Listen to the full podcast episode HERE
What do you see to be the biggest business advantage to doing or attending events?
I think events are a great way to engage an audience, regardless of the size of the event, in a more intimate, in-person way, where you can communicate a message and get your message across in a more meaningful and lasting way versus other more removed ways. I think that once you have someone attend your event, there’s an automatic engagement. They’ve committed to you. Now it’s your job to get the message across.
What’s the most innovative thing you’ve seen done either at your event or at an event you’ve attended?
I think we did this together. I think the water screen at the National Building Museum with the Cirque du Soleil, which unfortunately none of us can ever use, but I thought that was one of the maybe… Well, it was innovative. It was super cool. I don’t think I’ll ever forget that. Just the choreography that went along with the technological and engineering parts of that to make it work in a museum, of all places…
A water screen in this particular instance was a device that dropped water from 90-foot columns in a museum, where everything had to be protected. It wasn’t just free-flowing water. It had to be recaptured and re-purposed, and up on that water screen, as I recall, we were projecting imagery, certainly lots of lighting, and performers were flying in and out of the water screen, as was choreographed and practiced for days. It would remain as one of the neatest things I’ve ever seen.
What’s the best use of technology that you’ve utilized at an event or seen at another event?
The augmented reality that we used in that event that I referred to in the last podcast. It was a business meeting, and that was being streamed to all the employees of this very large association, and something that we admittedly from broadcast. ESPN has done it. You’ll see it on many of the major networks, but it was great in that the audience in house was able to enjoy what we were doing because of the video screens, as well as the people at home.
But the augmented reality, we literally had the CFO speaking, and then we had 11 more of him appear on stage. They all interacted with each other. It was neat.
Augmented is taking parts of reality and then either replicating them or distorting them or modifying them somehow versus creating a whole new world. We were in a real-world setting and just adding pieces and parts digitally on the screen, which was a departure from what they were accustomed to, and we were concerned that there would be a little bit of an awkward feeling. Everybody was riveted to the screen—I remember it—because they just thought it was so neat that it was right here, yet they saw something completely differently.
GUEST: Ajay Patil
Co-founder and partner of Showcall Inc. began his careers in the event production business over 25 years ago. Patil has a varied skill set that he has developed over the years working as a talent buyer; booking national acts, as a promoter; producing his own concerts, serving as a tour manager and lighting director on a number of rock and roll tours and finally by entering the special event industry as a sales executive/technical producer.
Patil co-founded Showcall with A. Blayne Candy and has spent the last several years growing the company and producing a variety of high profile, large format events such as Pope Benedict XVI’s Mass for 47,000 at Nationals Stadium, the G20 Summit in Washington DC, the Annapolis Mideast Peace Conference and the George W. Bush Library Dedication. Most recently Patil led the charge on the launch of Showcall’s newest division that focuses on event security related needs by supporting the federal law enforcement agencies in their efforts to secure high threat, large format events including the 56th Presidential Inauguration, International Summits and Political Conventions.