SEGD’s Branded Environments event ran in partnership with the 2017 Digital Signage Expo in Las Vegas last week with an energetic room of 150 attendees. This was SEGD’s third straight year co-locating an educational event at the well attended digital technology trade show.
This year’s decision to bring the topic of Branded Environments to DSE was made to strategically expose as wide an audience as possible to the value that brand integration brings to environments, spaces, communities and places. That clearly resonated with attendees with an increase of over 300% in registrations.
The day was filled with inspiring and informative talks from design professionals working in all market verticals across North America. The day kicked off with a brief introduction to SEGD’s history and evolution by one of SEGD’s three founders, Rich Burns of GNU Group (Walnut Creek, Calif.)
Morning sessions included talks by Eric Heiman of Volume Inc. (San Francisco) and Jennifer Bressler of Hunt Design (Pasadena) who each focused on the role of how brand integration emerges from the culture and geography of the users of a place--from a media center for journalists in Washington D.C. to a city in southeastern Idaho, brand comes from context. The common theme that emerged was that as designers, you can’t force your idea of what you think someone is on them as their brand. It has to come from within, and be derived from the local context.
The morning continued with talks from Cameron Smith of Infinite Scale (Salt Lake City) and Marcos Terenzio of Shikatani Lacroix Design (Toronto) with the perspective of customer centric branded environments for sport and retail, respectively. Both presenters demonstrated the need for a hybrid approach to physical and digital branded experiences whether designing for fans at sporting arenas or developing a highly integrated approach to technology in human facing retail environments such as banks and mobile phone stores. The role of digital integration requires a careful balancing of what is needed to meet the client’s user’s expectations while creating platforms with a purpose that customers will actually want to use and interact with.
The afternoon sessions with Emily Webster of ESI Design (New York) and Brian Collins of Collins (New York) provided a focus of how teams are faced with appropriating the right type of solutions for clients, and how to optimize the value that each respective project gives their users. Technology and media and striking a balance for what is needed and why it is needed were a trending thread at this year’s conference, as designers and their clients continue to integrate digital experiences into environments while finding new and effective ways to take advantage of emerging formats and solutions.
The afternoon sessions were followed by breakouts that allowed attendees to network and gain insights from one another’s projects and studio’s practices. Sessions with a focus on project management, user research, and budgeting for digital were led by industry leaders from Reality Interactive, OpenEye Global, Art of Context and SenovvA.
This year’s event reception was hosted by SNA at the legendary Palms Two-Story Villa, a penthouse suite on the 32nd floor of the Palms Resort. Attendees made the rounds and had a chance to connect with each other while taking in the view of the strip beyond. And what a view it was!
Day two of SEGD’s Branded Environments brought attendees both inside and outside of the Las Vegas Convention Center. A group of 25 met and was led on a comprehensive site and building tour of Las Vegas’ newest sports and entertainment venue, the Populous designed T-Mobile Arena. From the park and plaza that lead up and flank the arena to the digital mesh screens wrapping the facade, this arena puts on a packed array of shows, concerts, and special events year round. The interior of the arena is home to signature boxes, branded lounges and nightclubs, and of course the arena bowl itself. Wayfinding and signage designed by Selbert Perkins Design (Playa Del Rey, Calif.) reflect the T-Mobile magenta color throughout the facility, a key brand attribute that makes a continual bold statement on visitors and users alike.
The afternoon tour, SEGD’s signature Insider Show Floor tour of the Digital Signage Expo was led for the second year in a row by presenting sponsor Reality Interactive’s Douglas Hampton-Dowson. With curated stops from the top vendors for screens, networking, mounting, and analytics, attendees gained practical know how and knowledge for approaching the vast array of digital vendors and specialists in the experiential graphic design world.
You could feel the energy in Vegas this year and the SEGD community made this event the most exciting and highest attended Branded Environments conference ever!
Special thanks to our partners at DSE and our event sponsors: Reality Interactive, 3M, DCL, Color-Ad, iZone Imaging, Designtex, SNA, SES Branded Environments, McCann Systems, LEDCONN, GKD Media Mesh, Art of Context, SenovvA.
Missed the action in Vegas? SEGDTalks from all the sessions and dialogues at SEGD Branded Environments will be coming online in the coming weeks.