Projection mapping dates back to the 1960s, with Walt Disney producing one of the first public displays with the launch of its Haunted Mansion ride in 1969. 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 event to the bottom of the sea. Pretty clever stuff. But what should you consider when using projection mapping at your event? Here are three tips to ensure you get the most out of this event technology.
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. Larger surface areas require the use of more projectors so be a little creative with your use of space. 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.
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’s 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.
With a lot of forward planning, being strategic with your budget and nailing your content, you can use projection mapping to captivate your audience and ensure your brand resonates in their minds.
To finish, here’s a round-up of projection mapping projects to inspire you;
Sydney Opera House – Projection mapping was used to make the building’s iconic sails appear to wave in the wind and peel open to reveal layers underneath
Harrods Fabergè Egg – 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 Millenium Mill in London