White Light looks at how clients are approaching event production differently in 2018.

As the event industry heats up for a busy year, here at White Light we are starting to see some key trends appearing in production and event technology. The overarching theme is an ever-increasing demand to deliver a fully immersive event experience, however with budgets continuing to tighten White Light rises to the challenge of delivering events with minimum input but with maximum effect.

In the Planning

This immersive experience starts as early as the planning stages, advances in technology has allowed White Light to improve its sales tools to help clients visualise their event before the build. Clients get to view the room set up and the effects of any production on the space, this in turn saves a huge amount of time and can reduce costs during the design process.

Clients expect more from venues

There continues to be a growing demand for new and unique settings that reflect the key messages of an event. For public funded buildings this is welcome news, as they rely more and more on commercial avenues to increase their income. For the client, London offers up an amazing choice of stunning venues, and very little is needed to be done to enhance the physical space.

There is an increasing demand for the live streaming of events, in fact it is expected that 63% of planners will be looking to invest more in live streaming this year. There is also a greater demand to bring in video feed and for events to communicate out to a wider audience through channels such as YouTube. In addition to this is the desire to hold simultaneous events throughout the World. With restricted budgets, clients look to venues to have the necessary infrastructure in place to support these events. Otherwise they find themselves faced with costly solutions to overcome such hurdles, or may simply look elsewhere for a venue that delivers such solutions. In response to this issue White Light now has a growing portfolio of ‘managed’ venues, where it has invested both equipment and resources to ensure venues are fit for purpose and offer good value for clients both in 2018 and moving into the future.

Further advances in lighting, audio and video technology help the team at White Light to deliver more in a shorter time which is extremely valuable in venues with a tight get in. These tools are becoming simpler and faster to set up while providing the designer with a wider range of capability, and these advances in technology also limit any potential risks of equipment failure.

Engaging the senses

Clients are seeking a fully holistic experience, an event that plays with the senses and emotions by the use of light, sound and video. It is no longer just about Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality, but now Mixed Reality, where physical and digital objects co-exist and interact. It is here where White Light is really pushing the boundaries of technology to create amazing experiences. For example the AR penguin that can walk around between guests existing in the current environment.

Creative not costly

With the fast moving pace of technology it is often an assumption that clients need to be using the latest technology to stay ahead of the game. This may be true for some brands that naturally align themselves with the latest tech, but for many the focus needs to remain on the key messages and understanding guests well enough so that they become fully engaged with the event. These messages can often and very effectively be communicated by making use of the venue itself, working in synergy with the aesthetics of the building. For example in a recent event at Banqueting House White Light replaced the actual windows inside the space with projected versions, allowing guests to be transported to different environments. The technology worked holistically with the historic building’s architecture creating an immersive environment without the AV equipment being obtrusive.

Clients now have the ability to enhance the experience of their guests by delivering more meaningful interactions as well as gaining invaluable insights on their behaviour and expectations, leading them to deliver a far better event experience. Communicating messages by form of guest participation is becoming more popular, with interactive displays engaging tactile senses, the sending of information from large screens to hand held devices and the use of projection mapping, which has become increasingly more cost effective and is still a captivating experience.

Joined up thinking

Working across so many sectors of the production industry White Light has the unique capability to make use of new technologies and processes currently being used in theatre and television. White Light’s clients are now being exposed to a more interesting and diverse range of products as many of these new technologies can now be adapted and utilised for their events.

2018 has seen a rise in smaller production agencies and creatives who are reaching out to White Light to support them with their technology requirements, particularly in the experimental event market. White Light works very closely with these agents providing the client with a collaborative approach, responding creatively to their brief.