have longer audience engagement and wider social reach," says Matthew Nix of Chicago Projection Mapping.
There’s no reason to be stuck for ideas when it comes to telling your story through projection mapping. VOXX Exhibits offers the following four tips to add brand context to your display:
- Show what your brand stands for and how your organization got where it is.
- Demonstrate how your product or service is created or delivered.
- Share genuine testimonials from clients.
- Decide what you want the audience to take away from the event and focus on that.
Projection mapping will always be a pretty spectacle, but by incorporating a story into your projection, you make it worth remembering and sharing.
Take Inspiration From Successful Brands
One final way to make your projection mapping installation as share-worthy as possible is to take a tip from brands that have achieved success in the past. Below are three examples of successful projection mapping installations that are sure to inspire.
Mirage at Metropolis
Mirage at Metropolis was a 360-degree immersive projection mapping experience aimed at encouraging more people to visit the Metropolis mall in Vancouver. Although not strictly a conference, the exhibition demonstrates the power of an interior-wide projection.
“By making use of stereoscopic cinema projection techniques, we can put your guests anywhere in the universe and have them be completely immersed in the experience,” says Adrian Scott of Go2 Productions.
He adds that, for something with such a large visual impact, projection mapping tools are fairly easy to setup and use.
At the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show, Intel hired Fuse to create an audience-centric projection mapping display in the form of a 20-foot-tall soccer player. Attendees could have their face captured by a computer (rendered using Intel’s RealSense technology) and projected onto the statue. The statute drew crowds to the booth, where attendees interacted with brand ambassadors and shared their experience on social media.
When Callaway Golf Co. wanted to demonstrate their new product partnership with Boeing, they turned to projection mapping to make an impact at the PGA Merchandise Show. The golf company showcased its new set of Boeing-inspired clubs by projecting a 40-by-43-foot silhouette of Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner on the exhibition room ceiling. It was a bold and eye-catching display that hooked attendees’ attention and advertised the brand’s new product line.
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