August 20, 2019
By Hannah Huston
Welcome to Round 2 of our “where are they now” event tech trends series! In the last post, we talked about Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality. If you haven't seen it, check it out here. And, as a reminder, here's a peek at all of the top trends we were keeping a close eye on for 2017:
  1. Virtual Sourcing: virtually find the perfect event venue, from the comfort of your desk
  2. Google Cardboard: transport attendees anywhere in the world (and beyond!)
  3. Holograms: wow your attendees with your smartphone
  4. Beacons: personalize and track attendee experiences
  5. Live Q&A and Polling: increase engagement at your events
  6. Livestreaming: engage attendees beyond your event
  7. Mobile: make mobile a priority at your events
Today, we're going to check-in on trend #3: holograms. Last year we talked about KitKat’s holographic candy message and thought it was really fun and cute, but it didn’t really relate to the meeting and event industry...until now. And on a much larger scale. Holographic concerts are now becoming more and more popular around the globe. First publicized back in 2012 when Tupac was reincarnated as a hologram to perform “live” at Coachella, most of these holographic concerts and "performances" have been reserved for bringing back artists who have passed away (Michael Jackson, Prince), and even then they haven’t become very mainstream…yet. In South Korea, hologram concerts are extremely popular - and not just for the musicians no longer with us - many living musicians tour virtually via holograms, and this trend is about to come to the US. In September of 2017, ABBA announced they are planning to go on tour in 2019 in the US…as holograms! Unlike South K0rea, no living artists have virtually toured in the US. If this is successful, virtual concerts open up a whole slew of possibilities for the events industry who may be able to book big-name performers more easily and potentially at a lower price point. In addition to concerts, you'll be seeing holograms emerging as a component of customer service at events. VNTANA and Satisfi Labs announced in September their new holographic concierge service. The Hologram incorporates artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality (AR) in order to be able to better interact with consumers and learn from each interaction. Although this product hasn’t officially been released yet, its announcement is very exciting and shows our predicted hologram trend is definitely making waves in the meeting and event industry. This isn’t VNTANA’s first hologram rodeo though. As a leader in the hologram space, VNTANA is set to rapidly innovate and change the face of events and conferences as we know them today. Keynote speakers can now be in multiple locations at once and carry out full conversations and Q&A sessions via their telepresence hologram. We can’t even begin to count how many travel headaches this would solve. They also have interactive hologram “photo booths” for attendees at events to experience their technology.  We are super excited to follow VNTANA’s technology going forward and can’t wait to test it out. Similar to VNTANA, although not utilizing their technology, a French presidential candidate was able to speak simultaneously at seven different political rallies this past April (see below!). Jean-Luc Mélenchon was present at one location where he was recorded and then projected out to six other locations. Overall, holograms are capable of a lot more than Kit Kat offered consumers, but the tech is still pretty new and cost prohibitive. Kit Kat was able to bring the experience to the “average Joe,”something that hasn’t been able to be replicated as of yet with the newer, emerging tech. Maybe in 2018, we’ll see holograms more as part of our everyday lives – aiding us while shopping etc., but until then we can only marvel at how far we’ve come already, and look forward to where it will go from here.
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