Sometimes when we talk about going the distance for our clients, we mean it literally. This past weekend, I was tasked with the all-important job of flying out to Chicago for a day to help deliver and set up a Microsoft Surface project and brand experience for one of our clients at the annual Digestive Disease Week trade show.
This annual event is slated as the world’s largest gathering for physicians and researchers in the gastroenterology, hepatology, endoscopy and gastrointestinal surgery specialties, so we were stoked to have one of our projects on display. I was especially interested to learn that around 65 percent of the attendees were international, meaning the application would be viewed by people from all over the world. How did the likes of a Phenomblue developer end up at an event for doctors from all over the world? It was the result of months of involved planning and execution in which we provided our client with both an immersive and interactive experience, all built to run on Microsoft’s Surface multi-touch technology. During the conference, the event attendees would be guided through a 3D experience on the Surface mediated by an actor. The application allowed the mediator to navigate around several different environments using only gesture-based interaction and object recognition. The physical objects were used to simulate the introduction of food and as an avenue for the drug to be administered into the system.
So back to the actual trip. I arrived at the convention center, and the first thing that I see is a shuttle bus with a giant advertisement for the same drug that we wrote the application for. Not only that, I also learned there was a video spot running on the bus TVs, so this was no small campaign. Once I got registered as an exhibitor, it was pretty easy to find the booth to set up the app in: it was a giant 30-foot stomach. Although the Surface units took up a small part of the entire exhibit, they were main focal points actually set up inside of the replica stomach. For the event, there were two units running side-by-side housed inside of custom stands constructed for this event. Along with the stands, there were domed speakers positioned directly above each unit to help direct the sound downward to the audience. The setup went smoothly, and the only real issue was with the stands. One of the main considerations when building a stand for a Surface unit is ventilation, as the units put out a good amount of heat. Once a couple of modifications were made to each of the stands — I suggested we drill more holes for ventilation to prevent crashes from overheating— we were back up and running.
Overall, the experience was great and a successful end to many months of hard work for all parties involved. It was very exciting to be involved with a large product launch that would be viewed by individuals from all over the world.