NEC Showcase LIVE: a day in the life
Congratulations to Gill Slater and her marketing team at NEC on an imaginative and truly experiential Showcase event. The NEC Showcase is one of the most enjoyable industry events in the calendar, although we attended the Holborn basement venue with some trepidation. Last year, the same venue was extremely hot and crowded, with no seating area to sit and enjoy the AV News sponsored lunch.
This year, our sponsorship was limited to coffee and cold drinks, but the venue was transformed into a themed background for a showcase drama, complete with actors playing a couple in various encounters with technology throughout the working day. These started with an initial meeting at the tube station; moved to QSR concessions for morning coffee and snacks, and then to a bus stop to complete their journey. Other scenarios included retail and a cinema.
This more immersive approach was borne out as end-user attendance increased to close to 50%, compared to channel. “The visualisation of technology in action greatly appeals to end-users looking for inspiration to recreate solutions within their own environment.” Over 15% of all visitors attended from outside of the UK, as Showcase continues to attract a wider out-reach across Europe and beyond.
Unanimously, the positive feedback regarding NEC’s creative delivery was described as astonishing, as attendees enjoyed experiencing the exciting ‘story’ of their day. Visitors were taken on a journey through a typical London day – traveling by tube, grabbing a coffee on the way to their first meeting then strolling along the high street for lunch. The visual experience was widely shared over social networks with #NECShowcase seeing extraordinary twitter traffic, reaching close to 6 million impressions, according to aka.tv.
NEC’s display technologies, including LCD large format and desktop displays, projection and dvLED digital surfaces, shaped visitors’ visual engagement. The capabilities of the technology were perfectly suited to supporting a wide range of applications, as demonstrated along the Showcase journey which addressed transport, retail, DooH, QSR, corporate, education, leisure and command, and control.
NEC worked with 42 partner companies who were universally committed to the valuable part they played in creating the Showcase experience. “The Showcase is an excellent forum to draw the industry together through collaboration,” said Steve Pryor, Director of Oblong. ‘‘We’re showing our Mezzanine solution integrating with the NEC InfinityBoard – by connecting technologies and presenting them in a real-world simulation, Showcase becomes a highly impactful and innovative environment. Partnering with NEC is a very cost-effective way to show our product, the set is built ready for us to simply turn up and add our technology. The quality and quantity of visitor through-put has been outstanding.’
Mark Taylor, Solutions Sales Manager and Technical Orchestrator of Showcase said: “We are overwhelmed by the hugely positive response to our fresh new Showcase concept this year. The holographic telepresence solution from our partner Musion proved a particular talking point as visitors received a personal welcome as they entered the venue! Live interactions were central to our theme running throughout Showcase.”
Technology highlights includes:
- Taking a stroll along the virtual high street, experience real QSR solutions as used in McDonald’s and Pod. Visitors could select their ideal rug size using POS projection in the IKEA store.
- Entering the retail store of the future with engaging context-aware signage, POS interactive self-service, captivating social media interactions and inspirational creative signage.
- Experiencing how touch and gesture-based solutions linked to advertising and promotions help to increase customer engagement.
- Interacting with live 3D holographic telepresence.
- Experiencing live VC and collaboration using NEC’s all-in-one meeting room and corporate conferencing solution, InfinityBoard.
- Comparing dvLED, LCD video walls and laser projection technologies, side by side, creating huge digital surfaces.
- Chilling out in the virtual reality zone and experience audio visual harmony.