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Humans are wired to respond to three things: light, sound, and movement. Since large-scale multimedia displays often incorporate audio, moving imagery, and illumination, it's no surprise they tend to draw a crowd – which explains why more exhibitors are eschewing hard-walled exhibitry for audiovisual installations. Pair the hardware of flatscreens and monitors with clever content and eye-catching imagery, and you're practically guaranteed to woo passersby. Here, then, are eight large-scale multimedia projects that dazzled attendees. Running the gamut from an 80-foot-long LED array to a projection-mapped
kabuki screen, these multimedia models will help you envision new ways to add a little light, a bit of movement, and a touch of magic to your next exhibit.
Photos: Let's Do Launch – courtesy of ges; Arcs de Triomphe – Proto Images
Let's Do Launch Exhibitor: Bell Helicopter Textron Inc. Show: Helicopter Association International Heli-Expoq Design: Global Experience Specialists Inc., Las Vegas, 702-515-5500, www.ges.com
A massive multimedia display helped Bell Helicopter Textron Inc. launch a new product at the Helicopter Association International Heli-Expo show. On the event's opening day, attendees gathered at the booth in front of a 180-degree kabuki-style fabric screen. As the sound of an aircraft engine winding up billowed from various speakers, the kabuki surface became an immersive screen showing massive projection-mapped images of the new Bell 505 Jet Ranger X flying through a range of environments. Just as the sounds of rumbling machinery reached a crescendo, a motorized mechanism sucked the kabuki screen into the venue's rafters, revealing the new aircraft and a second fabric screen behind it. Moments later, the second layer of material dropped to reveal two more aircraft, providing an unforgettable liftoff for Bell's new whirligig.
Arcs de Triomphe Exhibitor: Samsung Electronics America Inc. Show: International Consumer Electronics Show Design: MC2, Chestnut Ridge, NY, 845-639-8600, www.mc-2.com
Designed to debut Samsung Electronics America Inc.'s curved-TV technology, this exhibit's front exterior comprised a 42-foot arch, behind which sat four additional fabric arches. The curved elements all featured a sharp, chamfered edge, which reflected the bevel on the 30 curved TV monitors positioned across the display; plus, the architecture was equipped with computerized LED lighting synched to the abstract, graphic-based content shown on the TVs. Monitors, which ranged in size from 65 to 88 inches, also displayed an animated representation of the Internet of Things, as illustrated by circles and lines connecting and reconnecting to each other, creating a digital ecosystem with Samsung smack dab in the center of it all.
GoPro or Go Home Exhibitor: GoPro Inc. Show: International Consumer Electronics Show Design: Astound Group Inc., Oakville, ON, Canada, 905-465-0474, www.astoundgroup.com
GoPro Inc. is known for its high-quality action cameras. Seeing as they can be mounted to everything from the back of an eagle to the board of a surfer, the cameras have generated some undeniably arresting footage. So to promote its products and bring some of their incredible imagery to life at the International Consumer Electronics Show, GoPro created a massive multimedia display that took center stage in its 8,625-square-foot exhibit. The installation comprised an 80-foot-long LED array positioned atop the exhibit's back wall. Standing 8 feet tall, the ribbon curved around two corners of the booth's back wall to provide a seamless video presentation. Throughout CES, user-submitted video content was streamed nonstop – all the while stopping attendees in their tracks and driving home the quality and capabilities of GoPro cameras.
Masters of the Game Exhibitor: Sony Interactive Entertainment America LLC Show: Electronic Entertainment Expo Design: Pinnacle Exhibits Inc., Hillsboro, OR, 503-844-4848, www.pinnacle-exhibits.com
A part of the allure of video games is the sense of escapism players feel while immersed in the gaming environment. Not surprisingly then, Sony Interactive Entertainment America LLC devised an utterly immersive game-playing environment for its exhibit at the Electronic Entertainment Expo. While attendees played everything from "Knack" to "Octodad," a 245-foot-long, L-shaped projection screen that towered 13 feet tall comprised two walls of the theater surrounding them, shielding players from the mayhem of the E3 show floor just beyond. Projected content included trailers promoting various game titles and Sony's interactive platforms.
Lord of the Rings Exhibitor: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles of North America (FCA) Show: North American International Auto Show Design: George P. Johnson (a Project: Worldwide Inc. agency); Auburn Hills, MI, 248-475-2500, www.gpj.com; Spinifex Group (a Project: Worldwide Inc. agency), Los Angeles, 310-965-4359, www.spinifexgroup.com
At the 2016 North American International Auto Show, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles of North America (FCA) put the "show" back in "auto show." Like the interlocking gears of a machine, seven FCA brands (Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram, Fiat, Mopar, and SRT) came together in a calibrated, branded experience that was literally topped off by an overhead multimedia presentation. The 60,000-square-foot exhibit was connected through an array of LED screens, 18 custom-designed LED light rings, and multichannel audio, the combination of which formed a kinetic canopy of sorts that moved light and sound above and among the booth's distinct brand areas like an energy field. On the screens, a choreographed, 20-minute audiovisual journey showcased each brand in turn, drawing the visitors' eyes to the skies and then to the impressive autos below.
Square Deal Exhibitor: Leshi Internet Information & Technology (LeTV) Show: International Consumer Electronics Show Design: Derse Inc., Milwaukee, 414-257-2000, www.derse.com
While enclosed exhibits can keep traffic out just as easily as they can contain it, this exhibit for Leshi Internet Information & Technology (aka LeTV) featured walls that performed double duty – acting as both structural components and unexpected, eye-catching projection screens. Comprising mostly tensioned fabric, the box-like structure was suspended roughly 4 feet off the floor of the 2016 International Consumer Electronics Show, giving passersby a curious view of booth visitors from the waist down. Meanwhile, an array of 16 projectors, with four pointing toward each wall, was also suspended over the space where the devices projected a 360-degree video upon the fabric surfaces. A seven-minute clip played repeatedly throughout the show, starting with ground-level images of a futuristic cityscape. The video then progressed through a daily lunar cycle with the sun rising and setting, during which time images morphed into a starry night sky and what appeared to be a miraculous trip through the solar system. When combined, the slow-moving imagery created an arresting display for both attendees inside the booth and those passing in the aisles around it.
Reflection Collection Exhibitor: Faraday & Future Inc. Show: Auto China Design: Pinnacle Exhibits Inc., Hillsboro, OR, 503-844-4848, www.pinnacle-exhibits.com
The experience created for Faraday & Future Inc. (F&F) was as much about the materials surrounding it as the multimedia technology itself. Crafted for the Auto China show, the F&F exhibit housed a concept car that put the company's technology and design capabilities center stage. However, to deliver a sense of movement befitting of the car, designers incorporated a 13-by-31-foot LED display wall immediately behind the vehicle. With a 3-mm pixel pitch, the screen provided intense, sharp imagery and colors, along with content that ranged from promotional trailers about F&F's technology to the experience one might obtain while driving the car. To shift the movement off the screen and into the rest of the exhibit, designers bathed the booth in a multitude of reflective surfaces, creating a constantly changing sequence of color, motion, and energy throughout the space.
Dream Scheme Exhibitor: American Honda Motor Co. Inc. Show: Los Angeles Auto Show Design: George P. Johnson (a Project: Worldwide Inc. agency); Auburn Hills, MI, 248-475-2500, www.gpj.com
For the American Honda Motor Co. Inc., multimedia wasn't just part of its booth at the Los Angeles Auto Show; it was the booth. Accented by various seating elements and informational kiosks scattered throughout the space, a two-sided LED ring formed the exhibit's unmistakable focal point. The ring's exterior featured the Honda logo and tagline, The Power of Dreams, which appeared atop a background of a brilliant blue sky and puffy, white clouds. The ring's high-resolution LED interior furthered the dream story through curated content that featured images of the various cars in action along with key thematic messages.