Is ‘mixed reality’ the future of the event industry?

Is ‘mixed reality’ the future of the event industry?

The first-ever Event Industry Hackathon, which took place on 31 October and 1 November in RAI Amsterdam, gave 50 hackers, divided over eight teams, 24 hours to solve various challenges in the event sector. The winning team provided the best solution, answering the question of how the future of the event industry would look.

The event saw urgent issues in the field of sustainability, matchmaking, experience and event management tackled and resolved in just 24 hours. Each challenge was ‘hacked’ by two teams consisting of experts, scientists, students and professionals from the Netherlands and abroad. One of the challengers who joined the Hackathon was even from South Africa. The Hackathon finished with animated presentations before the jury, which included Annemarie van Gaal (entrepreneur and member of the Supervisory Board of RAI Amsterdam), Gijs van Wulfen (authority in the field of innovation and design thinking) and Jeroen Jansen (former creative director of ID&T and the mind behind Tomorrowland, Sensation and Mysteryland).

Winning concept

The jury unanimously crowned the solution from the team ‘From purple to virtual’, which combined modular stand-building with ‘mixed reality’. This concept enriches sustainable stands with an interactive digital world, featuring reusable stand building blocks transported by robots to minimise external logistics.

Jury chair Annemarie van Gaal explained the decision with a quote from renowned ice-hockey player Wayne Gretzky: “Skate to where the puck is going, not where it has been.” She went on to say that, “with its ‘mixed-reality’ concept, this team is blazing a trail for the entire event industry.” The winning team will donate their 2,500-euro cheque to the Ocean Cleanup, their charity of choice.

First event industry Hackathon

Paul Riemens, CEO of RAI Amsterdam, was pleased with the first Event Industry Hackathon. “I am very proud that we organised this event,” he said. “The hackers showed us what creative and innovative solutions we can come up with when we work together on a multidisciplinary level. It’s crucial that we look at our challenges with a fresh eye and mindset, as changes that impact our sector are occurring at a rapid pace. I’d like to see this hackathon as the first in a series of initiatives in which we work together towards solid, feasible solutions from which the entire industry can benefit.”