Following the interview with Esch2022 director Nancy Braun that we shared last week and in which she gave insight on her vision for the process and impact of Esch-sur-Alzette and the greater region as the European Capital of Culture (ECOC) of 2022, we now spoke to our CEO Brendan Shelper about this major project. He shares how his experience in large-scale opening ceremonies, as well as the method of Design Thinking, informs the launch of Esch2022.
As announced in our Mixed Reality piece, over the past months, we have tried various hybrid formats in our Extended Reality or Mixed Reality Studio (XR Studio), testing differences in the use and creativity of technical applications within this domain. We have also been working on real-life hybrid event solutions for a Fortune 500 client, as well as other digital activations for musicians and film screenings. It’s been a busy 6 months. The learning curve was sharp, and although we discovered the power of virtual elements, I still came to the belief that live cannot be replaced, but rather very powerfully enhanced by a virtual experience. For that to happen, “virtual” cannot just mean live streams but has to be engaging and new. In the following, I will share some of the insights we gained and will hopefully inspire readers to lean into interactivity in digital formats, and not to shy away from experimentation.
We’ve been approached by various clients asking how they can benefit from a digital event format, as well as from the more lavish effects that are being used at live stream events for online audiences. They took their inspiration from events like car launches hosted by Mercedes, BMW and MAN Truck & Bus, and most recently Apple’s virtual WWD conference, which often displays high-end production technology and sophisticated virtual studios common to TV or film sets. However, one of their key concerns seems to be whether these digital solutions are reserved for Fortune 500 companies, or if they can also serve the little guys?