As the events industry continues to evolve, event marketers have a new option when planning virtual, live or hybrid experiences. Instead of using Zoom to show a remote participant on screen, they can now use hologram technology to place a three-dimensional representation of that person on a stage or in a boardroom.
Since patenting their end-to-end holographic capture and display technology in 2017, Toronto-based company ARHT Media (pronounced “art”) has expanded their presence at events and in other corporate use cases. Most recently they partnered with WeWork to allow members access to holograms in 11 locations, including New York, Los Angeles, Miami and Washington, D.C.
Holograms on stage
Event marketers who want to book high-profile speakers have budget and logistical constraints that limit their options. Travel restrictions and other public safety concerns during the Covid-19 pandemic have added to the difficulties.
” Organizations can get people to meetings or conferences who are otherwise impossible to attend. However, concerns about travel during a pandemic increase this risk. Larry O’Reilly, ARHT Media CEO Larry O’Reilly.
Speakers around the globe don’t need to travel for hours or days to get to their event. Only one thing they need to do is get to a recording studio. This allows them to transmit live or recorded talks. On the event stage, a HoloPresence display displays a three-dimensional, life-size hologram of each presenter.
This reduces travel expenses. If a sought-after speaker is able to present at more engagements via holographic means than they can in person they may charge lower fees, which could reduce the overall cost.
” You can also reduce your carbon emissions by flying less,” O’Reilly said.
Holograms in live conferencing
The hologram can interact with the attendees, answer questions, and respond to all events at the venue, even though the speaker may be far away.
Holograms in live conferencing
WeWork announced a strategic partnership with ARHT Media in May 2021, bringing the holographic technology to up to 3,500 enterprise customers through the WeWork network as more locations are equipped with the capture studios and displays.
The WeWork partnership will expand the use of holograms through accessibility and visibility, according to O’Reilly.
” “It will be easier and more convenient for you to have a demo or actually use it when it is permanently in place,” he stated.
Corporate clients who have systems installed in their offices will also benefit from a network effect.
” Any enterprise client who installs our technology in their offices will be able to access speakers, talent and other services at WeWork locations,” O’Reilly explained. This expanding holographic network allows teams separated by great distances to meet and collaborate. The hardware of the capture studio, which includes camera, sound and monitors, allows a person to react in real time to what is happening in the conference room, miles away, or across continents.
Holograms are also possible to be captured and transmitted in virtual environments for hybrid or virtual events. This gives event marketers and corporate teams more options.
Consumer and retail activations
In 2020, during the first and second waves of Covid-19, ARHT Media gained visibility in their application of holograms for NBA broadcasts on ESPN. Players were kept in a bubble and played all remaining games at one site in Orlando, Florida.
Using the holographic technology, players in the bubble could be interviewed by on-air talent located elsewhere, or talent in the bubble could be shown in-studio via hologram. Interviews are recorded in real time and are consistent with broadcast television’s high standards.
The technology has also been used for NCAA Final Four hoops, and for the 2020 NCAA Championship Football Game.
“It was used numerous times in trade shows, and other retail activations like Rogers Communication 5G Experience Center, which created a personal concert experience with Live Nation,” O’Reilly said. He said, “Last year Art Basel Hong Kong brought in gallerists in Singapore, New York, and Zurich to sell their artwork in a special gallery at the Hong Kong show.” This year, they are going to have two of these special galleries.”
Marketers seeing these use cases can think of how their events might benefit from additional buzz and curiosity by attendees. Behind this novel tec