Archive for 2017


Taking events to a new dimension

3 months ago
Kim Loynes by Kim Loynes

It’s an exciting time to be working in the events industry with new and immersive technologies becoming genuine options to provide customers with unique and memorable experiences. I recently attended the EWL (Event Professionals Who Lunch) networking lunch to discuss technology, and specifically how augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) can be used in events.

So firstly, what is AR and VR?  VR is currently largely accessed by a headset and creates a virtual word for you to exist and interact within and disregards reality. The extent to which you can do this depends on the software and the device. Popular hardware brands are currently Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive but more is being developed as we are at the cusp of the VR revolution.

AR views the real world through a device, whether it be through the camera on a phone or special glasses, it integrates the real world with technology. For example, holding a phone with the camera on over a still image on paper which has a code recognised by the phone for then you to see the image brought to life on the phone but still remain still on the paper.

If you plan to use experiential technology in your event or activity it’s important to understand why you’re using it.  Are you wanting to run a VR game that isn’t related to your product or message to simply pull people into the vicinity of your activity in the hope that their interest will turn to what you want them to focus on?  This is probably akin to displaying a bowl of Celebrations on your table at an exhibition.  The people will come and enjoy this but then how many will be interested in your product?  Can something more effective be done?

Try not to use tech as a gimmick, particularly as it will become less of a novelty in the coming years.  How can you use it to enhance the experience of your product?  Maybe try a virtual tour of your factory or behind the scenes of a space most people don’t get to see?  There was a great example of Meantime Brewery, in Greenwich, selling virtual tours and tastings where the customer simply downloaded the app and were sent real samples of beer so they could take the tour from their living room on their smart device and taste the beers at the appropriate times.  A multisensory experience is highly engaging. If you can combine VR with an additional taste, sound, temperature, smell or other experience it will certainly make the activity more memorable.

The technology should be able to make current activities easier or provide an opportunity that cannot be done without it.  If you’re selling clothes, why not let your attendees or customers try on clothes virtually and add a bespoke option at the click of a button. Find out about the people you want to reach and what could be done to make their experiences easier or more enjoyable and how can technology bridge this gap?

Generally, VR lets your attendees or customers go to places and have experiences which they wouldn’t be able to do otherwise and AR provides extra information or an additional experience to what they would typically have. Whatever the key objectives you want to achieve from your event or activity, give your customers more than they typically would have without it and an experience they will share with others and won’t forget.


GETTING CRAFTY

4 months ago
Winnie by Winnie

gettingcrafty_1We’re really excited to be working on Kirstie Allsopp’s Handmade Fair which is coming to Warwickshire for the first time this May. Last week, we officially launched the fair with an exclusive media launch event for regional press and bloggers. It was my first event with the team and I was super excited to be helping out. Held at the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter, the guests took part in crafty workshops and got a taste of what The Handmade Fair will offer.

We arrived with plenty of bunting, boxes of cupcakes, and armfuls of goodie bags and set to work decorating the venue for the guests. We got the first glimpse of the beautiful block prints and colourful wires that would be used for the workshops later on.

The workshops on the night included Tess from The Arty Crafty Place who showcased her colourful block printing, and Lucy Elisabeth who introduced guests to the art of wirework – both of who will be exhibiting at The Handmade Fair at Ragley Hall.

THF (40 of 51)Inspired by their travels to India, The Arty Crafty Place is a passionate team who specialise in block printing.  Their range of fairtrade, hand carved Indian wooden printing blocks are designed in-house and then carved by skilled artisans in Jaipur, India. With cushions and tea towels on display, everyone was excited to use their favourite block prints and colourful fabric paints to create their own tea towel designs. We certainly couldn’t wait to give it a go ourselves with teapots and chickens as our block prints of choice! As well as their own colourful tea towel, each guest took home a mini Arty Crafty Place kit, allowing them to continue their new found skills at home.

Next up was Lucy Elisabeth, who specialises in intricate wirework ranging from detailed portraits of flowers, the human form, to specially commissioned pieces. At the event, Lucy showed that wirework doesn’t have to be complicated and taught guests how to create beautiful floral wire brooches using just a few coloured wires and a pair of pliers. It was great to see everyone twisting the wires into shape and proudly wearing their new floral wire brooches.

gettingcrafty_3The event was buzzing with guests keen to get involved and create something of their own. We spotted many faces deep in concentration (including ours!) as everyone took part in workshops. It was a fantastic evening filled with creativity which was really inspiring! I was really excited to be involved in the event right from the set-up, learning from the expert makers, and then waving goodbye to the happy guests, each leaving with their new colourful tea towels and wire brooches.

We can’t wait to see what the other expert makers have to offer at the official fair on Friday 12th – Sunday 14th May. Keep checking our website for more news on The Handmade Fair!