Industry Content & Media

From Using Overhead Projectors to Putting Goggles Over Attendees’ Heads

Author: Curt Wagner       

Kerri Carder-McCoy has witnessed the digital transformation first-hand during her time at SRI International. Now, she offers a look at the next wave of tech innovation for meetings and events.

Kerri Carder-McCoy

When Kerri Carder-McCoy started working at SRI International 12 years ago, she used overhead projectors and a 35mm film carousel for presentations. Since then, the non-profit research and development institute has gone from using clunky video conferencing equipment to more efficient and less costly digital equipment. Carder-McCoy, now an Assistant Conference Services Manager at the San Francisco-based institute, expects more technological changes to come for the business events industry in the form of VR/AR (virtual reality/augmented reality) technology. She earned her DES certification in 2017 thanks to a scholarship provided by Meetings + Conventions Calgary.

Can you share a recent digital event success?
During a recent client event that I was working as the audio-visual technician, the group incorporated VR goggles with audio. The demo from the virtual environment was the International Space Station using Facebook’s VR company, Oculus. It was a fascinating demonstration of how digital interacts with the senses for audiences. It provided a compelling way to convey an experience that brought the attendees auditory and visual attention to the forefront of the event.

What are you most excited about in the digital space?
I’m excited for the full package sensory experience for audiences, both live and online. The VR/AR experience can be shared like never before and can be used in many different ways. One way is for virtual attendees to feel as if they are at the event and participating live with real-time interaction.

It also can be used on-site at an event to showcase a product or service. You could view a three-dimensional meeting space to see how potential rental furniture would fit into that space, as well as view an “augmented” menu or meal for an event before you take a bite! Augmented menus are one of the newest tech influencers changing the way foodies and restaurants interact with AR, since Instagram took off as a platform for photographing your meal before you eat it.

What engagement tips do you have that could translate to the online experience?
Make your online experience fun. Use gamification or live-feed teasers prior to your event, as well as unique Twitter hashtags and micro-blogging during the event.

What has the DES certification changed about your approach to your work?
By becoming more aware of technology and software systems that are available for businesses, I have been able to understand clients’ wants and needs better. Being able to anticipate certain technology needs assists me in working with our IT team more efficiently.

Interested in more insights about digital innovation? Click here to check out how HP uses a surprising technique to capture attention from remote viewers.