Liveforce headed to International Confex 2017, Kensington Olympia last week to take our place in the Tech Pavilion as part of Event Tech 17 – an exhibition within an exhibition.
Boasting 30% more exhibitors than last year, the size, scale and variation of exhibits at Confex did not disappoint. The doors opened on 1st March into a wonderland for the events industry. Trees were suspended upside down from the ceiling. Bejewelled burlesque dancers with feathered wings posed for pictures in oversized martini glasses. The meet and greet was in the hands of robots, and Titan entertained the crowds with his popular “robot comedy.” Favourite songs were requested, played on mini grand pianos and sang live whilst visitors waited in line to try the latest in AR and VR Tech. Bubbles were alcoholic, mist was edible, ice cream was nitrogen and cocktails were plentiful. Brands like “Lick me, I’m Delicious” added to the sensation of having fallen down the rabbit hole into a world of possibilities.
If events were an over excited kid, Confex would be its Christmas.
Here are our Confex 2017 Top 5
1. Dancing, floating, huggable Balls by Guineapig
Working from a buzzing studio in Brighton, Guineapig create pioneering commissions for companies and individuals, or sometimes just for fun.
“Excuse me, can I play with your balls?”
On display at Confex were the dancing spheres and thought bubbles. Moving to any beat, Dancing Spheres weave, snake and bounce in mid-air. The boundlessly happy Thought Bubbles are levitating orbs that “can lighten any mood, entertain an audience or bob quietly in a corner.” They also offer Pluck & Hug Balls – The stronger you squeeze, the greater the glow.
2. AR and VR
This one was difficult to narrow down to one company as VR goggles were everywhere at Confex. There were examples of Virtual Venues, Virtual Attendance, Augmented Experiences and Product Demonstrations.AR and VR are growing in popularity and as the technology is maturing, the events industry is recognising it’s potential to change the way we discuss, interact and attend events. Using VR you could recce a venue without the expense of going there. Or plan the layout of your event, walk around it, change it, scrap it, start again. Or demonstrate jet engines, cars, even cargo ships to potential customers without the need of a giant event arena.
3. Online community with Event Tribe
An online forum & community for event organisers and freelancers – a place where people from across the events world can come to discuss, share, learn, get answers and grow their events.
“You’ll find topics & discussions ranging from how to get more bums on seats to how to go out and get sponsorships, right down to what the right wiring is for your A/V set up. Got a question and need an answer? Ask!”
Event Tribe is a great platform that encourages the sharing of information and supporting one another – but strictly not a space for selling.
4. Secret Forest from the imagination of Event Trees
One of the most immediate and jaw dropping exhibits was the beautiful indoor “secret forest” created by Event Trees. An enticing archway leads you through a walkway of beautiful trees so realistic it’s a shock to discover how squishy they are to touch. It even smelt like a real forest.
This stunning fairy tale environment came from Event Tree Directors Richard Moore (Area 51) and Sital Chanderana (Eventologists). Their creations include, trees with choices of different foliage’s, floral arches, seating, walkways, chandeliers, living walls, table centres and options to tailor or create bespoke pieces to fit any given theme of brief.
5. Never get lost again with What3Words
Our neighbours in the Event Tech 17 pavilion were the impressive what3words. A global addressing system that has divided the world into a grid of 3m x 3m squares and assigned each one a unique 3 word address. What3words provides a precise and incredibly simple way to talk about location. It means everyone and everywhere now has an address.
“The world is poorly addressed. This is frustrating and costly in developed nations; and in developing nations this is life-threatening and growth limiting.”
Better addressing improves customer experience, delivers business efficiency, drives growth and helps the social & economic development of countries.
To follow What3Words’ lead and put International Confex 2017 into three words:
Impressive. Progressive. Exhausting!