Rethinking how conventions are held.

Miro and the mind-mappers

When Andrew (Founder, Fordings Innovate) and I met, we had a lot of discussions on not only creating a digital reality for convention centers but how to integrate live reality into the system. As of when I'm writing this, it is something no one had done. So the best thing to do when brainstorming a new way of doing things--break out a whiteboard. Thanks to Miro, the time difference, and our Lady-Hawk-ish schedule we were able to think about how to carefully create something truly unique.

By the way, I was totally Rutger Hauer.

The Price of Inflation

One hurdle the client had was trying to understand how 100k visitors could be rendered in a virtual simulation. I think any of us who worked in games knows the answer. You are never in an open world environment when you are in a convention center: you are broken down into halls, rooms, and booths. This also changes the level of interaction. For the most part have one-to-many, few-to-one, and one-on-one situations. These situations are easily defined by proximity and rules placed upon the environment.

Production Pipelines

I built a quick example of creative and technical pipelines for development. Creatives need to be able to flex the experience and find ways to make it more monetizable, while developers need strong foundations upon which they can build ridged structures. With the amount of data we need to pipe from so many directions, finding the technical solutions to best match our needs was paramount. Luckily, Fordings has what I'll call a "fat-pipe" solution in its pocket that I could drape technologies onto.


We have a scenario where a sales team needs to interact with people via video conference, virtual reality, and in person. In return, many of these interactions need to cross vectors seamlessly. A live salesperson needs to talk with a virtual customer and/or transfer them to an associate without breaking the flow of communication. An attendee uses AR to get product information and place orders. A scheduled demo takes place live at the booth while everyone is digitally attending. I composed a low-cost prototype to handle all these events in one simple demo.

One simple idea

Everything that came out of this project stemmed from one simple idea: distance = interaction. If we are face-to-face it is a different experience than if someone is near me or wandering the outskirts. Physical presence be damned. Whenever innovating on a new project, I look for where it occurs in nature. Suddenly, our goal was not to re-invent how consumers visit a convention center, it was to enhance it. Soon, we found an evolutionary step that would eventually need to happen and brought the due date closer.