5G and digital art raising business events to new level

FASTER and stronger wi-fi thanks to 5G, artistic installations from open-air festivals and immersive experiences for audiences are among the trends that are catching on in Asia, say experts who spoke at the Hong Kong Exhibition and Convention Industry Association’s conference.

Attendees heard that the tech wizardry shown during the musical entertainment segments of mass event such as the Super Bowl are gradually making their way into the choices available to corporate event organisers.

Justin Choy, managing director and lead design engineer for Creative Technology Hong Kong, told how the distribution of beanie hats embedded with a signal detector to spectators arriving at the Super Bowl in New Jersey created a mass pixel-mapped lighting backdrop to entertainment by Bruno Mars and Maroon 5, among others.

Wireless lighting company PixMob was behind the audience light show, and Choy said the event showed how technology can get attendees more immersed into brand experiences.

While 5G has dominated headlines concerning US-China trade, the rolling out of the network will mean event that use audiovisual technology being enhanced. Choy used the example of live video shown in different parts of a venue being less prone to delay or freeze frame.

“Events are getting more boring because people are getting used to it. They’re saying, ‘I want something better’,” Choy (right) told delegates at Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. “If you get to a place where you’re complacent you’ve lost – spend a bit more money and do something cooler.

“5G is really cool for us. Almost everything’s wired these days, but 5G completely changes how we do things… there are increased speeds when [videoing] an actor walking into various halls. Previously there was a 15 second delay for a wireless camera.”

Read more… Going Live with 5G

Also expect more outlandish art installations such as Overview Effect – a 17 metre astronaut created by Poetic Kinetics for the Coachella Festival in California. Such moveable objects and digital-art pavilions sponsored by the likes of Hewlett Packard are influencing how business events are created, said Sarah Williamson, VP and creative director at Jack Morton.

Gregory Crandall, director of brand engagement at Pico+ Hong Kong, added that the festivalisation of business events and conferences helped organisers gain the attention of millennials. Both Crandall and Williamson gave examples of events in which attendees were no longer passive bystanders, but more engaged with brand campaigns.

Event organsiers using photo and video-sharing platforms such as VPhoto will also benefit over the next six to 12 months when 5G is rolled out, says Michelle Cao, the company’s founder and CEO.

Main picture: From left, Gregory Crandall, Pico+; Sarah Williamson, Jack Norton, and moderator Mark Cochrane, UFI

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