Live events: the way we use tech is changing
In the first part of this feature, we talked about how millennials are driving change in the live events industry and the effect this has on technology that AV professionals are choosing. In this second part, we’ll look into the ways in which live events technology is changing ahead of ISE 2020, taking place at the RAI Amsterdam on 11–14 February.
With our daily exposure to the wonders of modern technology, it’s getting harder for companies to make a lasting impression with live events. The audiovisual industry is at the forefront of this challenge – integrating new technologies and concepts alongside creativity and originality to achieve engaging events. We talk to the AV industry about how it can help respond to the challenge.
“Capturing the magic of a live event and creating high quality content from it has always been a huge value-add, but one that, given its resource-intensive nature, is often out of reach for event organisers,” declares Barbara Rosseel, strategic marketing lead, Sony Professional Solutions Europe. “New technologies will change this. From capture to streaming, digital annotation and AI-powered visual overlays, there are innovations that will make taking the live-action from stage to screen smoother, more straightforward and slicker than ever before.”
While there is no substitute for creativity, imagination and flair in live events, the essential tools for the job are screens, projectors, servers and audio systems. It is, however, as Stumpfl points out, the ideas rather than the technology that should be to the fore.
“It is absolutely true that a live event setup does not have to be technology focused per se, and creating technology overkill should be avoided,” he says. “But the way in which modern audiences enjoy visual media and encounter more and more animated content in their daily lives does create certain expectations at times. Versatile AV solutions can be a key part in addressing and meeting those expectations.”
It’s also important to bear in mind the role of video and audio: to what extent is it the attraction, and to what extent does it support or complement the attraction?
“ISE is perfect for reaching a wide variety of potential customers right at the beginning of the new year”
Industry giants have big plans for unveiling new solutions at ISE 2020.
“The details are still under wraps,” smiles Vertommen, “but what I can share is that we will soon be launching a ground-breaking new laser projector. The product is, we believe, the next step in projection with 50,000 lumens of brightness and will be the most powerful projector we offer. It really is an industry first and without doubt will be one of the highlights at the ISE exhibition. It’s the first time the projector will be demonstrated.”
And, not to be outdone, Barco also says it has some surprises up its sleeve for the show.
“Barco has a complete and dedicated portfolio for live events with our UDM and UDX projection families and our Event Master image processing range,” says the company’s director of product management, IP, Wouter Bonte. “This year, visitors can look forward to exploring our new UDM 20K 4K laser projector for the first time in Europe – and we will have some exciting new presentation switching solutions for live events.”
“Nearly all the major AV technology manufacturers have understood that ISE is perfect for reaching a wide variety of potential customers right at the beginning of the new year,” says Stumpfl. “The variety of cutting-edge products and innovations on display at ISE means visiting this show will both inform and inspire live events professionals.”
For readers looking to find out more about what ISE has to offer, visit https://www.iseurope.org/who-should-come-to-ise/live-events/.
Live events: raised expectations
Much has been written about so-called ‘millennials’ – the generation born between around 1981 and 1996 – and not all of it complimentary.
The reason for the interest in them? Perhaps the most discussed aspect of their behaviours is their preference for experiences over possessions. They like to travel, to eat out – more so than any other generation.
“Today, customer expectations are higher than ever,” believes Thomas Vertommen, European product manager for projectors at Panasonic Visual System Solutions. “We are all used to using technology in our daily lives – so when we attend an event, particularly a big music or stadium event for example, visitors expect something more advanced. There is an expectation that they will be amazed by what they hear, see and interact with.”
“And,” he adds, “the latest AV innovations can make this happen.”
He has an ally in AV Stumpfl’s CEO, Fabian Stumpfl. “It’s an exciting time for professionals working in the live events industry,” he says, “particularly as there are so many ways in which artistic visions can come to life, supported by a growing number of innovative audiovisual technology approaches.”
“It’s an exciting time for professionals working in the live events industry”
Social media is also growing in importance in the sector, with few live events today not taking advantage of the opportunity to reach a much wider audience than those who are physically present.
“Event organisers are looking for that ‘moment’ – experiences that visitors will want to share that will bring more followers, more shares, more engagement and so on,” notes Hanne Page, who is segment marketing manager, events, at Barco.
Creating unique fan experiences
“For today’s sports venue owners, living up to the immense expectations of fans is a challenge,” Mike Garrido, senior product manager, Christie, believes. “This is especially so in today’s digitally connected, technology fluent world. Although the sports themselves always will be the reason fans attend, there is a growing demand for stadium owners to enhance the non-game aspects of live sporting events to create truly unique and enriching fan experiences.”
Here, there’s no substitute for not only knowing what the technology will do today – but what it will enable in the future. To gain that kind of insight takes a special kind of show – and Integrated Systems Europe (ISE) is that special kind of show.
“Event organisers are looking for that ‘moment’ – experiences that visitors will want to share”
Taking place at the RAI Exhibition Centre in Amsterdam on 11–14 February 2020, ISE has established itself as the world’s largest professional audiovisual show. With over 1,300 exhibitors and over 80,000 attendees each year, it represents the full gamut of everything the AV industry has to offer.
Recognising the importance of the live events industry, ISE now features a Technology Zone specifically dedicated to relevant products and solutions, as well the attractionsTECH conference produced with industry resource blooloop. The half-day conference takes place on 14 February at the nearby Hotel Okura and aims to explore the business and technology strategies of live events and attractions.
“The unparallelled scale of ISE means the reveal of new technologies that will transform the live events market is almost certain,” notes Rosseel.
And, as a bonus: ISE 2020 will again feature a demonstration of state-of-the-art projection mapping, beaming images onto the exterior of the Amsterdam RAI exhibition centre each evening of the show.