Seeing is believing: Should you be using holograms at your events?

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The use of holograms at events has had its peaks and troughs over the past few years, skyrocketing to international prominence with the brilliant, or morally questionable, resurrection of Tupac Shakur at the 2012 Coachella Festival. Ethical debates aside, the impact of utilising holographic technology is unquestionable; it’s exciting, engaging and nowhere near ubiquity yet, so therefore definitely not yesterday’s news.

The reasons why holograms haven’t become the norm at events since this 2012 watershed are numerous and obvious. The cost associated with delivering them has always been high and to draw a straight line between the use of holograms and the return is not easy. Their implementation at everyday events is definitely a luxury. Technical requirements have also been a stumbling block. The specific type of hologram utilised at Coachella is the “Pepper’s ghost” model. A technique that has existed since Victorian times. Utilising a lowered pit, foil, and state-of-the-art projection, we can bounce photons onto a stage to create the effect. This requires measurement of exact distances to the audience, a raised stage area and, of course, the budget to match these technical needs.

A sort of malaise of perception has fallen on the hologram because of this. For a lot of event planners, while it would be a fantastic thing to deploy and undoubtedly highly engaging, the figures don’t add up and so holograms are the reserve of the mega-budget, infotainment spectacle. The tipping point that everyone is waiting for is when holograms begin to seep into the everyday communication experience and, as event planners, we are forced to include them in delivery or be perceived as antiquated. This, of course, has not yet happened but it is on the horizon.

Written by Callum Gill – Head of Insight and Innovation

As Head of Insight and Innovation, Callum operates across all of drp’s divisions, bringing teams together and identifying the most important trends and developments in communication, marketing, live events, video, digital, design and exhibition. He pulls together sector insights, developments in technology and general business trends, and has a wealth of knowledge within various industries and how they use comms.

Twitter – @CallumGill

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