Transform your event with projection mapping

31.01.2017 12:57

Projection mapping first came to prominence in the mid-2000s, when brands began to use it in experiential marketing campaigns. Arguably one of the most compelling ways to express a brand, it has fast become a popular and effective way for event organisers to awe and inspire their audiences.  

Projection mapping turns any object or building, be it a car or a disused factory, into a canvas for 3D projection of images, motion graphics, video, 3D animation and even live stream video.  Used alongside audio and lighting, projection mapping can be a powerful multi-sensory and immersive story-telling tool.

Audiences can be transported into the middle of the rain forest, to the beach or even to the bottom of the sea. Pretty clever stuff. But what should you consider when using projection mapping at your event?

Use your budget wisely

Projection mapping doesn’t have to blow your budget but you should be realistic about your goals and always keep in mind what you want to achieve. Work with your location, larger surface areas and high ambient lighting require the use of more powerful projectors - meanwhile a light coloured canvas will help you reflect more light, keep your cost down and image resolution crisp. 

Think about the visitor journey – which areas will have the most impact? You may choose to focus on the entrance or the main stage. When you’re really short on budget, 2D can be just as captivating as 3D when done well. Explore ways you could use both.

Event layout

At indoor events, there are no real limitations to space or distance required to project, but you should consider obstructions in your projection path and audience movement that may disrupt the light beam. Projecting from a steep overhead angle will allow you to place objects nearer to your canvas and allows your audience to get up close and personal - so be a little creative with your use of space. 

Content really is king

Projection mapping should be as interactive as possible. After all, your visitors are more likely to make an emotional connection with your brand and remember the event if they participated in it. A two-way conversation is always more powerful than simply broadcasting messages. Go one-step further and include user generated content within the projection itself, such as visitor photos and tweets. Give yourself enough time to plan so you can change and adapt content as your ideas progress and ensure you have a precise map of what you’re projecting onto. If something is even slightly off, this could lessen the impact and defeat the aim.

Amplify your event

You can be pretty certain that your audience will film and share your projection mapping on social media but don’t miss an opportunity to amplify this even further and control the story yourself. Consider live streaming your event so audiences can tune in remotely and tap into the 'FOMO' effect. This will create a larger audience and your event will live on after it's finished. Engage with social media influencers pre-event and encourage them to share your messages and have content, such as time-lapse videos and behind-the-scenes videos ready to post the day after your event to keep the conversation going.

For more information on the use of projection mapping at events, contact Graham Pope ( / 07786 327225).

To finish, here’s a round-up of our favourite projection mapping projects to inspire you;

Curtain Call – Blitz|GES brings back Ron Arad’s Curtain Call to help the Roundhouse celebrate 50 years.

Sydney Opera House – Projection mapping was used to make the building’s iconic sails appear to wave in the wind and peels open to reveal layers underneath

Harrods Fabergè Egg – An interactive pre-Easter campaign display in the shop windows where shoppers could change the colour of the projection and take a photo alongside it.

Toyota Get Your Energy Back - This is the first ever projection mapping project I saw in real life.  Still pretty damn cool!

Jordan Melo Launch - Incredible water projection for launch of new Nike Melos.  Basketball player Carmelo Anthony appears to jump in and out of the water.

Intel Face Tracking – Beautiful projection mapping onto a model’s face. 

Sephora’s Kat Von D Beauty -  Amazing live projection mapping onto Kat Von D's face for her release of her make-up range in Spain.

Al Jazeera 'Rebel Architecure' - This is something that Blitz|GES did with Al Jazeera - bringing the Millennium Mill in London to life

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