The trade show of the future has arrived sooner than you expected.

By Michael J. Shapiro
November 1, 2018

Some of the most wildly innovative event tech to hit the market over the past few years is ready for the show floor. New and improved versions of these cutting-edge technologies are now hitting the market, and they’re gaining traction very quickly among show organizers looking to make life easier for attendees, exhibitors and, crucially, themselves. Read on for the latest developments.


Holograms have been surprising and delighting attendees for at least a half dozen years — and demand for that kind of entertainment remains strong. Technological advances make it possible to witness “live” performances from the likes of Billie Holiday or speeches from Ronald Reagan. Beyond the celebrity gleam, however, hologram technology is proving to be incredibly practical and useful in a trade show environment.

Exhibitors that produce large industrial equipment, for instance, have used holograms to draw attendees to their booths and effectively demonstrate what they offer via lifelike three-dimensional representations.

The Los Angeles-based VNTANA, which specializes in interactive hologram technology for events, assisted one such exhibitor recently by providing the hologram of a cow-milking machine. Another event called for a hologram of the Hubble telescope, which would have been difficult to demo on the show floor. For CES 2018, VNTANA created an interactive experience for storage company Seagate to showcase its new HAMR technology.

Hologram @ SXSW

Holograms, be they products or people, can create viral buzz on social media, something that VNTANA execs have been capitalizing on. To better ensure that surprise and delight extend beyond the exhibition-hall walls, VNTANA has combined its hologram tech with lead capture and social media-ready sharing capabilities. In what the company calls “mixed reality,” it has created the Hollagram solution, through which attendees can interact with holographic images. Attendee information is collected on behalf of VNTANA’s client, and shareable videos of the experience are immediately emailed to each participating attendee.

Demand for such experiences is high. “Mixed reality is transforming every industry, from engineering to advertising to eduction,” says VNTANA CEO Ashley Crowder, “but there is a huge cost and steep learning curve in creating these new experiences, and there isn’t an easy way for companies to collect data on engagement and sync with existing tools.” VNTANA is now piloting the release and licensing of software that allows clients to better handle the process in-house.

“The platform allows companies to easily create interactive mixed-reality experiences without the need of a team of engineers,” Crowder adds. Features include built-in data tracking and sync capabilities with CRM platforms as well.

The software program is still in beta, but VNTANA will soon have a timeline for a wider launch — potentially making mixed-reality hologram technology an even more common site on the trade show floor.

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